Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Prisoner litigation has always provided one of the primary means of challenging prison conditions and practices as well as parole matters. Prisoners may go to court to demand a new trial, or file writs of habeas corpus to challenge their criminal convictions. Many actions require prisoners to use a grievance system and to exhaust administrative remedies before proceeding to court, but there are different rules for each state and for the federal system. Prisoners must also abide by the appropriate statutes of limitations, which restrict how long they can wait before suing about an event. Different kinds of suits are subject to different limitations periods, and if the deadline is missed, the case may be permanently barred. Many prisoners have no option but to represent themselves, because most lawyers have little knowledge of prisoner litigation and most prisoners have no funds to pay for attorney services. Legal research for such ...