Prisoners’ rights lawyers have long faced a dismal legal landscape. Yet, 2015 was a remarkable year for prison litigation that could signal a new period for this area of law—the Supreme Court handed down decisions that will reverberate in prison jurisprudence for decades to come. New questions have been asked, new avenues opened. This piece is about what the Court has done recently, and what possibilities it has opened for the future. More broadly, I suggest that the Court may be subjecting prison officials to greater scrutiny and that this shifting judicial landscape reflects an evolving social discourse about prison conditions and mass incarceration. With the United States leading the world in incarcerating its own people, the federal courts’ attention to prison conditions is long overdue.
David M. Shapiro,
To Seek a Newer World: Prisoners’ Rights at the Frontier,
Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_fi/vol114/iss1/1