This paper examines William Taggart's article on the judicial power of the purse as it affects American prisons and jails. It argues that the central concerns in this area have involved issues of judicial propriety and judicial capacity rather than, as Taggart argues, whether judicially mandated expenditures disrupt normal budget processes. It then takes issue with Taggart's conclusions that the courts have had little impact on prisons and jails. Using his evidence, this paper argues that the courts have had a significant effect in transforming prisons and jails in at least one region of the country, the South.

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