The gymnasium in the state prison here is hardly glamorous, just some concrete walls and a couple of basketball hoops.
But a year ago, those hoops were nothing more than ornaments. The gymnasium at the California Institution for Men was neither alive with the sound of thumping basketballs, nor used for workouts. Like any other space in the state prison system, it was used for housing. It teemed with far more inmates than it was meant to handle, and officials lined any open space they could with bunks crammed so close together that it was sometimes difficult to squeeze between them.
Those 100-plus bunk beds are now gone. Prisoners are no longer using an open bathroom, where the smell was barely tolerable. The conditions are certainly not luxurious, but for the first time in recent memory all inmates are sleeping in cells that were designed to house them.
Read more at the NY Times