The Pace Law Review has published a comprehensive look at the oversight of prisons, including articles from leading academics, national and international corrections experts, and prisoners' rights and human rights lawyers. “There's a growing consensus on the need for oversight, but until now there has not been a focused conversation about how to do it. We intend this law review to be a blueprint for how the American people can create, for the first time in the United States, effective oversight strategies for our nation's prisons and jails,” said Pace law Prof. Michael Mushlin, who collaborated on the project with Michele Deitch senior lecturer at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.
One result of a lack of proper oversight is that prison problems like overcrowding, neglect, insufficient medical care for inmates, and other serious problems often are addressed only when they become so dire that the courts must intervene. The Supreme Court is considering case on the substandard conditions in California's prisons, including long-standing constitutional violations in medical and mental health treatment. According to Professor Mushlin, “with effective oversight these crises can be prevented allowing taxpayers' money to be better spent.” The law review inclucdes articles that examine the core functions of effective prison oversight, describe the overcrowding crisis in California's prison system, the nation's largest, review international models of prison oversight, discuss effective models in the U.S., and present an inventory of correctional oversight mechanisms in all 50 states.