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NCJ Number: 51734 Find in a Library
Title: LEGAL RIGHTS OF PRISONERS - AN ANALYSIS OF LEGAL AID
Author(s): G P ALPERT
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 196
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE LEGAL STATUS AND PROBLEMS OF PRISONERS ARE DISCUSSED, AND TWO LEGAL AID PROJECTS IN PRISONS ARE DESCRIBED AND EVALUATED FOR REHABILITATIVE EFFECTS ON INMATES.
Abstract: THE LEGAL HISTORY OF PRISONER'S RIGHTS AND ACCESS TO THE COURTS IS DISCUSSED. THE 1969 JOHNSON VERSUS AVERY DECISION MANDATED THAT SOME PROVISION MUST BE MADE TO ENSURE THAT PRISONERS HAVE THE ASSISTANCE NECESSARY TO FILE PETITIONS AND COMPLAINTS WHICH WOULD BE FULLY CONSIDERED BY THE COURTS. SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVES FOR STATES TO MEET THIS OBLIGATION INCLUDE THE USE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDERS' OFFICE, VOLUNTARY LEGAL AID PROGRAMS, AND LAW SCHOOL PROGRAMS. LEGAL AID PROJECTS OPERATING IN THE WASHINGTON STATE PRISON AND THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS ARE DESCRIBED, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATIVE AND COURT VIEWS OF LEGAL AID. THE FINAL SECTION OF THE TEXT CONSIDERS A STUDY WHICH EVALUATED THE REHABILITATIVE EFFECTS OF LEGAL SERVICES PROJECTS AT THE WASHINGTON AND TEXAS PRISONS. SIX-MONTH LONGITUDINAL STUDIES WERE CONDUCTED AND INMATES WERE INTERVIEWED ON EXPERIENCES WITH JUSTICE, SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC DATA, AND PRETREATMENT ATTITUDINAL ITEMS. DATA WERE ANALYZED ON FIVE ATTITUDE SCALES. THE FINDINGS DISCUSS THE EXTENT OF INMATES' LEGAL PROBLEMS, THE TYPE OF PRISONERS USING LEGAL SERVICES, THE RATES AT WHICH THE SERVICES ARE REQUESTED, AND OUTCOMES OF LEGAL AID. IT WAS FOUND THAT INMATES' LEGAL PROBLEMS USUALLY ENCOMPASS FAMILY MATTERS, PROBLEMS STEMMING FROM INCARCERATION, AND CONFLICTS WITH THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. PASSIVE INMATES, THOSE WITH LOW LEVELS OF SOCIAL INTEGRATION, AND THOSE ALIENATED FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WERE THE LEAST LIKELY TO USE THE SERVICES. USE OF LEGAL SERVICE SEEMED TO PRODUCE POSITIVE ATTITUDINAL CHANGES TOWARDS THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, AND USERS WERE LESS LIKELY TO BE CONVICTED OF INSTITUTIONAL INFRACTIONS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT LEGAL AID SERVICES ALSO REDUCE FEELINGS OF HELPLESSNESS AND HOSTILITY IN INMATES AND ARE, THEREFORE, REHABILITATIVE. THE APPENDIXES INCLUDE THE ATTITUDINAL QUESTIONS USED IN THE STUDY AND A REVIEW OF PRISONERS RIGHTS LITIGATION. AN INDEX AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Inmate attitudes; Inmate Programs; Judicial decisions; Legal aid services; Prisoner's rights; Program evaluation; Rehabilitation; Texas; Washington
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51734

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