Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Law

Statement Of Testimony: Commission On Safety And Abuse In America's Prisons, Jack Cowley Jan 2006

Statement Of Testimony: Commission On Safety And Abuse In America's Prisons, Jack Cowley

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

I believe that we have for too long considered prisons as places to promote public safety by means of the incapacitation of offenders rather than places that promote public safety by releasing offenders who are less likely to reoffend. It is widely accepted that, nationally, approximately 67.5% of released offenders are arrested within three years of their release. It is my professional opinion, gained from my many years as a prison warden and continued work in the field, that this figure is higher than it needs to be; prisons, when used as tools of crime reduction, can be effective.


Excessive Force In The New York City Jails: Litigation And Its Lessons, John Boston Jan 2006

Excessive Force In The New York City Jails: Litigation And Its Lessons, John Boston

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

The New York City Legal Aid Society, through its Prisoners’ Rights Project (PRP), has fought since PRP’s founding in 1971 to protect the human rights of prisoners. In particular, we have wrestled with the problem of excessive force by New York City jail staff through individual and class action litigation and through investigations and demands for administrative redress on behalf of injured prisoners. Our focus has been on reforming the systems that operate to control force in correctional settings including written policy, training, investigations, discipline, and supervision of staff. The single most important lesson we have taken from twenty ...


Introduction: Prison Reform, Margo Schlanger Jan 2006

Introduction: Prison Reform, Margo Schlanger

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


A Conundrum For Corrections, A Tragedy For Prisoners: Prisons As Facilities For The Mentally Ill, Jamie Fellner Jan 2006

A Conundrum For Corrections, A Tragedy For Prisoners: Prisons As Facilities For The Mentally Ill, Jamie Fellner

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Any analysis of violence and abuse in American prisons must address the consequences of the high rates of incarceration of offenders with mental illness and the poor treatment they receive behind bars. This Essay does just that.


Improving Prison Safety: Breaking The Code Of Silence, Kathleen M. Dennehy, Kelly A. Nantel Jan 2006

Improving Prison Safety: Breaking The Code Of Silence, Kathleen M. Dennehy, Kelly A. Nantel

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

A system permeated by a code of silence reinforces negative behaviors in inmates, ultimately increasing the risk to staff. As the former Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety, Edward A. Flynn, is keen on saying, “If nothing else, inmates must leave our custody with a belief that there is moral order in their world. If they leave our care and control believing that rules and regulations do not mean what they say they mean, that rules and regulations can be applied arbitrarily or capriciously or for personal interest, then we will fail society, we will fail them, and we will unleash ...


Oversight And Accountability In Corrections, Michael J. Ashe Jr. Jan 2006

Oversight And Accountability In Corrections, Michael J. Ashe Jr.

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

There are seven underlying principles of our vision of excellence in corrections at Hampden County: the first is balance; second is that we are in the business of not just incarceration but corrections; third is that inmates should be held accountable for being positive and productive; fourth is that whether the prison is a state prison or county facility (urban, rural or in-between) it should be part of the community; fifth is that those in custody should be kept at the lowest level of security that is consistent with public safety; sixth is that corrections should not allow itself to ...


Submission To Vera Commission, Anne Owers Jan 2006

Submission To Vera Commission, Anne Owers

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

This Essay describes the function and methodology of the Inspectorate of Prisons in England and Wales, and the importance of its role in the independent scrutiny of conditions and treatment in prisons and other places of detention.


Staff Use Of Force In United States Confinement Settings, Steve J. Martin Jan 2006

Staff Use Of Force In United States Confinement Settings, Steve J. Martin

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

This Essay focuses on the insidious pattern or practice of prison staffs’ unlawful use of force that is cloaked with or protected by an air of legitimacy or facial validity. It is not uncommon for ostensibly lawful applications of physical force to mask the intentional infliction of punishment, retaliation or reprisal on prisoners. Manufacturing or exaggerating the need to physically control a prisoner is one means by which staff pretextually use force for inflicting punishment on a prisoner. An application of force that is legitimately initiated but which escalates to a level of force disproportionate to the objective risks presented ...


Mechanisms For Custodial Oversight: The United States And Europe, Silvia Casale Jan 2006

Mechanisms For Custodial Oversight: The United States And Europe, Silvia Casale

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

For this examination of transparency in custodial systems as a means of protecting against abuse and ensuring safety, I shall concentrate on key elements of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)—the international oversight mechanism with a mandate to examine abuse and safety in all places where people are deprived of liberty in Europe, including prisons and jails.


