Corrections Issues

The volume of inmate litigation increased significantly following theCooper v. Patedecision in 1964. In 1980, inmates in state and federal correctional institutions filed 23,287 petitions alleging both civil and criminal violations of their rights and seeking compensatory damages, injunctions, and property claims. By 1990, the number of such petitions had swollen to nearly 43,000, and more than 64,000 petitions were filed in 1996.

For this assignment, you have just been promoted to warden to manage a prison that is known statewide for the number of inmate litigation cases the institution has faced over the last several years. You are aware of a previous study that showed that the reason for the excessive inmate litigation was poor inmate living conditions (overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions), accusations of guard abuse against inmates (guards using excessive force against the inmates), and inconsistent inmate discipline practices. You plan on addressing as many of these problems as possible, but you must first come up with a plan to address these issues. You will then share with your fellow students and the professor the plan you have developed, making sure to address the following issues in your plan:

  • What problem do you believe is the most pressing, and why would you address that problem first?
  • What are the expectations that you would share with the inmates and the guards about your plan?
  • How would you then measure the results of your plan once it has been implemented?