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Legal Aspects of Prison Riots (From Prisoners and the Law, P 15-3 to 15-34, 1985, by Ira P Robbins, ed. - See NCJ-100564)

NCJ Number
I P Robbins
Date Published
32 pages
Legal issues associated with prison riots pertain to involved attorneys, inmates, and prison guards.
Attorneys representing rioting inmates have problems of inmate access, time constraints, personal danger, and inmate noncooperation. Attorneys acting as neutral mediators have fewer problems with inmate access and time constraints, but personal danger and inmate noncooperation may be involved. Ethical and legal issues faced by attorneys are involvement in ongoing illegal inmate behavior, withdrawal of the attorney-client privilege, and potential conflicts of interest. Legal issues for rioting inmates are tort recovery for inmates killed or injured, causes of action for violation of inmates' constitutional rights, prosecution of inmates, inmate amnesty and the legal effect of negotiated agreements, and inmates' access to the media. Prison guards or their families who bring a tort suit for injuries suffered in a prison riot face substantial obstacles. Damages are difficult to recover from inmates, and immunity issues are involved in suits against the state; however, both Federal and State laws permit compensation for prison guard injuries. 205 notes.