Prof. Michael Mushlin on Supreme Court ruling on California’s prisons

Pace Law School Professor Michael Mushlin, one of the country’s leading authorities on prisons and prison reform, is available to speak to the media about today’s Supreme Court ruling in Brown, Governor of California, et al. v. Plata, et al.

About Prof. Mushlin:

  • Author of a four-volume treatise, The Rights of Prisoners published by West Publishing Company.
  • Vice-chair, and former Chair, of the Board of Directors of the Correctional Association of New York
  • Prior to entering academia, he spent seven years litigating on behalf of prisoners, including class action cases dealing with all New York City jails including the infamous “Tombs” jail in lower Manhattan
  • Organized and co-organized two major conferences in recent years on prison reform and prison oversight—held at Pace Law School and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas
  • Former chair of the Committee on Corrections of the New York City Bar Association and current co-chair of the American Bar Association subcommittee on Prison Oversight
  • Has written law review articles and lectured widely on prison reform, evidence, solitary confinement, and rethinking race and prisoners’ rights

Prof. Mushlin on Brown, Governor of California, et al. v. Plata, et al.:

“This is easily the most important case to be decided by the Supreme Court on prison rights law in the last quarter century. Dealing with the largest prison system in the country, it affirms a lower court decision, which orders the release of prisoners if necessary to meet Constitutional standards in the prisons.

This ruling means that the federal courts have not abdicated their responsibility to ensure that Constitutional rights are met no matter how powerless or vulnerable the people. It shows that the American legal system will continue to recognize the humanity of all people including people behind bars.

The opinion sends a message that severe overcrowding cannot be tolerated, even at a time of fiscal crisis. The opinion is a tremendous affirmation of our constitutional system of government and of the rule of law.”

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