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Constitutional Rights of Prisoners, Sixth Edition

NCJ Number
John W. Palmer; Stephen E. Palmer
Date Published
837 pages
This volume presents an overview of the court structure and judicial system, explains and presents the United States Supreme Court decisions regarding inmates' constitutional rights, and discusses the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 as representative of legislative efforts to halt prison litigation.
Individual chapters deal with the degree of force that courts allow correctional employees to use, the use of corporal punishment to enforce prison discipline, prisoners' rights to visitation and association, searches of visitors and inmates, and prisoners' rights to use of the mail and telephone. Additional chapters focus on the use and conditions of isolated confinement, the effect of imprisonment on religious rights, the nature of legal services in prison, and due process and other requirements in prison disciplinary hearings. Further chapters discuss parole revocation and conditions of parole, the right to rehabilitation programs, the right to medical aid, the right to life, civil disabilities, and sex discrimination. Other chapters focus on the jurisdiction of Federal and State courts with respect to the civil and criminal liabilities of prison officials, barriers to inmate lawsuits, Federal and State remedies, and litigation related to additional issues such as overcrowding and privacy rights. The discussion of the Prison Litigation Reform Act enacted in 1996 notes that this law's purpose was to limit the ability of prisoners to complain about their conditions of confinement and to limit the jurisdiction of the Federal courts to issue orders relieving conditions of confinement that allegedly violated prisoners' constitutional rights. An analysis of the creation and protection of prisoners' human rights at the international level focuses on the European Convention on Human Rights instituted by the Council of Europe. Footnotes, appended constitutional amendments, European Convention on Human Rights, and related documents; table of cases, and index