ABA Standards for Criminal Justice Third Edition: Treatment of Prisoners

The ABA’s Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners sets out principles and functional parameters to guide the operation of American jails and prisons. The 83 Standards replaced the ABA’s 1981 Criminal Justice Standards on the Legal Status of Prisoners in order to better reflect the changed correctional landscape and high incarceration rates of the 21st century. The Standards, which are aspirational yet practical and which are grounded in court decisions and correctional best practices,  cover a wide range of issues affecting people who are housed in America’s prisons and jails. With respect to oversight, the Standards include detailed provisions on the topics of internal accountability, external regulation and investigation, external monitoring and inspection, legislative oversight and accountability, and media access to correctional facilities and prisoners.