Standard J 07.03.01: Volunteer Qualifications and Screening

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director KEY ISSUES: Correctional institutions are constantly striving to provide meaningful opportunities for those incarcerated to rehabilitate and break the cycle of recividism.  Educational classes, treatment and religious programming, life skills and work release programs vary from facility to facility depending on available resources.  The use of volunteers and organizations…

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Standard E04.02.01: Privileged Mail

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director KEY ISSUES: According to the Supreme Court, one of the elements necessary to assist inmates’ access to courts is prohibiting jail staff from actively interfering with prisoners’ attempts to prepare legal documents1 or otherwise interfering with access by imposing unconstitutional barriers to access courts and counsel. Written correspondence represents…

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Standard P01.02.01 – General Right of Inmates to Marry While Incarcerated

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director KEY ISSUES: On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court announced a controversial decision, ruling that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry1.   The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban…

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Standard O01.02.01: Intent of ADA Standards

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director KEY ISSUES: In recent years NIJO has seen an increase of lawsuits and allegations revolving around incarcerated individuals with disabilities.  There are a number of reasons for these increases, but certainly the aging population and litigious mentality that exists in jails and detention facilities are contributors.  For example, the Bureau of Justice…

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Standard E04.03.01: Providing and Regulating Attorney Visits

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director KEY ISSUES: You walk into work and on your desk sits an envelope from your local ACLU managing attorney.  The enclosed letter briefly introduces an attorney, his credentials and goals of the local chapter in protecting inmate rights.  Then he writes a request for legal visits with a few…

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Standard N 02:02: Cross Gender Frisk Searches

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director KEY ISSUES: Over the last few decades the very act of conducting searches has brought wide public scrutiny and lawsuits against correctional administrations.  Some resulted in class action lawsuits that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.  The confusion on various circuit court’s rulings on strip searches was essentially put to…

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