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A Guide to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, by John Boston (Review)

Review by Paul Wright

The passage of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) in 1996 has significantly changed many aspects of prison and jail litigation. The PLRA makes it increasingly difficult for prisoner plaintiffs to achieve meaningful or significant relief in the courts, either in the way of damages or injunctive relief. Institutional reform litigation is virtually a dead letter as a result. That said, an understanding of the PLRA as applied and interpreted by the courts is absolutely essential for anyone litigating a prison or jail suit in federal court.

John Boston is one of the foremost authorities on prison and jail litigation in America today. He heads the prisoners' rights project of the New York City Legal Aid Society and is the co-author of the Prisoners Self Help Litigation Manual.

Boston has authored A Guide to the PLRA. This 70 page booklet gives the most detailed, comprehensive overview of the PLRA and the published and unpublished court rulings interpreting it available in print anywhere.

The Guide discusses and analyzes each and every provision of the PLRA. This includes: limits on attorney fee awards, consent decree and injunction termination, administrative exhaustion, three strikes, special masters, emotional and mental injury claims, filing fees and costs and much more. Anyone litigating a prison or jail claim today should get a copy of this booklet. The Guide is available for $8.00 to prisoners, $10.00 to non-prisoners, plus $1.50 postage from: SPN, 955 Massachusetts Ave. PMB 339, Cambridge, MA 02139-3180.

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