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NCJ Number: 98100 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Litigation on Changing New Mexico Prison Conditions
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:65  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring-Summer 1985)  Pages:38-53
Author(s): G L Mays; W A Taggart
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
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: This analysis of prison litigation and its impact on prison conditions in New Mexico concludes that although litigation by itself can change prison conditions, the changes that have occurred in New Mexico have resulted only in part from the lawsuit initiated in 1977.
Abstract: The 1977 lawsuit, Duran v. Apodaca, came in response both to actual living conditions at the New Mexico Penitentiary and corrections department policies and practices that produced an unstable environment within the institution. The Duran suit did not produce substantial improvement in living conditions over the next 3 years, but it did heighten inmates' expectations that changes were imminent. The strategy of the Department of Corrections was to negotiate rather than litigate, resulting in the signing of partial consent decrees on several issues. However, in February 1980, a riot occurred at the penitentiary. Factors involved in the riot included staff turnover, overcrowding, the use of informants, the curtailment of programs, the removal of inmate leaders, the use of punishment and segregation, and expectations following the Duran suit. Five months after the riot, a consent decree was signed. Compliance was slow until the appointment of a special master. Movement toward compliance has quickened during 1983-84. Changes have included greater personnel stability, increased staffing levels, construction of more facilities, increased funding, and a fairly positive attitude toward the consent decree throughout the Department of Corrections. Data tables, 4 footnotes, and 10 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Class action lawsuits; Correctional reform; Inmate lawsuits; New Mexico; Prisoner's rights
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