Report: Sex offenders more likely to be killed in prison than other inmates

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal statistics show California prison inmates are killed at a rate that is double the national average and far higher than that of other large states.

What's more, an Associated Press analysis of corrections records shows that sex offenders account for a disproportionate number of California's victims.

Male sex offenders made up about 15 percent of the prison population but accounted for nearly 30 percent of homicide victims since 2007.

The deaths — 23 out of 78 — come despite the state's creation more than a decade ago of special housing units designed to protect the most vulnerable inmates, including sex offenders. They often are marked men because of the nature of their crimes.

Those units also house inmates trying to quit gangs but now have their own gang problem.