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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 90039 Find in a Library
Title: Prisoner Hunger Strikes - Constitutional Protection for a Fundamental Right
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:20  Issue:4  Dated:(Spring 1983)  Pages:569-598
Author(s): B K Tagawa
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 30
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The right of prisoners to conditionally refuse to eat stems from historically recognized doctrines of speech and privacy and should be included in the fundamental rights of individuals.
Abstract: Contemporary doctrine points out that prisoners may no longer be denied substantive constitutional rights held by free citizens merely because they are incarcerated. Legitimate State interests must be marshaled to override these rights. Force-feeding prisoners has a remote relationship to legitimate corrections objectives, but these objectives can be served by less drastic means. Modern constitutional policy mandates that individuals' freedoms remain unless their conduct unduly interferes with the rights of others. Where the rights of others are found to be legitimate, narrowly drawn, and compelling, regulation of constitutionally protected conduct is permissible. Force-feeding a nonconsenting, healthy individual involves violence, however. Asserting a qualified desire to live does not. Violence, even when State-sanctioned, cannot justifiably keep a nonviolent individual from exercising personal beliefs in a nonviolent manner. A total of 144 case notes are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Lawful use of force; Prisoner's rights; Strikes; US Supreme Court decisions
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