1984 U. Ill. L. Rev. 389 (1984)
Prison Overcrowding and the Courts: A Roadmap for the 1980s

handle is hein.journals/unilllr1984 and id is 399 raw text is: PRISON OVERCROWDING AND
THE COURTS: A ROADMAP
FOR THE 1980s
Rod Smolla*
It is against the very nature of Man to be confined from normal
activities, grouped together with other men, and denied the associ-
ation of women. Such a system will always breed hatred, animos-
ity, resentment, frustration, inferiority complexes, homosexuality,
and general inhumanity to man. Where these energies will be di-
rected is another issue, but they will be present; the prison will
always be a powder keg.
Louis X. (Holloway),
Inmate, Parchman Prison
Camp, Mississippi'
The pendulum swings in corrections just as it does in every other social
and behavioral discipline, moving from one point on the continuum to
the other and eventually coming back to the center.
Norman Carlson, Director,
Bureau of Prisons, United
States Department of Justice2
I. INTRODUCTION
American society has always approached prison reform grudg-
ingly. Prisoners are rarely visible,3 have no political power, and are
socially threatening to the nation's mainstream middle class.4 Over the
last two decades, courts have often preceded the public in advocating
prison reform. In the cultural ferment of the 1960s the federal judiciary
displayed a new activism in the protection of constitutional rights, and
as part of that agenda federal courts became increasingly sympathetic
Associate Professor of Law, University ofArkansas, Fayetteville School of Law. B.A. Yale,
1975; .ID. Duke, 1978.
1. Louis X. (Holloway), Prison Abolition or Destruction is a MAust, 45 Miss. L.J. 757, 758
(1974).
2. Carlson, Striking a Balance in Corrections, in 2 PRISONERS RIGHTS SOURCEBOOK 485 (I.
Robbins ed. 1980).
3. In a ground-breaking prison case, Chief Judge Henley of the federal district court in
Arkansas observed that the people of Arkansas knew little or nothing about their penal system.
Holt v. Sarver, 309 F. Supp. 362, 367 (E.D. Ark. 1970), aff'd, 442 F.2d 304 (8th Cir. 1971).
4. Prisoners have no political leverage. They do not vote, and they are socially threatening.
The imprisoning power is overwhelming; the prisoner is reduced to isolation, helplessness, and
subservience. N. MORIS, THE FutruRtl OF IMPRISONMENT 19 (1974).

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