McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 14 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 24 (2002)

Opinion of Kennedy, J.

of time than might otherwise be necessary." Brady v. United States, 397 U. S. 742, 753 (1970).

The limitation on prisoners' privileges and rights also follows from the need to grant necessary authority and capacity to federal and state officials to administer the prisons. See, e. g., Turner v. Safley, 482 U. S. 78 (1987). "Running a prison is an inordinately difficult undertaking that requires expertise, planning, and the commitment of resources, all of which are peculiarly within the province of the legislative and executive branches of government." Id., at 84-85. To respect these imperatives, courts must exercise restraint in supervising the minutiae of prison life. Ibid. Where, as here, a state penal system is involved, federal courts have "additional reason to accord deference to the appropriate prison authorities." Ibid.

For these reasons, the Court in Sandin held that challenged prison conditions cannot give rise to a due process violation unless those conditions constitute "atypical and significant hardship[s] on [inmates] in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life." See 515 U. S., at 484. The determination under Sandin whether a prisoner's liberty interest has been curtailed may not provide a precise parallel for determining whether there is compelled self-incrimination, but it does provide useful instruction for answering the latter inquiry. Sandin and its counterparts underscore the axiom that a convicted felon's life in prison differs from that of an ordinary citizen. In the context of a legitimate rehabilitation program for prisoners, those same considerations are relevant to our analysis. The compulsion inquiry must consider the significant restraints already inherent in prison life and the State's own vital interests in rehabilitation goals and procedures within the prison system. A prison clinical rehabilitation program, which is acknowledged to bear a rational relation to a legitimate penological objective, does not violate the privilege against self-incrimination if the adverse


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