California State Prisoners killed at double the National Average

A shocking revelation has been made by an Associated Press analysis of corrections records -- California state prisoners are killed at the double rate than the national average. Another startling revelation was that sex offenders account for disproportionate number of victims.

When the AP cataloged all 78 killings that the correction officials reported since 2007, it was found that male sex offenders made up 15% of the total prison population. They were accountable for around 30% of homicide victims.

The deaths, 23 out of 78, took place despite the fact that special housing units were created in order to protect the weakest inmates. Not the same reason is involved behind killings, as some were killed among the general prison population.

Others are killed within the special units that were created more than 10 years back. Now, officials have affirmed that the special units have created even more gangs of inmates. Efforts were made in 2011 to reduce the population in jails.

In the efforts, lower-level offenders were kept in county jails and a higher percentage of sex offenders and violent gang members in prisons.

James Austin, president of the JFA Institute, a Washington-based consulting firm that works on prison issues, was of the view that issues like violence and homicides would not decline in the state’s prisons till the time the prison population level goes well below the level set by the courts, which is 137.5% of the system's designed capacity.

From 2001 to 2012, 162 California prisoners were killed, which is double the national average over the same period. Also, the percentage is much higher than in the other large states, including Texas, New York and Illinois.

As per experts, the state could be able to protect sex offenders if they are separated into their own facilities.