This volume aims to provoke reflection on the English conception and treatment of prisoners' rights, through juxtaposition with the conception of prisoners' rights in Germany. First, the German and English understandings of prisoners' legal status are examined; secondly these understandingsare placed against the background of broader social, political, and legal factors; and thirdly, the methodological problems of comparative law are addressed.English and German approaches to prisoners' rights present illuminating contrasts. In England, despite significant judicial activity in the development of a jurisprudence of prisoners' rights, protection of prisoners' rights remains partial and equivocal. Many aspects of prison life are left withinthe realm of executive discretion. This equivocal commitment to rights in England is juxtaposed with Germany's highly articulated rights culture and its ambitious system of prisoners' rights protection under the Prison Act 1976. The German Prison Act sets out foundational principles of prisonadministration, affords prisoners positive rights, defines the limitations of prisoners' constitutional rights, and provides prisoners with recourse to a Prison Court. Moreover, these rights and principles have been developed and refined in a substantial body of prison law jurisprudence over thelast thirty years.