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Spring 2024 Course

Prison Law

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type:Any day take home

While courses in criminal law tend to focus on the “front end” of the criminal legal process (investigation, prosecution, and verdict), this course focuses on the back end: the law of incarceration. What legal obligations does the state have toward those it incarcerates? Topics to be covered include: the evolution of prison rights litigation; the scope of constitutional rights in prison; the prison disciplinary process; the interaction of prison law and remedies; conditions of confinement; medical and mental health care; sexual assault; the intersection of prison law and race, and prison law and gender identity; religious freedom; the enforcement of disability law inside prisons; immigration detention; and alternatives to an American-style carceral system. There will also be a focus on legal practice—how lawyers litigate prison rights cases in modern federal courts.