Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons

Overview

Between 1965 and 1990, federal judges in almost all of the states handed down sweeping rulings affecting virtually every prison and jail in the United States. Without a doubt judges were the most important prison reformers during this period. Malcolm M. Feeley and Edward L. Rubin provide an account of this process, and use it to explore the more general issue of the role of courts in the modern bureaucratic state. In doing so, they provide detailed accounts of how the courts formulated and sought to implement ...
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Overview

Between 1965 and 1990, federal judges in almost all of the states handed down sweeping rulings affecting virtually every prison and jail in the United States. Without a doubt judges were the most important prison reformers during this period. Malcolm M. Feeley and Edward L. Rubin provide an account of this process, and use it to explore the more general issue of the role of courts in the modern bureaucratic state. In doing so, they provide detailed accounts of how the courts formulated and sought to implement their orders, and how this action affected the traditional conceptions of federalism, separation of powers, and the rule of law.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...judges would do well to read a new book by scholars Malcolm Feeley and Edward Rubin, Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons. It is an eye-opening account of how federal judges have gone beyond enforcing the Constitution to impose their own policy preferences on state and local government. The authors, respected scholars who approve of judicial policy making, reveal a secret that has long been suspected: Judicial supervision of prisons cannot be squared with federalism, separation of powers or even traditional notions of the rule of law." The Wall Street Journal

"This is an ambitious project—systematic in its development and sweeping in its scope. Feeley and Rubin stake out controversial ground and defend that ground with empirical data, exhaustive research, and insightful analysis and argument. Their prose is straightforward and efficient, devoid of jargon in the main. While this book will make an important contribution to the academic literature, it also should be accessible to any serious reader of nonfiction who is willing to invest the time and attention required to study such a complex and controversial set of public issues. This is certainly the best book anyone has ever written about the prison cases. It is also the best book anyone has written about judicial policy making." Larry W. Yackle, Boston University Law School

"Feeley and Rubin have produced a comprehensive study of judicial prison reform in the United States that will prove invaluable to prison scholars." James B. Jacobs, New York University School of Law

"This important book provides the most comprehensive analysis and critique of the judicially encouraged prison reform movement that began in the late 1960s." Choice

"This important book provides the most comprehensive analysis and critique of the judicially encouraged prison reform movement that began in the late 1960s." Choice

"This is the kind of book that tempts one to begin reading it anew upon completion because it contains so many interesting and provocative ideas that deserve thoughtful reflection and rexamination." Christopher E. Smith, Judicature

"This is the kind of book that tempts one to begin reading it anew upon completion because it contains so many interesting and provocative ideas that deserve thoughtful reflection and reexamination." Christopher E. Smith, Judicature

"Professors Feeley and Rubin have done a significant scholarly service by offering a comprehensive yet readable account of the prison reform litigation revolution. Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State offers an excellent account of the prison reform cases and a provocative assessment of their implications." Donald A. Dripps, Jurist

"...well written, interesting, nuanced, and erudite." Margo Schlanger, Michigan Law Review

"...a cogent, intelligent, and unquestionably valuable history of prison reform in America." Anthony M. Bertelli, Journal of Policy Analysis & Management

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I The Case of Judicial Prison Reform 27
2 An Overview of Judicial Prison Reform 30
3 Two Classic Prison Reform Cases: Arkansas and Texas 51
4 Three Variations on the Theme: Colorado State Penitentiary, the Santa Clara County Jails, and Marion Penitentiary 96
Pt. II The Theory of Judicial Policy Making 145
5 Defining the Problem, Identifying the Goal, and Rejecting the Principle of Federalism 149
6 Creating Doctrine, Choosing Solutions, and Transforming the Rule of Law 204
7 Implementing the Solution, Muddling Through, and Ignoring the Separation of Powers Principle 297
8 Conclusion 336
9 Coda: Assessing the Successes of Judicial Prison Reform 362
Notes 389
Index 477
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