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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Minimalist Alternative To Abolitionism: Focusing On The Non-Dangerous Many, Christopher Slobogin Professor Of Law Mar 2024

The Minimalist Alternative To Abolitionism: Focusing On The Non-Dangerous Many, Christopher Slobogin Professor Of Law

Vanderbilt Law Review

In "The Dangerous Few: Taking Seriously Prison Abolition and Its Skeptics," published in the Harvard Law Review, Thomas Frampton proffers four reasons why those who want to abolish prisons should not budge from their position even for offenders who are considered dangerous. This Essay demonstrates why a criminal law minimalist approach to prisons and police is preferable to abolition, not just when dealing with the dangerous few but also as a means of protecting the non-dangerous many. A minimalist regime can radically reduce reliance on both prisons and police, without the loss in crime prevention capacity and legitimacy that is …


Powerless Beings: Solitary Confinement Of Humans And Nonhumans In America, Michael B. Mushlin, David N. Cassuto Jan 2024

Powerless Beings: Solitary Confinement Of Humans And Nonhumans In America, Michael B. Mushlin, David N. Cassuto

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Every day, thousands of humans and millions of nonhumans endure solitary confinement. Human prisoners held this way are confined for twenty-two to twenty-four hours a day for weeks, months, or even years on end in cells the size of a parking space. For these humans, the experience is tortuous. Captive animals held in solitary confinement similarly spend much of their lives locked into tiny spaces, isolated, and deprived of the types of interactions and environment essential to their wellbeing. And, like humans, they are driven mad. In human and nonhuman settings, the agony of solitary is chillingly alike and harmful. …


Toward A Better Criminal Legal System: Improving Prisons, Prosecution, And Criminal Defense, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris Jan 2024

Toward A Better Criminal Legal System: Improving Prisons, Prosecution, And Criminal Defense, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris

Articles

During the Fall 2023 semester, 15 law (Outside) students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and 13 incarcerated (Inside) students from the State Correctional Institution – Greene, in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, took a full semester class together called Issues in Criminal Justice and Law. The class, occurring each week at the prison, utilized the Inside-Out Prison Exchange pedagogy, and was facilitated by Professor David Harris. Subjects include the purposes of prison, addressing crime, the criminal legal system and race, and issues surrounding victims and survivors of crime. The course culminated in a Group Project; under the heading “improving the …


Defeating De Facto Disenfranchisement Of Criminal Defendants, Neil Sobol Mar 2023

Defeating De Facto Disenfranchisement Of Criminal Defendants, Neil Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

In a democracy, voting is not only an important civic duty but also a right that governments owe to their citizens. However, by operation of law, forty-eight states deny voting rights to individuals based on criminal convictions. Activists and scholars attack de jure disenfranchisement as an improper collateral consequence that disproportionately impacts people of color. Although recent years show substantial reforms to reenfranchise defendants, an estimated 5.17 million defendants remained ineligible to vote in 2020.

While efforts to address de jure disenfranchisement remain necessary, a problem that has received considerably less attention is the de facto disenfranchisement of criminal defendants …


Crying Wolves, Paper Tigers, And Busy Beavers—Oh My!: A New Approach To Pro Se Prisoner Litigation, Justin C. Van Orsdol Jan 2023

Crying Wolves, Paper Tigers, And Busy Beavers—Oh My!: A New Approach To Pro Se Prisoner Litigation, Justin C. Van Orsdol

Arkansas Law Review

To say that the United States is infatuated with incarceration would be a gross understatement. As a result of “tough on-crime” laws, the United States has “the largest prison population in the world, with more than 2.3 million persons behind bars on any given day” and it “also has the world’s highest per capita rate of incarceration” with a rate that is “five to ten times higher than those of other industrialized democracies like England and Wales . . . . Canada . . . , and Sweden.” Due in part to prison population increases, the conditions of U.S. prisons …


Lessons Learned In Prison, Daniel Keating Jan 2023

Lessons Learned In Prison, Daniel Keating

Scholarship@WashULaw

One way that I have tried to stay fresh as a teacher through the decades is to periodically force myself outside of my teaching comfort zone by trying something completely different. Sometimes these initiatives will end up being a one-time experiment. That was the case a little over ten years ago when I decided to teach a new course (Contracts) in a new format (online, but well before Zoom had become commonplace). Other times, my teaching experiment will prove to be more than just a frolic and detour, as was true eight years ago when I began offering a free …


Improving The Mental Health Tale In The Criminal Justice System, Meredith Bernal Apr 2022

Improving The Mental Health Tale In The Criminal Justice System, Meredith Bernal

Helm's School of Government Conference - American Revival: Citizenship & Virtue

No abstract provided.


