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Prisoners' constitutional rights

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This paper compares what life was like in the American penal system prior to the reform movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as legislation that created reform as to the rights of the incarcerated, to what an inmates life is like today. Specifically, the two pieces of legislation that are highlighted are the uniform Law Commissioners' Model Sentencing and Corrections Act of 1978 and the A.B.A. Standards Relating to the Legal Status of Prisoners. This reform movement educated the incarcerated as to their constitutional rights, specifically the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. These amendments are expressed through court cases that dictated exactly what the courts interpret as an inmate's rights. These rulings led to the passing of legislation which increased prisoners' rights. This new knowledge and legislation has changed what life is like behind bars for the incarcerated leading to a whole new perspective on how to administer the penal system.
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Keywords: Constitutional rights; Prison administration; Statutory rights

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Interior, Minerals Management Service, N. Virginia, USA

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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