Prison guards say they aren’t placing inmates by the content of their character:

Prison guards claim state officials lied to the U.S. Supreme Court about racial segregation in California’s prisons and the extent to which race is used to set prison policies, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Correctional officers and inmates told The Press-Enterprise of Riverside that segregation is rampant throughout the system, despite state attorneys’ contention that it is limited to inmates’ first 60 days behind bars. “There is no way I’d put a white and a black together,” said Charles Hughes, a lieutenant at California State Prison in Lancaster. “I’d be putting my job on the line if I did that.”

California Senior Assistant Attorney General Frances Grunder told the high court that racial segregation is limited to “reception center” housing of inmates during their first 60 days at a prison. They are initially segregated to determine their propensity for racial violence, lawyers told the court. Attorney General Bill Lockyer said that beyond the reception centers, prison inmates are fully integrated.

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