Washington Law Review


The civil rights movement has reached into prisons and jails, directing public attention to the fact that prisoners are also beneficiaries of the rights and privileges that the Constitution extends to all citizens. After a discussion of the development of prisoners' rights, this article will survey the major cases establishing prisoners' rights of access to courts and legal assistance. It will summarize previous research dealing with prisoners and their legal problems on a national scale, and extend that research by presenting the findings of a recent research project conducted in the Washington State prison system evaluating the legal needs of prisoners. On the basis of these studies, suggestions are offered for increasing the effectiveness of delivery of legal services to prisoners.

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