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NCJ Number: 201113 Find in a Library
Title: Inmate Lawsuits and Grievances
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:28  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:8-18
Author(s): Cece Hill
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents survey findings concerning the effects of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) of 1996 on inmate lawsuits and grievances.
Abstract: Survey results from 42 United States correctional systems and 5 Canadian correctional systems indicates that there has been a 69 percent decrease in inmates lawsuits and grievances for 29 United States systems and an increase in inmate filings in 20 of the United States system. The PLRA was intended to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits and grievances brought against correctional systems by inmates. It was believed that in some cases inmates filed lawsuits not because of their merit, but just to make trouble. The PLRA requires that inmates exhaust all administrative remedies before filing lawsuits and also requires that inmates pay the filing fees themselves. Furthermore, the PLRA put a cap on attorney fees. The article discusses current litigation and grievance procedures in the 42 United States and 5 Canadian correctional systems that responded to the survey. Among the findings was the fact that in Texas, inmate grievances increased by 11,641 from 2000 to 2002. Inmates brought grievances for food, safety, hygiene, Americans With Disabilities Act violations, use of force, and religion, among other things. In Texas, grievance procedures mandate that an official investigating committee look into all inmate grievances. Three tables are presented that summarize the data gleaned from the surveys by State.
Main Term(s): Inmate grievances; Inmate lawsuits
Index Term(s): Civil litigation; Correctional reform
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