Inmates in penal institutions have historically been afforded less than the full panoply of procedural rights which the federal courts have guaranteed in criminal proceedings. The traditional attitude that constitutional rights were left outside the prison gate eventually gave way to a recognition that some fundamental substantivedue process rights are retained by prisoners. Because of an unwillingness to risk possible impairment of security and order by overburdening officials with procedural matters, the judiciary fashioned a "hands-off" doctrine as to proceduraldue process rights. This doctrine precluded judicial review of prison disciplinary action absent a showing that the action violated the eighth amendment guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment, or that it ran afoul of the fourteenth amendment by being arbitrary and capricious. Alternatively, some federal courts denied due process safeguards in prisons by using a "right-privilege" distinction to remove actions of prison officials that might be classified as privileges rather than rights from judicial scrutiny.
Constitutional Law- Due Process- All But Minimal Procedural Due Process Safeguards Held Inapplicable at In-Prison Disciplinary Proceedings,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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