Join the Civil Rights Committee
Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street
What happens inside jails and prisons does not stay inside jails and prisons. We must create safe and productive conditions of confinement not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it influences the safety, health, and prosperity of us all.
- from Confronting Confinement, report issued by the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons
Protecting Rights in Prison:
It is Time for Legislative Reform
Executive Director, Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons
Director, Vera Institute of Justice, Washington D.C. office
In the past decade, individuals who have been physically and sexually abused, subjected to life-threatening medical mistreatment, denied the ability to practice their religion, and severely mistreated as children have been denied access to relief from federal courts. Why? These individuals were in prison when these violations occurred imposed insurmountable obstacles to judicial relief. In 1996, Congress enacted the PLRA, which was intended to stem frivolous lawsuits by prisoners, but too often denies justice to victims of rape, assault, religious restrictions, and other rights violations. It is time to amend the PLRA.