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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136141 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Jail Law
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:70  Issue:2  Dated:(Fall-Winter 1990)  Pages:24-37
Author(s): C J Rosen
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because many legal issues are involved in jail litigation and the issue of inmate rights is a critical one, this article explores the differences between prisons and jails that should be legally relevant to jail law.
Abstract: The identification of a body of jail that is distinct from correctional law in general or prison law in particular is a difficult, if not impossible, task. Jail law is generally disregarded in the legal literature due to the structure of the U.S. legal system and to the central role Federal constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court play in existing treatments of correctional law. The development of modern jail law can be traced to the Supreme Court's explicit recognition in the early 1970's that conviction for a crime and incarceration do not justify automatic forfeiture of all of an individual's constitutional rights. Jail inmates retain their first amendment rights of freedom of speech and association, although to a lesser extent than free citizens. The fourth amendment's reasonableness requirement associated with the rights of privacy only applies to government activity that infringes on an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy. Privacy of any sort is rare in the jail environment, especially in seriously overcrowded facilities. Inmates are rarely, if ever, alone; even when no other person is physically present, inmates may be visually and/or aurally monitored by electronic equipment. These facts raise two legally distinct concerns. The first has to do with conditions of confinement in overcrowded institutions that require virtually constant social interaction between inmates. The second involves interference by jail employees with inmate rights to privacy as they monitor inmate activity. Courts defer to the judgment of correctional administrators that inmate rights must be infringed upon as long as there is any rational connection between a challenged prison practice and the maintenance of prison order and security. Inmates also have certain rights related to conditions of confinement, medical and psychiatric care, and access to counsel and legal materials. 11 references and 3 footnotes
Main Term(s): Prisoner's rights
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Correctional law; Jails; Prison conditions; Right of privacy
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