The Supreme Court has long recognized that prisoners' constitutional rights must be balanced against the need for deference to the decisions of prison administrators when prisoners' rights are restricted incident to their incarceration. The Court, however, has never explicitly recognized a theory of proper incarceration, yet it has implicitly adopted such a theory through its decisions regarding the constitutionally permitted level of restriction on particular prisoners' rights. This Note argues that the Court's prisoners' rights jurisprudence evinces a particular definition of proper incarceration and then reads the multiple opinions in Beard v. Banks consistently with that theory.

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