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NCJ Number: 126750 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Overcrowding the Eighth Amendment's Prohibition Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Author(s): S Gillen
Corporate Author: Nebraska Legislative Council
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Nebraska Legislative Council
Lincoln, NE 68509
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Courts tend to regard violence as endemic to prison life, but they may find overcrowding to be cruel and unusual and in violation of the eighth amendment of the Constitution if the violence increases at a significantly higher rate than the growth in the prison population.
Abstract: The eighth amendment provides prisoners with limited rights of protection against cruel and unusual punishment during the course of confinement. These rights extend to the existence of humane living conditions, adequate medical care, and protection from violence by other inmates. All of these may be jeopardized by an overcrowded condition, although past United States Supreme Court decisions have made it clear that harsh conditions and strict disciplinary measures are part of the price that convicted individuals must pay for their offenses against society. Specific cases include Trop v. Dulles, Rhodes v. Chapman, Bell v. Wolfish, Berks v. Teasdale, Tyler v. Black, and Cody v. Hillard.
Main Term(s): Prison overcrowding
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Institutional violence; Prisoner's rights; US Supreme Court decisions
Note: Criminal Justice LRD Memorandum 89-13
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