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Civil Rights

Mounting Issues Show Increasing Need for Prison Reform

People incarcerated in prisons do not have full constitutional rights, but they are protected by the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.  They also have rights to speech and religion, to the extent these rights do not interfere with their status as inmates. There are well over 2 million Americans currently living behind bars in the United States.  And, increasingly, prisons have been beset by troubling issues like overcrowding, deficient health care, racial unrest, gang activity and assaults.  Many advocates are calling for substantial prison reform. In the New York area, problems concerning prison – and the need for serious...

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