University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Voices from a Southern Prison"
Date 2000
Author Lloyd C. Anderson
Author Institution University of Akron
Author Role Faculty
Abstract Anderson chronicles the 20-year legal struggle by inmates in the Kentucky prison system to correct intolerable prison conditions and mistreatment by prison guards. His book is based on interviews with three prison inmates who were the primary litigants, the judge, Kentucky's top prison official, and a newspaper reporter who covered the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in 1978 when James "Shorty" Thompson, an inmate, had had it with the overcrowded conditions where prisoners were "stacked like cordwood." Through interviews with Thompson, Wilgus Haddix, and Walter Harris, Anderson conveys the failings of the prison system in Kentucky as symptomatic of problems throughout the nation's prison systems. He also examines the history of legal contests to improve prison conditions even in the face of increased prison construction and incarceration. Part of the lawsuit reached the U.S. Supreme Court and eventually resulted in Kentucky spending more than $200 million on much-needed prison reform. This is a revealing look at the U.S. prison system and prison reform. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Citation University of Georgia Press (2000)

This Resource Relates To
case Kendrick v. Bland (PC-KY-0007)
person Johnstone, Edward Huggins (KY)

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