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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76774 Find in a Library
Title: Role of House Counsel in Corrections (From American Correctional Association - Proceedings, P 23-35, 1981, Barbara Hadley Olsson and Ann Dargis, ed. - See NCJ-76771)
Author(s): W C Collins
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Presented at the 110th Congress of Corrections of the American Correctional Association, this paper identifies the functions of correctional legal counsel, discusses two basic models for providing legal counsel to correctional administrators, and examines some of the existing problems inherent in such a task.
Abstract: Correctional counsels perform such functions as giving advice to administrators on new case holdings and legal trends, assisting with agency involvement in the legislative process, monitoring court order implementation, advising on labor issues and training, and being involved in the planning process. Other functions are maintaining relations with private attorneys and preparing and reviewing proposed rules and policies. Litigation and advisory roles require different skills; counsels should not attempt to function regularly in both areas. Two basic models for providing legal counsel to corrections administrators are presented: (1) the more traditional approach, the use of staff from the office of the State attorney, and (2) the house counsel employed directly by the corrections agency. The most frequent complaint about the State attorney model is the transitory nature of the service; many of the attorneys are young and leave their jobs for higher paid positions in private practice. The greatest benefit from the house counsel model is the detailed corrections knowledge which these attorneys develop on the job. An effective way to reconcile these two models is to use State attorney staff for litigation activities and house counsel staff for advisory functions. If attorneys in these different roles are to work together, they must understand the differences in their complementary roles. Role confusion represents a major potential problem area for attorneys who advise corrections administrators. However, corrections counsel must be involved in the decisionmaking process and should be given ample opportunity to interact with other attorneys to sharpen and maintain their skills. Seminars and at least occasional involvement in actual litigation are other necessary skill development activities. Nine footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): American Correctional Association (ACA); Attorney General; Attorneys; Corrections management; Models
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