U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Constitutional Rights of Prisoners, Eighth Edition

NCJ Number
John W. Palmer, J.D.
Date Published
1009 pages
This book presents a comprehensive overview of the law and judicial decisions related to the rights of prisoners in the United States and pertinent U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding the constitutional rights of prisoners.
Law is the set of rules that governs the conduct of individuals and entities in our society. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of our land. Courts have reviewed conduct by prison officials under specific constitutional provisions, such as the eighth amendment or general principles stemming from the due process clause of the 14th amendment. Since the last edition of this book, the Supreme Court has decided a number of important decisions. Some significant Supreme Court cases included: restrictions on visiting regulations; racial segregation in California prisons; concern over a "supermax" prison; constitutionality of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act and the abrogation of 11th amendment protection of State prisons; requirement that all prison condition cases be excluded from the Federal courts until all available internal administrative procedures have been fully exhausted; and the first amendment case involving communication restrictions at a Pennsylvania "supermax" prison. This book presents a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the law and judicial decisions regarding the rights of prisoners. Divided into 14 chapters, the book covers use of force and use of corporal punishment; visitation; use of the mail, Internet, and telephone; isolated confinement/administrative segregation; religion; legal services; disciplinary proceedings; parole and probation; right to rehabilitation programs and medical aid; civil and criminal liabilities of prison officials; Prison Litigation Reform Act; and human rights. Appendixes I-V, cases and index