Course Details

Prisons and Prisoners' Rights

On any given day, over 2 million people are imprisoned in the United States. Prisoners are governed by a detailed set of rules and regulations which cover every aspect of their lives: where they live, who they live with, whether and where they work, when they get up, what and where they eat, and even when they shower. Cases filed by prisoners challenging the conditions of their confinement constitute the largest number of cases on the dockets of most federal courts. Yet the law which applies to these cases is unknown to most lawyers. This seminar investigates the law as it applies to prisons. The seminar will begin with an examination of the nature of prisons and prisoners, and will include the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; the First Amendment rights to free speech, religion, and association; the Fifth Amendment right to due process; the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection guarantee; and various statutes which expand or limit those rights. In addition to case law, a variety of secondary sources will be used, coupled with guest speakers with direct experience. There will also be (subject to approval by prison authorities) an opportunity to tour Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet. Because the tour may conflict with other classes, it is optional.

Catalog Number: CRIM 655
Practice Areas: Constitutional Law & ProcedureCriminal Law Practice AreaProcedure Practice Area
Additional Course Information: Research Writing


Course History

Fall 2018
Title: Prisons and Prisoners' Rights
Faculty: Mills, Alan S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25

Fall 2017
Title: Prisons and Prisoners' Rights
Faculty: Mills, Alan S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25

Fall 2016
Title: Prisons and Prisoners' Rights
Faculty: Mills, Alan S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 24

Fall 2015
Title: Prisons and Prisoners' Rights
Faculty: Mills, Alan S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 19