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Review of the Prison Litigation Reform Act: A Decade of Reform or an Increase in Prison and Abuses

This testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, discussed the American Bar Association’s top five suggestions for PLRA reforms. First, the PLRA’s ban on awards of compensatory damages for “mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical injury” has obstructed judicial remediation of religious discrimination, coerced sex, and other constitutional violations typically unaccompanied by physical injury, undermining the regulatory regime that is supposed to prevent such abuses.