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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prison Rape and Cost Benefit Analysis

Over at the GULC faculty blog, Lisa Heinzerling has a very sharp post criticizing the Administration for undertaking a 168 page report that performs a cost benefit analysis of prison rape reform efforts. Prof. Heinzerling labels the effort "a labored, distasteful, and gratuitous essay on the economics of rape and sexual abuse."

I haven't had a chance to digest the report yet. Early feedback from some of my FB friends show substantial support for Prof. Heinzerling's point of view. I wonder what the defenders of the report might have to say in its favor, though I suspect some will say that the report is meant to offer its own defense!

Posted by Dan Markel on June 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM in Article Spotlight, Criminal Law, Culture, Current Affairs | Permalink

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Thanks for sharing this, Dan. Prof. Heinzerling makes a good point, and it is for this reason that I cited her book with Frank Ackerman, "Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing," in my Response to Sasha Volokh's "Prison Vouchers" piece in the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law Review's online companion, PENNumbra, http://www.pennumbra.com/responses/response.php?rid=106. On a related issue, although not about cost/benefit analysis, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) physical injury requirement produces similarly insensitive analysis (and arguments) about prison rape -- (e.g., "was the rape a physical injury?").

Posted by: Giovanna Shay | Jun 15, 2012 10:20:21 AM

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