McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 15 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  Next



Opinion of Kennedy, J.

consequences an inmate faces for not participating are related to the program objectives and do not constitute atypical and significant hardships in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life.

Along these lines, this Court has recognized that lawful conviction and incarceration necessarily place limitations on the exercise of a defendant's privilege against self-incrimination. See, e. g., Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U. S. 308 (1976). Baxter declined to extend to prison disciplinary proceedings the rule of Griffin v. California, 380 U. S. 609 (1965), that the prosecution may not comment on a defend-ant's silence at trial. 425 U. S., at 319-320. As the Court explained, "[d]isciplinary proceedings in state prisons . . . involve the correctional process and important state interests other than conviction for crime." Id., at 319. The inmate in Baxter no doubt felt compelled to speak in one sense of the word. The Court, considering the level of compulsion in light of the prison setting and the State's interests in rehabilitation and orderly administration, nevertheless rejected the inmate's self-incrimination claim.

In the present case, respondent's decision not to participate in the Kansas SATP did not extend his term of incarceration. Nor did his decision affect his eligibility for good-time credits or parole. 224 F. 3d, at 1182. Respondent instead complains that if he remains silent about his past crimes, he will be transferred from the medium-security unit—where the program is conducted—to a less desirable maximum-security unit.

No one contends, however, that the transfer is intended to punish prisoners for exercising their Fifth Amendment rights. Rather, the limitation on these rights is incidental to Kansas' legitimate penological reason for the transfer: Due to limited space, inmates who do not participate in their respective programs will be moved out of the facility where the programs are held to make room for other inmates. As the Secretary of Corrections has explained, "it makes no

Page:   Index   Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007