Nov.18.10.inmates.rights

Nov.18.10.inmates.rights - Inmate Rights There is no iron...

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Inmate Rights “There is no iron curtain drawn between the Constitution and the prisons of this country”
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Phases of Development Hands-off period (prior to 1964) Rights period (1964 to 1978) Deference period (1979 to present)
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Hands off Period (prior to 1964) Prisoners were regarded as “non persons” Virginia court case, Ruffin v Commonwealth (1871) held that offenders who were convicted and imprisoned suffered a civil death – forfeited most, if not all rights of citizenship. Courts ignored the pleas of alleged deprivation of rights and were reluctant to get involved in matters related to the rights of those imprisoned as it was the executive branch that was responsible for their care and treatment.
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Hands off Period Reasons the courts were reluctant to get involved in prisoner rights/prison conditions issues: Separation of powers - courts could be accused of usurping power of executive and legislative branches State’s rights – U.S. Constitution limits the power of the federal judiciary to participate in the “political affairs” of the states Judges lack correctional expertise to remedy situations
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Rights period (1964-1979) Increasingly in the broader community, citizens disenfranchised from political power were organizing and claiming greater civil rights protections (e.g., minorities, women, disabled, etc.) Two key U.S. Supreme Court cases opened the door to prisoner litigation: Ex Parte Hull (1941) – first decision of the Court that due process clauses of the 5 th and 14 th Amendments guarantee prisoners access to the courts (i.e., use habeas corpus petitions to challenge conditions of confinement). Monroe v Pape (1961) - Court decided that citizens can bring suits challenging conditions of confinement without first exhausting state judicial and administrative remedies.
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Rights period (1964-1979) Active participation of the federal courts in areas related to administration of prisons and
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Nov.18.10.inmates.rights - Inmate Rights There is no iron...

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