It’s no secret that California’s prisons and jails are in atrocious shape. Overcrowding, abuse, dismal health care and an unchecked guards union all contribute to the problem. And while politicians like to talk about the need to correct the system, no one seems to possess the will or the power to do anything about it. But this is a crisis that cannot be ignored. At stake is not only the humanitarian issue of how we treat our prisoners, or even the criminal-justice question of whether incarceration encourages or reduces recidivism. At stake is national security itself. Overcrowded and abusive prisons only further harden inmates, who then search for the solace – and an outlet for their anger – that radicalized Islam can provide. With international terrorists looking for American allies to conduct their attacks, this is a serious threat. It’s one more reason to move quickly on cleaning up our corrections system – not that we needed one. WHILE marking the fifth anniversary of 9-11, many noted that the U.S. has not suffered a coordinated domestic terror attack since 2001. But there have been plenty of close calls. Just last year, jihadists were arrested in Torrance on suspicion of robbing gas stations to fund a string of terror attacks on U.S. military facilities and Jewish synagogues in the region. Some of those believed to be part of the operation were members of the radical Islamic group Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh. They met at Folsom State Prison, where the group was founded in 1997. Therein lies the giant warning in this story, which has been backed up by numerous federal officials and counterterrorism experts: County jails and state prisons can be breeding grounds for radicalism and terror recruits. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!