Patchwork Protection: The Politics of Prisoners’ Rights Accountability in the United States

Prisons have failed to meet basic standards of care over recent years. This article introduces an accountability framework in order to examine the prisoners’ rights “accountability environment” in the United States. The authors find that the prisoners’ rights accountability environment is a network of legal, bureaucratic, professional, and political systems. The article concludes that the effectiveness of prisoners’ rights accountability environments depends on whether political officials make prisoners’ rights a priority.