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Correctional Law & Inmate Litigation Chapter Eleven.

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Presentation on theme: "Correctional Law & Inmate Litigation Chapter Eleven."— Presentation transcript:

1 Correctional Law & Inmate Litigation Chapter Eleven

2 Prisoners’ Rights The court’s involvement in prisoners’ rights can be divided into three periods:

3 “Hands-off” Period The “Hands-off” Period (prior to 1964)

4 “Rights” Period The “Rights” Period (1964–1978)

5 Prisoners’ Rights—The “Deference” Period The “Deference” Period (since 1979)

6 Prisoners’ Rights (continued) Can be divided into four broad areas:

7 Prisoners’ Rights (continued) Generally, prisoners challenging actions of prison officials do so by tort action.

8 Prisoners’ Rights (continued) Writ of Habeas Corpus

9 Prisoners’ Rights (continued) Prisoner Litigation Reform Act of 1996

10 Prisoners’ Rights and Expectations

11 Back to Basics Starting in the mid-1990s, legislators have decided that they were tired of “coddling” prison inmates and attempted to make prison conditions harsher for the inmates.

12 “Hands-off” Doctrine Justice Frankfurter, writing in Gore v. U.S. (1958):

13 Cooper v. Pate (1964) Essentially ended “hands-off” doctrine

14 Impact of Cooper v. Pate Allowed prisoners to sue correctional authorities under Title 42, U.S. Code, Sec –Imposes civil liability on someone who denies another his/her constitutional rights Suits against state officials could be heard in federal courts

15 Prisoner Access to Court Section 1983 cases became most popular way to bring action against prison officials

16 Turner v. Safley (1987) Rational basis test

17 Rational Basis Test Court should assess:

18 Current Status Recent decisions reflect turn back toward “hands-off” doctrine:

19 First Amendment Rights—Mail Prisons routinely censored inmate mail Procunier v. Martinez (1974)

20 First Amendment Rights— Religion General rule: prisoners should be given opportunity to practice their faith, regardless of what it is Includes: Fulwood v. Clemmer (1962): Cruz v. Beto (1972):

21 Fourth Amendment Protects against unreasonable searches and seizures Bell v. Wolfish (1979): U.S. v. Hitchcock (1972): Hudson v. Palmer (1984):

22 Sixth Amendment Guarantees assistance of counsel Issue of access to courts Johnson v. Avery (1968): Bounds v. Smith (1977):

23 Eighth Amendment Protection against cruel & unusual punishment

24 Eighth Amendment—Medical Care Medical care: Estelle v. Gamble (1976) –Failure to provide medical care was indication of “deliberate indifference” Also failing to have qualified medical staff or providing inadequate treatment

25 Eighth Amendment (continued) Four criteria to evaluate behavior:

26 Eighth Amendment (continued) Combination of conditions in some prisons so bad that held to violate 8th Amendment, e.g., Pugh v. Locke (1976)

27 Eighth Amendment—Use of Force Use of force: Hudson v. McMillian:

28 Eighth Amendment— Overcrowding Overcrowding: crowding alone does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment

29 Alternatives to Litigation


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