SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Sabath, Michael J. & William Payne (March 2012). Providing Inmate Access to the Courts: U. S. Prison Strategies for Complying With Constitutional Rights. The Prison Journal, 92(1): 45-62.

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As the federal courts have established the right of inmates to seek post-conviction relief, prisons systems have struggled with a variety of strategies to come into compliance. Using data from a national survey of prisons, this study describes court access strategies employed by state correctional systems and examines how prison contextual characteristics, such as security level, population size, and the court ruling in Lewis v. Casey (1996) affect their use. Results indicate that strategies are influenced by size, security level and demand for legal services, and offer evidence of the adverse effects of the Lewis decision on prison law libraries.


Article 2: Denver, Megan, Joel Best & Kenneth C. Haas (July 2008). Methods of execution as institutional fads. Punishment & Society, 10(3): 227-252.

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The history of capital punishment in the USA reveals a cyclical pattern: critiques of existing methods of execution inspire the adoption of a new method that is presented as more humane and less problematic; this in turn leads to a new round of criticism. The historical shift from hanging to death by electrocution, gas chamber, and — most recently — lethal injection reflects an institutional fad cycle.


Article 3: Crocker, Diane (February 2015). Implementing and Evaluating Restorative Justice Projects in Prison. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 26(1): 45-64.

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This article describes a restorative justice project run in three Canadian prisons. The project, Partners in Healing, aimed to promote restorative justice by running restorative justice committees inside and recruiting volunteers from the community to participate along with prisoners. The main goals of the project were to increase participants’ awareness of restorative justice and help prisoners gain an understanding of the effects of their crime(s). An evaluation of the project solicited stories about the restorative justice committees and this article reports on some of the evaluation findings. The qualitative data offer insights into how to best design a restorative justice project in prisons. It also reveals dilemmas associated with evaluating such projects. The article concludes that projects need to be guided by a clear conceptualization of restorative justice.