U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

International Jurists Visit With Human Rights Petitioners in the United States - Report and Findings, August 3-20, 1979

NCJ Number
Date Published
48 pages
Findings are reported from a delegation of international jurists' investigation into claims of United States criminal justice human rights violations filed with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
On December 11, 1978, three United States organizations filed a petition with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The petition alleged a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of certain classes of prisoners in the United States because of their race, economic status, and political beliefs. Eight international jurists came to the United States during August 3 - 20, 1979, to review the allegations of the petition, the documentation of those allegations, and the relevancy of United Nations resolutions to the conditions found. The jurists attended seminars and visited with prisoners, human rights activists and lawyers, elected officials, and officials of the Department of State and Justice to make an independent determination of the reliability of the petitioner's allegations. The delegation concluded that the petitioners have made a 'credible, reasoned, and temperately presented case.' The delegation found that a prima-facie case has been made that there exists in the United States today a consistent pattern of gross violations of human and legal rights of minorities, including policies of racial discrimination and segregation. The findings discuss categories of political prisoners, abuse of criminal processes, sentencing, prison conditions, appellate remedies, Native Americans, and the proposed conversion of New York's olympic dormitory facilities to a prison. The format of the orientation seminar and the jurists' itinerary are provided.