American Prisoners and the Right of Access to the Courts

A Vanishing Concept of Protection
  • Kenneth C. Haas
  • Geoffrey P. Alpert
Part of the Law, Society and Policy book series (LSPO, volume 4)


In 1987, Americans celebrated the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. It is from this document that our basic rights and responsibilities have been developed. These rights, however, have never been distributed equally to all segments of the population. For example, the rights enumerated in the Constitution have never been fully extended to those who are incarcerated. Although the rights of free citizens have been generally preserved during this 200-year period, the history of prisoners’ rights is a history of indifference and neglect.


Federal Court State Prisoner State Court Punitive Damage Prison Official 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alpert, G. P. Prisoners’ right of access to courts: Planning for legal aid. Washington Law Review, 1976, 51, 653–675.Google Scholar
  2. Alpert, G. P. Legal rights of prisoners. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1978.Google Scholar
  3. Alpert, G. P. Prisoners and their rights: An introduction. In G. P. Alpert (Ed.), Legal rights of prisoners. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1980.Google Scholar
  4. Alpert, G. P., and Huff, C. R. Prisoners, the law and public policy: Planning for legal aid. New England Journal on Prison Law, 1981, 7, 307–340.Google Scholar
  5. Bailey, W. S. The realities of prisoners’ cases under U.S.C. Section 1983: A statistical survey in the northern district of Illinois. Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal, 1975, 6, 527–559.Google Scholar
  6. Blum, K. M. The implications of Parratt v. Taylor for Section 1983 litigation. The Urban Lawyer, 1984, 16, 363–386.Google Scholar
  7. Bluth, W. Legal services for inmates: Coopting the jailhouse lawyer. Capital University Law Review, 1972, 1, 59–81.Google Scholar
  8. Bowker, L. H. Prison victimization. New York: Elsevier, 1980.Google Scholar
  9. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Prisoners in 1986. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987.Google Scholar
  10. Cardarelli, A., and Finkelstein, M. M. Correctional administrators assess the adequacy and impact of prison legal services programs in the United States. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1974, 65, 91–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Coffin, F. M. Justice and workability: Un essai. Suffolk University Law Review, 1971, 5, 567–587.Google Scholar
  12. Edwards, J. A. The prisoner’s right of access to the courts. California Western Law Review, 1968, 4, 99–114.Google Scholar
  13. Eisenberg, J. Section 1983: Doctrinal foundations and an empirical study. Cornell Law Review, 1982, 67, 482–556.Google Scholar
  14. Friedman, L. Parratt v. Taylor: Closing the door on Section 1983. Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 1982, 9, 545–578.Google Scholar
  15. Friendly, H. J. Federal jurisdiction: A general view, New York: Columbia University Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  16. Gobert, J. L., and Cohen, N. P. Rights of prisoners. Colorado Springs: Shepard’s/McGrawHill, 1981.Google Scholar
  17. Haas, K. C. Judicial politics and correctional reform: An analysis of the decline of the “hands-off” doctrine. Detroit College of Law Review, 1977, 4, 796–831.Google Scholar
  18. Haas, K. C. The “new federalism” and prisoners’ rights: State supreme courts in comparative perspective. Western Political Quarterly, 1981, 34, 552–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Haas, K. C. The comparative study of state and federal judicial behavior revisited. Journal of Politics, 1982, 44, 721–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haas, K. C., and Champagne, A. The impact of Johnson v. Avery on prison administration. Tennessee Law Review, 1976, 43, 275–306.Google Scholar
  21. Hanson, R. A. What should be done when prisoners want to take the state to court? Judicature, 1987, 70, 223–227.Google Scholar
  22. Leading cases of the 1983 term. Harvard Law Review, 1984, 98, 151–165.Google Scholar
  23. Levinson, R. B. Due process challenges to governmental actions: The meaning of Parratt and Hudson. The Urban Lawyer, 1986, 18, 189–208.Google Scholar
  24. Manville, D. E. Prisoners self-help litigation manual. New York: Oceana Publications, 1983.Google Scholar
  25. McCoy, C. The impact of Section 1983 litigation on policymaking in corrections. Federal Probation, 1981, 45, 17–23.Google Scholar
  26. Mead, S. M. Evolution of the “species of tort liability” created by 42 U.S.C. Section 1983: Can constitutional tort be saved from extinction? Fordham Law Review, 1986, 55, 1–62.Google Scholar
  27. Nahmod, S. Civil rights and civil liberties litigation. Colorado Springs: Shepard’s/McGraw-Hill, 1986.Google Scholar
  28. Neuborne, B. Toward procedural parity in constitutional litigation. William and Mary Law Review, 1981, 22, 725–787.Google Scholar
  29. Note. A prisoner’s constitutional right to attorney assistance. Columbia Law Review, 1983, 83, 1279–1319.Google Scholar
  30. O’Connor, S. D. Trends in the relationship between the federal and state courts from the perspective of a state court judge. William and Mary Law Review, 1981, 22, 801–819.Google Scholar
  31. Rudovsky, D., Bronstein, A. J., and Koren, E. I. The rights of prisoners. New York: Bantam, 1983.Google Scholar
  32. Smith, C. E. Federal judges’ role in prisoner litigation: What’s necessary? What’s proper ? Judicature, 1986, 70, 144–150.Google Scholar
  33. Tarr, G. A., and Porter, M. C. State constitutionalism and state constitutional law. Publias, 1987, 17, 1–12.Google Scholar
  34. Toch, H. Living in prison: The ecology of prison survival. New York: The Free Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  35. Turner, W. B. When prisoners sue: A study of prisoner section 1983 suits in the federal courts. Harvard Law Review, 1979, 92, 610–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Haas
    • 1
  • Geoffrey P. Alpert
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.College of Criminal JusticeUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations