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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77094 Find in a Library
Title: Legal and Constitutional Issues Related to Last-resort Prisons (From Confinement in Maximum Custody, P 71-84, 1981, David A Wood and Kenneth F Schoen, ed. - See NCJ-77087)
Author(s): A J Bronstein
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: D C Heath and Co
Lexington, MA 02173
Sale Source: D C Heath and Co
125 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02173
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Judicial mandates for conditions in last-resort prisons for long-term inmates are discussed.
Abstract: A number of recent court decisions have held that conditions in a particular prison or an entire prison system can be such that a prisoner confined under those conditions not only cannot rehabilitate himself, but becomes worse. Courts have held that this debilitation violates relevant State statutes as well as the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and its requirement of substantive due process. From a constitutional perspective, it can be argued that long-term prisoners must be provided with more, not less, in the way of physical accommodations, space, staff, and programs, so as to counter potential psychological and physical deterioration due to long-term restrictions. In practice, prisons tend to exert greater restrictions and deprivation upon long-term prisoners. Courts have ordered compliance with minimum standards in the areas of physical conditions, space requirements, and public-health issues. The court orders regarding programming have usually been vague, indicating that every prisoner shall have the opportunity to participate in educational, prevocational, vocational programs, etc., without specifying what these programs must be like. The appendix cites court decisions and relevant standards which indicate the requirements of prison space, staff, and programs. Notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Inmate Programs; Judicial decisions; Maximum security; Prisoner's rights
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