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Correctional Authority and Inmate Rights

NCJ Number
Date Published
148 pages
This discussion focuses on the balancing of interests which must occur to protect prison inmates' rights while simultaneously meeting legitimate security concerns in Canada's correctional institutions.
The paper examines how rights are defined in the correctional context and staff powers. Four categories of inmates' retained rights are discussed: fairness in institutional decisionmaking; inmate discipline; searches; and basic rights and freedoms relating to mail, visits, inmate associations, and religion. A section on rights based on status as an inmate covers conditions of confinement, medical and health care, and access to legal materials. Common issues that arise in enforcing rights in an institutional context are addressed, such as judicial remedies, grievance procedures, and the correctional investigator. Legislative proposal intended to define the individual rights of inmates and provide guidance to corrections staff are presented. Specific areas addressed include transfer of inmates, administrative segregation, disciplinary processes, search of inmates, and freedom of religion. For related documents see NCJ 110655-58 and 110660. 63 footnotes and a summary of the recommendations.