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How to Win Disciplinary Hearings (Book Review)

How To Win Disciplinary Hearings (Book Review)

Reviewed by Mark Cook

HTW is a manual for federal prisoners written by former federal prisoner Allan Parmelee. This gives the manual integrity from the git go but keep in mind that the undercurrent directions of how to beat a valid "shot" (rule infraction) should be taken with a grain of salt and a good sense of humor.

Parmelee gives detailed and positive directions on how to proceed with mandated due process rights to the best advantage. But one shouldn't rely solely on Parmelee's analysis of the law. Prisoners should research the law thoroughly as it is constantly being changed by the courts. For example, Parmelee incorrectly advises that prisoners have fourth amendment rights in regard to cell searches. The supreme court held otherwise in Hudson v. Palmer in 1984. But hey, if a dude can slide by the Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) with such a claim, that is cool, but don't try to lay that on a court of law if court litigation is needed. [Editor's Note: this section has since been corrected.]

The manual correctly stresses the importance of establishing a sound case with evidence and witnesses if a dude loses at the administrative level and needs to go to court.

"Appendix A" in the manual provides information that is amended administratively quite frequently. It can be relied on as a rule of thumb but the information in this appendix will not remain accurate as time passes.

"Appendix B", regarding drug and alcohol shots is interesting and presents some tongue in cheek humor. It would be advisable to check with local jailhouse lawyers as to the reliability of this information.

The footnoted authorities and resources give the manual legal credibility, but keep in mind that the law is in constant change. HTW is recommended as a must resource for federal prisoners and federal prison law libraries. The manual costs $3.00, postage paid. Order from: Allan Parmelee, 2802 E. Madison, Box 168, Seattle WA 98112.

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