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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98377 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms for Prisoner Grievances - A Reference Manual for Adverting Litigation
Corporate Author: National Institute of Corrections
United States of America

Silbert Feeley and Associates, Inc
United States of America
Project Director: R A Hanson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 76
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Silbert Feeley and Associates, Inc
New Haven, CT 06511
Grant Number: ER-9
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
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This manual describes six alternative dispute mechanisms now in use for resolving prisoner grievances without resort to litigation.
Abstract: The ways in which administrators can use dispute resolution mechanisms to avert litigation, by handling complaints swiftly and fairly, are noted. Grievance mechanisms, which were originally instituted to avert disturbances, are presented as effective, low-cost ways to discern complaints with merit from those without merit. The importance to corrections officials of being properly trained to detect valid complaints from invalid complaints is emphasized. Establishing a collaborative relationship between corrections officials and attorneys, who may advise them in resolving complaints short of litigation, is suggested. Six alternatives to litigation are discussed. Of these, the inmate grievance procedure, ombudsman, and legal assistance programs are described as more successful in averting litigation and in the prompt and fair settlement of grievances. The effective use of two methods in combination is noted, such as inmate grievance procedures with an ombudsman or a legal assistance program. Questions of the effectiveness of the remaining three methods, external review bodies, mediation, and inmate councils are noted. Suggestions for development of future efforts to avert litigation are offered, centering on inmate grievance procedures, as well as ombudsmen and legal assistance programs. Finally, the role of each administrator of a correctional facility to discern the effective methods for his or her facility is emphasized, as is the importance of sound management and realistic allocation of staff and resources to create an effective mechanism. Footnotes accompany each chapter; a 46-item bibliography is included.
Index Term(s): Access to legal information; Inmate grievances; Jailhouse lawyers; Ombudsmen; Prisoner's rights
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