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NCJ Number: 135956 Find in a Library
Title: Recent Trends in Corrections and Prisoners' Rights Law (From Correctional Theory and Practice, P 119-138, 1992, Clayton A Hartjen and Edward E Rhine, eds. -- See NCJ-135949)
Author(s): C H Jones
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Nelson-Hall Publishers
Chicago, IL 60606
Sale Source: Nelson-Hall Publishers
111 North Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of judicial decisions regarding prisoners' rights focuses on the emergence and impact of the "due deference" doctrine, under which Federal courts defer to the supposed expertise of prison administrators in order to avoid becoming enmeshed in the details of prison administration when resolving legal issues.
Abstract: The due-deference doctrine was most clearly stated in the 1979 United States Supreme Court decision in Bell v. Wolfish, in which Justice Rehnquist stated that individual solutions of judges are not necessarily better than those of the persons actually responsible for and trained in the running of the particular institution being considered. However, this and other decisions indicate that this doctrine of judicial non-interference in prison administration has been inadequately developed to provide clearly articulated bases for courts to determine when to intervene and when not to. The result has often been that courts accept jurisdiction over prisoners' claims but fail to provide remedies. Thus, in the 1990's, Federal court remedies will be less available in several critical areas of prisoners' rights law, especially where overcrowding generates conflicts that are so complex that Federal courts will be unable to distinguish between substantive constitutional claims and administrative problems. The result will probably be increased use of State courts and informal methods of dispute settlement. 34 references
Main Term(s): Due deference doctrine; Judicial discretion; Prisoner's rights
Index Term(s): Court ordered institutional reform; Legal doctrines; US Supreme Court decisions
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