Margo Schlanger, J.D., professor of law, has been named the new reporter for the American Bar Association’s (ABA) effort to rewrite and update its standards relating to the legal treatment of prisoners. These standards are part of the ABA’s overall Criminal Justice Standards Project, which is designed to guide policymakers and practitioners in criminal justice matters.
“The American Bar Association is the professional association of our nation’s lawyers, and its mission is to ‘defend liberty and pursue justice,'” Schlanger said. “There is no place where that mission is more important than in American jails and prisons, which currently incarcerate a record 2.3 million people. It is a great privilege to lend whatever expertise I have to this effort to promote good correctional practice in tandem with respect for the rights of prisoners.
“I hope the standards we develop will prove useful to jail and prison administrators, courts and legislators,” she said.
Last revised in 1986, the ABA’s prisoner standards include, among others, sections on conditions of confinement; classification and isolation of prisoners; disciplinary rules and procedures; personal security, including use of force and prevention and investigation of sexual and nonsexual violence; medical and mental health care; and accountability and oversight.
Schlanger is a member of the national Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons and is an expert on civil rights litigation, particularly litigation involving jails and prisons. She recently established the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, an online database and repository for civil rights litigation, court orders, opinions and pleadings.