CMC

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

For over a year, inmate Richard Gilliam has regularly sent us dispatches from prison as part of our Dispatches from the Inside series, to give us a lens into the prison infrastructure housing about 120,000 people in California. During this time, Gilliam has told us about the arbitrary nature of enforcement of the rules, race relations, and watching a cell mate wait too long for critical health care.

 

As a prisoner, I am often reminded that the CDCR requires me to follow its rules. That’s understandable, rules and regulations ensure that operations run safely and smoothly. When an inmate can’t or won’t follow the rules, negative consequences are triggered to urge him or her to do so in the future. But what happens when the CDCR doesn’t follow its own rules? Where are the negative consequences to them? Apparently there are none. But there are negative consequences to inmates, and to the community, when the Department of Corrections can’t follow its own rules. Let me explain.

Credit California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony (CMC).

September 6, 2012

Okay, so I just learned that a federal court in Massachusetts has ruled that a prisoner has the right to sex-reassignment surgery. The court ruled that it was cruel and unusual punishment to deny this individual what they termed "basic medical care."

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony (CMC).

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony (CMC).

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony (CMC).

August 8, 2012

It's been slow in coming, but there have been some noticeable changes here, due to the state's realignment plan. We used to get a half-dozen big, green buses pulling in each week, disgorging thirty or forty new arrivals at a time. These days we might get one per week. Because of this, the population has decreased, reducing the number of prisoners in some dorms. 

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony (CMC).

August 8, 2012