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NCJ Number: 98098 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: View From the Witness Chair
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:65  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring-Summer 1985)  Pages:18-25
Author(s): J P Conrad
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A penologist describes the contrast between past and present procedures for inmate discipline and concludes that the changes resulting from prison litigation have benefited prisoners but that further efforts are needed by the penal establishment itself to eliminate the unacceptable conditions for many prisoners.
Abstract: Prison administrators used to pay no attention to prisoners' rights or the content of their grievances. However, a transformation has now occurred in disciplinary committee proceedings, resulting from the Federal courts' change from their hands-off policy toward prisons. However, prison litigation today causes problems because it focuses on one institution at a time. The elimination of a problem at one prison often means its transfer to another prison; relieving of overcrowding is a good example of this. It is also puzzling that expert testimony is required regarding prison conditions that are unacceptable even to nonexperts and that prison administrators and State officials contest litigation about obvious problems. A more comprehensive approach to prison reform is needed, so that reforms benefit all institutions. In addition, permanent efforts are needed to monitor prison conditions. Penal systems must provide internal remedies for abuse. Possibilities are the ombudsman, the inspector-general, and effective grievance systems. A grievance system is potentially the most useful of these mechanisms.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Corrections management; Lawsuits; Prisoner's rights
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