Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Bleg: What Do You Want to See on Prison Law Blog in 2011?

with 10 comments

Hi all. Now that I’ve more or less gotten organized for 2011 and I’m done with my guest stint at TNC’s, the blog should be back up to full speed next week. In the meantime, I thought I’d borrow an idea from Rortybomb, and throw out a “request for requests.” What do you want to see more or less of in this space in 2011? What types of posts have been most helpful or interesting to you? Anything you just skip right over in your RSS reader?

Here’s an example of one area where I’d be interested to get some feedback. When I first started Prison Law Blog almost a year ago, I devoted a lot more space than I have in recent months to keeping track of lower federal and state court decisions on prisoners’ rights and conditions of confinement litigation. That was partly because there were some legal issues that I needed to learn more about myself and this was a handy way to do it. It sort of fell off my radar screen more recently, as I’ve been paying more attention to the broader policy landscape for various reasons. My sense is that most of my readers aren’t lawyers, and so the really technical legal posts may be more inside baseball than you’re looking for (and conversely, those of you who actually do prisoners’ rights litigation probably don’t need me to tell you about the state of the case law). But maybe I’m wrong about this — and I can certainly go back to checking in with the case law more frequently if that’s something that’s useful for folks. Of course, either way I’ll try to stay on top of big cases like the California overcrowding litigation, cases that present novel issues, or cases with particularly compelling facts — otherwise I might have to change the name of the blog! But I’m just curious as to what precise mix of content would be most useful for those of you who have kindly bookmarked, read, and spread the word about my site.

Anyway, I thought I’d open it up for feedback, requests, suggestions, etc. in two ways: you can chime in either by leaving comments or emailing me through the contact form. I look forward to hearing from you!


Written by sara

January 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses

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  1. Hi Sara,

    I enjoy your updates on various new prison cases and decisions. Especially the updates on overcrowding. I am not a lawyer, but I do try to use what you write to learn more. I find that you are providing a good mix of law jargon and layman stated information.

    I would like to see (when things come up) more about the stuff going on with lifers (with or without the possibility) who were convicted, when they were under 18, for 2nd degree Murder. You know, kids who are raised by the system and other prisoners. Now adults, made huge mistakes that they take responsibility for, and who have now been in for a longer amount of their life than they ever lived on the outside. The ones raised in the system who are still being turned down by the parole board.

    Maybe it’s just me who has an interest in those stories and cases.

    Have a great weekend!



    January 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

  2. I like the inside baseball. Prison conditions cases receive little national attention unless they are eyecatching. The issues aren’t acane (usually) , so I don’t think the items would be beyond the ken of non-lawyers.

    Va Kerr

    January 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

  3. Hey Sara,

    I just started reading your blog after following you here from TNC’s blog, so I’ve only read a few of your more recent posts. But I’m an aspiring law student (I’m applying to schools right now), and I’m interested in criminal law, maybe becoming a prosecutor.

    So I guess I’d like to see a post or two on stuff you wished more young prosecutors were aware of in terms of prison conditions, sentencing, and so on.


    January 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

  4. Hi Sara,

    I am a new reader, as well, and really appreciate your perspective on these issues. Though I am not a lawyer I think I would find the case law helpful in providing context. I am studying/researching language and literacy education and am interested in the education system (or lack thereof) in correctional facilities, specifically for those under 18. I’d love to read more about adolescents who are incarcerated and the education opportunities afforded to them. As I have started research in this topic, I’m always looking for more resources and perspectives.

    Thanks for writing!



    January 9, 2011 at 7:52 am

  5. Books, books, books and books. And law review articles and, for example, the recent series of articles on mass incarceration in The Nation, The American Prospect and Pace Law Review. I think you do a great job of keeping up with whatever conversation about prison law that is happening.

    Very important, but that conversation is amongst policymakers, professors and others who I think are unlikely to really look the problems of mass/hyper incarceration in the eye. They’re not the ones who are truly suffering. Activism from neighborhood/community groups and/or people who are at the receiving end of criminal justice policy is much more likely to create truly meaningful and/or substantive change.

    My point: focus on the groups across the country who are working to change criminal justice policy.

    Otherwise, great blog, read it almost everyday.


    January 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

  6. Thanks for the great feedback, everyone — really helpful! I’ll definitely try to integrate all these suggestions in 2011 and thanks very much for reading and taking the time to offer your thoughts.


    January 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

  7. Hi Sara,

    Thanks for your terrific work, which I read and rely on regularly. I would be delighted to see more work on women and prisons, ranging from prisoners to staff to family/friends/community. Thanks!

    Take care, Dan Moshenberg


    January 10, 2011 at 6:12 am

  8. An article about those locked away in Forensic Hospitals on the insanity plea& how they get trapped off in there.

    Jayette Lansbury

    January 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

  9. I would like to see some articles pretaining to another type of prison (Forensic Hospitals) & about the “insanity plea”

    Jayette Lansbury

    January 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

  10. I also appreciate the legal analysis. As a practitioner in corrections oversight, I like to keep up to date on current issues in the courts regarding prisons. That said, I also appreciate your inclusion of articles and blogs related to corrections. I appreciate your work and hope that you keep it up!


    January 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

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