Using Regulatory Law to Reform Prison Conditions



When prisoners are served food with bugs in it or given medical care by unlicensed physicians, where can they turn for help? Believe it or not, such prison conditions may not be deemed cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, but they could violate existing administrative regulations that set standards for food safety, medical licensing, building safety, and other so-called “free-world laws.” Professor Aaron Littman joins us to discuss his recently published Article, Free-World Law Behind Bars, to discuss the difficulties of prison condition litigation and how regulatory law could provide much needed relief. We open this episode on a conversation with Roy Bolus, former president of the Project for A Calculated Transition (PACT) about his first-hand experience surviving the harsh conditions of incarceration and his inspirational story of service. We also speak with renowned prison-condition litigator Easha Anand of the MacArthur Justice Center on the many possible paths reformers and advocates can take to better prison conditions.