Prisoners’ Rights

SAN FRANCISCO – Finding the state had violated previous settlement agreements, a federal judge issued two orders Friday requiring California to revise its prison practices, including increased group activity time for inmates and less time confined to their cells.

In one order, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken required the prison system to review inmates assigned “walk-alone” status, which places them under additional security restrictions, every two months and to give clear reasons if it chooses to keep them on “walk-alone” status.

The order follows Wilken’s July finding that the state was violating a previous settlement by denying “walk-alone” prisoners access to group activities.

In the second order, Wilken admonished the state to increase out-of-cell time for prisoners, some of which were spending up to 23 hours a day in their cells, also in violation of an earlier settlement.

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