Muslims In Prison: Advancing The Rule Of Law Through Litigation Praxis, Spearit Jan 2022

Muslims In Prison: Advancing The Rule Of Law Through Litigation Praxis, Spearit

Articles

Islamic ideas about justice and equality directly informed the development of prison law jurisprudence in the United States. Since the early 1960s, when federal courts began to hear claims by state prisoner-petitioners, Muslims began to look to courts to establish Islam in prison and inaugurated an ongoing campaign for civil rights. The trend is significant when considering Muslims represent a relatively small percentage of the American population. Decades of persistent litigation by Muslims in courts have been integral to developing the prisoners’ rights movement in America. The Muslim impact on prison law and culture is an underappreciated phenomenon that involves …


Challenging Solitary Confinement Through State Constitutions, Alison Gordon Dec 2021

Challenging Solitary Confinement Through State Constitutions, Alison Gordon

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Eighth Amendment jurisprudence has resulted in limited scrutiny of solitary confinement despite the known harms associated with the practice. The two-part test established by the federal courts to evaluate Eighth Amendment claims and limitations on challenging prison conditions under the Prison Litigation Reform Act can make it difficult to establish that solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment.

State constitutional challenges to solitary confinement are underexplored. Nearly all state constitutions contain an equivalent provision to the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. State courts need not be bound by federal jurisprudence in interpreting the scope of the state …


Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski Feb 2021

Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski

Michigan Law Review

Nearly five million individuals are admitted to America’s jails each year, and at any given time, two-thirds of those held in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Under current Supreme Court doctrine, these pretrial detainees are functionally protected by the same standard as convicted prisoners, despite the fact that they are formally protected by different constitutional amendments. A 2015 decision, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, declared that a different standard would apply to pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners in the context of use of force: consistent with the Constitution’s mandate that they not be punished at all, pretrial detainees …


(Un)Masking The Truth - The Cruel And Unusual Punishment Of Prisoners Amidst The Covid-19 Pandemic, Ariel Berkowitz Jan 2021

(Un)Masking The Truth - The Cruel And Unusual Punishment Of Prisoners Amidst The Covid-19 Pandemic, Ariel Berkowitz

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


9/11 Impacts On Muslims In Prison, Spearit Jan 2021

9/11 Impacts On Muslims In Prison, Spearit

Articles

This essay is part of a volume that reflects on the 20-year anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The work examines the impacts this event had on the management of Muslims in prison. Soon after the attacks, the culture war against Muslims in the United States began to seep into prisons, where Muslims faced heightened levels of Islamophobia, which cut across several areas of existence: the ability to access religious literature, religious leaders, and paraphernalia, in addition to the federal creation of Communication Management Units. There was also heightened hysteria about the idea of Muslim radicalization in prison, …


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Aug 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

University of Colorado Law Review Forum

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in some way …


Controlled Observation: The Challenges Of Therapy For The Mentally Ill Incarcerated Population, Esther Tingué Jun 2020

Controlled Observation: The Challenges Of Therapy For The Mentally Ill Incarcerated Population, Esther Tingué

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Popular perception and objective of incarceration is confinement, brutality and in some cases inhumane conditions. But what about the incarcerated population who suffer from the additional burden of mental illness? How does confinement affect mentally ill inmates? This capstone project asks: (1) how do individuals/organizations provide rehabilitative services in this evolved culture of crime and punishment? And (2) how is therapy provided in a restricted environment? I examine these questions from the perspective of the therapist, the person who (in a restricted environment) takes on the responsibility of treating and managing the effects of mental illness for this population.


Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

People convicted of violent crimes constitute a majority of the imprisoned population but are generally ignored by existing policies aimed at reducing mass incarceration. Serious efforts to shrink the large footprint of the prison system will need to recognize this fact. This point is especially pressing at the time of this writing, as states and the federal system consider large-scale prison releases motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those convicted of violent crimes constitute a large majority of older prisoners, who are extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus behind bars. Excluding them from protective measures will deeply undermine those …


Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber

Publications

No abstract provided.


Solitary Confinement Continues In Canada Under A Different Name, Adelina Iftene Jan 2020

Solitary Confinement Continues In Canada Under A Different Name, Adelina Iftene

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Abusive uses of Structured Intervention Units and the Correctional Service’s conduct mean Parliament must get rid of SIUs or adopt Senate amendments.


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Scholarship@WashULaw

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in some way …


Disrupting The Androcentric Prison System, Amber Hanke Apr 2019

Disrupting The Androcentric Prison System, Amber Hanke

Audre Lorde Writing Prize

No abstract provided.


Bloody Hell: How Insufficient Access To Menstrual Hygiene Products Creates Inhumane Conditions For Incarcerated Women, Lauren Shaw Mar 2019

Bloody Hell: How Insufficient Access To Menstrual Hygiene Products Creates Inhumane Conditions For Incarcerated Women, Lauren Shaw

Texas A&M Law Review

For thousands of incarcerated women in the United States, dealing with menstruation is a nightmare. Across the country, many female prisoners lack sufficient access to feminine hygiene products, which negatively affects their health and rehabilitation. Although the international standards for the care of female prisoners have been raised in attempt to eliminate this issue, these stan- dards are often not followed in the United States. This Comment argues that denial of feminine hygiene products to female prisoners violates human de- cency. Additionally, this Comment considers possible constitutional violations caused by this denial, reviews current efforts to correct this problem, and …


