In Fear of Each Other

  • Simon Dinitz
Part of the The Plenum Series in Crime and Justice book series (PSIC)


In a futile effort to cope with the conventional crime problem, the U.S. sends more people to prison for longer terms than any Western country. Now, with the new federal and state commitment to mandatory minimum sentences and to enhanced penalties for crimes involving the possession of weapons, the penal system is near the breaking point. Thus, in a surprise and unprecedented action, the Reagan administration on March 4, 1983 instituted a civil lawsuit charging that two prisons in Hawaii cause inmates “to suffer grievous harm.” In the first suit ever filed by Attorney General William French Smith under the 1980 Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, the U.S. Justice Department alleged “egregious or flagrant conditions” and the following abuses and violations: illegal segregation by race and national origin; systematic brutality by prison staff members; inadequate protection from inmate predators; inadequate protection of female inmates against sexual abuses by prison guards and inadequate sanitation; excessive use of tranquilizers; grossly inferior mental, medical and dental care; violations of inmate mail and visitation rights; inadequate food and clothing and exposure to life-threatening fire hazards (New York Times, 1983).


Attorney General Correctional Officer State Prison Lexington Book Penal System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

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  • Simon Dinitz

There are no affiliations available

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