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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76576 Find in a Library
Title: Offender Rights Litigation (From Justice as Fairness, P 270-291, 1981, David Fogel and Joe Hudson, ed. - See NCJ-76564)
Author(s): A J Bronstein
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter details the gains, losses, and likely future of corrections litigation, and concludes that only modest gains in correctional reform can be expected through litigation.
Abstract: Faced with the growing realization that most prisons do nothing for most prisoners except debilitate them, and faced with enormously increasing costs of constructing new prisons, legislative bodies are taking a hard look at reforming sentencing practices and using a range of sanctions as alternatives to imprisonment. The prisoners' rights movement grew directly out of the civil rights and civil liberties movements when lawyers and civil rights organizations turned increasingly to the courts to challenge what were essentially legal barriers to equality and liberty. Much of this work originally left prisons unaffected, but two events were significant in changing this: the Attica rebellion (New York) and the Supreme Court's 1961 decision in Monroe v. Pape which resurrected the Civil Rights Act of 1871. The judicial attitude has changed drastically from the de facto rightlessness that was almost universally accepted for prisoners little more than a decade ago. Courts today are now willing to intervene somewhat in prison administration. Judicial definition of the rights of prisoners in America is a continuing process. Current law and judicial decisions in the following areas are reviewed: due process; cruel and unusual punishment; censorship; free communication; access to the courts; religious and racial discrimination; political rights; privacy and personal appearance; medical care, rehabilitation, and physical security of prisoners; and parole and probation. A total of 72 notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Prisoner's rights
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