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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78484 Find in a Library
Title: Offender Rights Litigation - Historical and Future Developments (From Prisoners' Rights Sourcebook, P 5-28, 1980, Ira P Robbins, ed. - See NCJ-78483)
Author(s): A J Bronstein
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter from a sourcebook on prisoners' rights focuses on the history of the prisoners' rights movement, major areas of inmate litigation, and relevant court decisions.
Abstract: The prisoners' rights movement grew directly out of the civil rights and civil liberties movements when lawyers and civil liberties organizations turned increasingly to the courts to challenge legal barriers to equality. Two events were significant in fostering the movement, the Supreme Court's decision in Monroe v. Pope (1961) and the Attica rebellion of 1971. Judicial definition of prisoners' rights is a continuing process in America. Important areas of concern to inmates which are frequently subject to litigation include due process rights, cruel and unusual punishment issues, jail conditions and practices, censorship, religious and racial discrimination, political rights, medical care rights, and probation and parole issues. The Supreme Court has recently issued opinions in a number of cases that articulate the kind of due process rights to which prisoners are entitled at disciplinary hearings. In the case of Wolff v. McDonnell (1974), the Court stated that although a prisoner's rights are diminished by virtue of incarceration, basic constitutional rights remain. The Court ruled that a prisoner is entitled to at least 24-hour written notice of the charges against him. Numerous cases involving claims of cruel and unusual punishment have been decided by the Supreme Court; the decision in Logan v. United States (1892) provides the touchstone for the eighth amendment's application to prison conditions. Despite vast progress in the area of prisoners' rights through litigation, implementation and enforcement of these rights rests primarily in the hands of prison officials, many of whom resist change. The chapter provides 75 reference notes.
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Facility conditions; Inmate grievances; Inmate lawsuits; Lawsuits; Prisoner's rights; Right to Due Process; Right to treatment
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