Reform and Regret

Reform and Regret : The Story of Federal Judicial Involvement in the Alabama Prison System

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Description

This is an engaging descriptive analysis of the campaign to achieve prison reform in Alabama through constitutional litigation in the federal courts. When the deplorable conditions in Alabama's shockingly overcrowded and understaffed prisons were revealed at a trial in 1975, Judge Frank Johnson declared that the prison system as a whole constituted a cruel punishment which was in violation of the eighth amendment. He issued an elaborate decree specifying improvements that were needed to satisfy constitutional standards. By 1988, federal judges had ordered wideranging reforms in the penal systems of thirty-seven states. This book outlines the background against which Judge Johnson acted, the process that produced the decree, and subsequent efforts to enforce his order in the face of bureaucratic inertia, administrative incompetence, and political demagogy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 146 x 224 x 26mm | 548g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195057376
  • 9780195057379

Review quote

"An outstanding case study of a problem of federalism....Highly recommended for public, college, university, and law libraries."--Choice"An engrossing, carefully written story of two federal lawsuits, Pugh v. Locke and James v. Wallace."--Southern Changes"Thorough and accurate."--Constitutional Commentary"Yackle's book contains universal truths and is a valuable resource for anyone involved in litigation concerning prisons."--Criminal Justice Ethics"Interesting, stimulating and quite thought-provoking. Yackle has an important story to tell concerning the limits on the power of the federal judiciary to order changes in unconstitutional conditions that have been created by state governments and state institutions."--David Rudovsky, Kairys and Rudovsky, Philadelphiashow more