Discussion Questions

  1. Why did the courts avoid interfering in prison operations?
  2. Why did the courts gradually start to get involved in prison operations?
  3. Describe the importance of the considerations outlined in Bounds v. Smith. Why are they critical to assessing inmates’ access to law libraries?
  4. How have the Courts tried to maintain a balance of Constitutional protections of religious freedom and security within prisons?
  5. Why did the court rule in Brown v. Plata that CDCR violated the Eighth Amendment?
  6. What is the purpose of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995?
  7. Why is it important for incarcerated people to hold legal authorities accountable in court?
  8. Why are some forms of immunity necessary for legal authorities?
  9. What is the difference between an injunction and a consent decree?
  10. Why is judiciary involvement necessary in corrections?
  11. How have the courts balanced institutional and public safety with upholding inmate rights?