• Manson Joins Main Prison Population

Manson Joins Main Prison Population

VACAVILLE, Jun. 23 – Charles Manson, convicted mastermind of the 1969 Sharon Tate murders, has been placed in the general prison population after being locked in his cell for most of each day since 1971, officials said Tuesday.

Manson, 47, appeared before the Institutional Classification Committee of the California Medical Facility last Friday and asked to be placed on the prison “mainline,” said Lt. Don Custard, a prison spokesman.

He said the committee agreed to put Manson in the general population on a trial basis, starting Monday morning. No problems have been reported in the first two days, Custard said.

Manson is serving a life sentence for his role in the murders of Tate, an actress, and eight other persons.

Custard said Manson, who has been in San Quentin and Folsom prisons as well as Vacaville, has been in some form of lockup since April 1971.

He had been kept away from other prisoners “due to the nature and notoriety of his crime … and he was a disciplinary problem,” Custard said.

His new status lets him walk unescorted each day to the prison’s Protestant chapel, where he has had a janitorial job for the last several months, Custard said. He will also eat and exercise with the other prisoners and will be locked up only from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“We don’t consider him a management problem any longer,” Custard said.

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