Violent sociopaths do not become any less vicious when they are put behind bars. Because of the obvious constraints on their behavior, they merely have to find new ways to harm society.
Frivolous lawsuits are a favorite.
They allow convicts to take shots at the establishment they blame for locking them up. Often, there are few if any consequences for forcing the state to spend money defending against meritless complaints.
Here in West Virginia, the state Division of Corrections has one weapon against frivolous lawsuits by inmates. Convicts can earn "good time" by behaving themselves and thus, reduce the time they spend in prison. Those who file frivolous lawsuits can have "good time" days taken away from them.
That does no good for the worst of the lot, prisoners sentenced to spend life behind bars. They can't earn "good time" in the first place.
A bill approved by the state Senate last week would give prison officials some - but not much - additional power against such inmates. It would allow the Division of Corrections to bring "administrative disciplinary charges" against convicts who filed frivolous lawsuits. That could allow suspension of some prison privileges.
That will not stop inmates from filing lawsuits simply to harass the Division of Corrections. But it may reduce the number of such actions.
Members of the House of Delegates should approve the Senate version of the bill so it can be signed into law by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.