By some definitions, most American prisons and jails are overcrowded; by any definition, many penal facilities are filthy and violence-ridden. Over the last twenty years, dozens of state and local corrections systems have come under court orders to reform. What have been the causes and consequences of judicial involvement in this area, and how in the future can judges act to improve the quality of life behind bars at a reasonable human and financial cost? This volume by a diverse and distinguished group of contributors provides a much needed answer to this question. It offers an introductory statement on enhancing judicial capacity; a critical review of the relevant literatures; original in-depth analyses of selected state and local cases; a statistical study of the likely effect of the "Republicanization" of the federal bench on judicial involvement; and a provocative essay by a corrections practitioner with over three decades of litigation experience. Under the heading "What Judges Can Do to Improve Prisons and Jails," the concluding chapter by DiIulio highlights key findings, offers policy prescriptions, and suggests an agenda for future research.
'a useful contribution to the growing literature on new generation prisons'
Mick Ryan, Thames Polytechnic, British Journal of Criminology, Summer '92