Decarceration’S Blindspots, John F. Pfaff Jan 2019

Decarceration’S Blindspots, John F. Pfaff

Faculty Scholarship

For over a decade, my research has focused on trying to answer one simple question: how did the United States, home to about 5% of the world’s population, come to house nearly 25% of its prisoners?1 We were not always the world’s largest jailer; as recently as the 1970s, our incarceration rate was largely indistinguishable from those in other liberal democracies. Yet starting in the mid-1970s, as Figure 1 shows, that rate started to slowly—but steadily and relentlessly—grow, until by the late 2000s it rivaled and then surpassed even the rates seen in autocratic countries like Cuba and Belarus and …


From Poverty To Personhood: Gideon Unchained, Ken Strutin Jan 2019

From Poverty To Personhood: Gideon Unchained, Ken Strutin

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Reforming Restrictive Housing: The 2018 Asca-Liman Nationwide Survey Of Time-In-Cell, Judith Resnik, Anna Vancleave, Kristen Bell, Alexandra Harrington, Gregory Conyers, Catherine Mccarthy, Jenny Tumas, Annie Wang Oct 2018

Reforming Restrictive Housing: The 2018 Asca-Liman Nationwide Survey Of Time-In-Cell, Judith Resnik, Anna Vancleave, Kristen Bell, Alexandra Harrington, Gregory Conyers, Catherine Mccarthy, Jenny Tumas, Annie Wang

Other Scholarship

Reforming Restrictive Housing: The 2018 ASCA-Liman Nationwide Survey of Time-in-Cell is the fourth in a series of research projects co-authored by the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) and the Arthur Liman Center at Yale Law School. These monographs provide a unique, longitudinal, nationwide database. The topic is “restrictive housing,” often termed “solitary confinement,” and defined as separating prisoners from the general population and holding them in cells for an average of 22 hours or more per day for 15 continuous days or more.

The 2018 monograph is based on survey responses from 43 prison systems that held 80.6% of …


Cashing In On Convicts: Privatization, Punishment, And The People, Laura I. Appleman Jun 2018

Cashing In On Convicts: Privatization, Punishment, And The People, Laura I. Appleman

Utah Law Review

For-profit prisons, jails, and alternative corrections present a disturbing commodification of the criminal justice system. Though part of a modern trend, privatized corrections has well-established roots traceable to slavery, Jim Crow, and current racially-based inequities. This monetizing of the physical incarceration and regulation of human bodies has had deleterious effects on offenders, communities, and the proper functioning of punishment in our society. Criminal justice privatization severs an essential link between the people and criminal punishment. When we remove the imposition of punishment from the people and delegate it to private actors, we sacrifice the core criminal justice values of expressive, …


Prisoner's Dilemma—Exhausted Without A Place Of Rest(Itution): Why The Prison Litigation Reform Act's Exhaustion Requirement Needs To Be Amended, Ryan Lefkowitz May 2018

Prisoner's Dilemma—Exhausted Without A Place Of Rest(Itution): Why The Prison Litigation Reform Act's Exhaustion Requirement Needs To Be Amended, Ryan Lefkowitz

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) passed in 1996 in an effort to curb litigation from prisoners. The exhaustion requirement of the PLRA requires prisoners to fully exhaust any administrative remedies available to them before filing a lawsuit concerning any aspect of prison life. If a prisoner fails to do so, the lawsuit is subject to dismissal. The exhaustion requirement applies to all types of prisoner lawsuits, from claims filed for general prison conditions to excessive force and civil rights violations. It has been consistently and aggressively applied by the courts, blocking prisoners’ lawsuits from ever going to trial. Attempts …


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2018

Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin

Michigan Law Review

A review of John F. Pfaff, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration - And How to Achieve Real Reform.


Technological Incarceration And The End Of The Prison Crisis, Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter, Gabrielle Wolf Jan 2018

Technological Incarceration And The End Of The Prison Crisis, Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter, Gabrielle Wolf

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The United States imprisons more of its people than any nation on Earth, and by a considerable margin. Criminals attract little empathy and have no political capital. Consequently, it is not surprising that, over the past forty years, there have been no concerted or unified efforts to stem the rapid increase in incarceration levels in the United States. Nevertheless, there has recently been a growing realization that even the world’s biggest economy cannot readily sustain the $80 billion annual cost of imprisoning more than two million of its citizens. No principled, wide-ranging solution has yet been advanced, however. To resolve …


Rethinking The Boundaries Of “Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of “Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Scholarship@WashULaw

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique. Specifically, I trace two themes in the book: (1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and (2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement. I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding …


Prosecutors Matter: A Response To Bellin’S Review Of Locked In, John P. Pfaff Jan 2018

Prosecutors Matter: A Response To Bellin’S Review Of Locked In, John P. Pfaff

Michigan Law Review Online

In this year's Book Review issue, Jeffrey Bellin reviews my book, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, and he finds much to disagree with. I appreciate the editors of the Law Review providing me with the opportunity to correct a significant error he makes when discussing some of my data. In the book, I use data from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to show that prosecutors filed increasingly more felony cases over the 1990s and 2000s, even as crime fell. Bellin makes two primary claims about how I used …