Prison and Jail Grievance Policies: Lessons from a Fifty-State Survey
Michigan Law Prison Information Project, 2015
36 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016
Date Written: October 18, 2015
This report summarizes information gathered by analysis of prisoner grievance policies from 53 Departments of Correction (for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico), and the nation’s 12 largest metropolitan jails. Each policy itself — obtained via the web or by Freedom of Information Act requests — is available at http://clearinghouse.net/policy. They exhibit significant variation. It is this variation that allows us to present the recommendations below. Where we observed particular grievance rules that seemed troubling — unfair, especially onerous for prisoners, etc. — and those rules are unusual, we recommend the more common practice. Other recommendations work the converse way: where some jurisdictions have unusual but very appealing rules, we highlight those as promising practices for others to follow.
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