location: publications / books / Justice Behind the Walls / Sector 4 / Chapter 4 The Task Force on Administrative Segregation 1996-7 / The CSCís Response to the Task Force on Segregation -- A Study in Resistance

In a perverse way, more than anything I have so far described, the commissionerís response makes the case for independent adjudication. The principal criticism of prisoners is that the segregation review process is a sham; the Segregation Review Board comes to the hearing with an agenda, places primary reliance upon its own sources of information, heavily discounts the prisonerís own statement of events, and, under the veil of a review, recommends a course of action which is predetermined. In this scenario, nothing the prisoner says makes much difference to the result. Consider the scenario I have described of the commissionerís decision not to conduct an experiment with independent adjudication. The Task Force had been advised through a number of channels that the commissioner had come to this conclusion; a meeting was called to review the issue; at the meeting Commissioner Ingstrup advised Todd Sloan and me that he was prepared to reconsider provided we addressed his concerns with the proposal; we addressed all of his concerns in a paper that was sent to him; without even reading it, the commissioner affirmed his earlier decision not to conduct the experiment. Lawyers have a phrase for this: res ipsa loquitor, which translates as "the scenario speaks for itself."

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