Inmates As Public Health Sentinels, Robert B. Greifinger Jan 2006

Inmates As Public Health Sentinels, Robert B. Greifinger

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

The conditions in some correctional facilities are redolent of conditions in prisons in the United States a century ago. In 1894, Dr. Julius Ransom, a prison physician, reported that 25% of the 1000 inmates at the prison in Dannemora, New York had active tuberculosis. In his report to Congress in 1907 the rates were unchanged and half of the prison mortalities were attributed to tuberculosis. One hundred years later (and despite the widespread availability of modern diagnostics, knowledge about containment, and multi-drug regimens for communicable disease) some American prisons remain incubators of this same scourge. Too little attention is being ...


Psychiatric Effects Of Solitary Confinement, Stuart Grassian Jan 2006

Psychiatric Effects Of Solitary Confinement, Stuart Grassian

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

The author, Dr. Grassian, is a Board Certified Psychiatrist who was on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for over twenty-five years. He has had extensive experience in evaluating the psychiatric effects of solitary confinement, and in the course of his professional involvement, has been involved as an expert regarding the psychiatric impact of federal and state segregation and disciplinary units in many settings. The following statement is largely a redacted, non-institution and non-inmate specific, version of a declaration which was submitted in September 1993 in Madrid v. Gomez.


Confronting Confinement: A Report Of The Commission On Safety And Abuse In America's Prisons, John J. Gibbons, Nicholas Debelleville Katzenbach Jan 2006

Confronting Confinement: A Report Of The Commission On Safety And Abuse In America's Prisons, John J. Gibbons, Nicholas Debelleville Katzenbach

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

A little more than one year ago, a diverse group of individuals— respected civic leaders, experienced corrections administrators, scholars, advocates for the rights of prisoners, law enforcement professionals, members of the religious community, and former prisoners—joined together as a national commission to examine the safety of America’s prisons and jails. What we discovered over months of holding public hearings, talking individually and in small groups with a wide range of experts, and reviewing the available research and data is that the people who think and care most about safety and abuse in America’s correctional facilities are concerned ...


Making Prisons Safe: Strategies For Reducing Violence, Donald Specter Jan 2006

Making Prisons Safe: Strategies For Reducing Violence, Donald Specter

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

If prison administrators provide humane conditions and require strict adherence to commonly accepted and nationally recognized techniques for regulating the unnecessary use of force, prisons can be reasonably safe for both prisoners and staff. Although the threat posed by gangs presents special problems, the traditional approach to correctional safety—suppression and isolation—has not been successful. The experiences of some innovative programs around the country, as discussed below, suggests the success of a radically different approach: closely monitored integration coupled with incentives and tools to help prisoners leave the gangs.


Toward Increased Transparency In The Jails And Prisons: Some Optimistic Signs, Michael Gennaco Jan 2006

Toward Increased Transparency In The Jails And Prisons: Some Optimistic Signs, Michael Gennaco

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Leaders of the organizations responsible for maintaining the prisons and jails have not been responsive to the public and have not openly reported the facts and conclusions generated by internal inquiries. Moreover, even if the agency provides generic assurances that a thorough investigation was conducted and “appropriate action taken,” the lack of supporting detail does little to inform the public about whether any action, in fact, taken was actually appropriate.


A Perspective On Corrections Health Care, Jeffrey Beard Jan 2006

A Perspective On Corrections Health Care, Jeffrey Beard

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

I believe that objective criteria are needed to measure the safety of our systems and facilities. In addition, a critical component of any evaluation needs to be actual visits to the facilities that are being evaluated. If this does not occur, and if we rely on anecdotal statements and reports as well as questionable statistical information, I am concerned that we may miss an opportunity to really make a difference by failing to focus on issues that can improve our system.


The Wages Of Prison Overcrowding: Harmful Psychological Consequences And Dysfunctional Correctional Reactions, Craig Haney Jan 2006

The Wages Of Prison Overcrowding: Harmful Psychological Consequences And Dysfunctional Correctional Reactions, Craig Haney

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Overcrowding (having more prisoners than a facility can humanely accommodate) is directly connected to many of the problems that currently confront American corrections. Although it is by no means the only cause of the deprived and dangerous conditions that prevail in many of the nation’s prisons or sole reason that many prisoners continue to be exposed to the degrading and harmful treatment, overcrowding is a central and critical issue that must be effectively addressed if these other problems are to be solved. Correctional administrators have been forced to accommodate to an unprecedented number of additional prisoners over the last ...


Isolation In Penal Settings: The Isolation-Restraint Paradigm, Fred Cohen Jan 2006

Isolation In Penal Settings: The Isolation-Restraint Paradigm, Fred Cohen

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Isolation, I suggest, should be analyzed constitutionally, much as physical restraints are now. As I describe in detail below, recent Supreme Court case law and longstanding lower court precedent has insisted that prisons and jails limit their use of physical restraints to situations in which those restraints are necessary for contemporaneous control and security—not as deterrent or punishment. This Essay asserts that isolation and the use of mechanical restraints should be treated as almost identical interventions in terms of rationale, duration, monitoring, and creation of law and policy. Isolation units are not a fixed, invariable condition of penal confinement ...