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From a California Reader

Governor Pete Wilson is constantly passing legislation that is cutting away at the Prisoner Bill of Rights, and has done away with conjugal visits for prisoners with certain sex convictions, and has recently signed a Bill that limits good time/work time credits to 15% (down from 33.3% -50%) for prisoners with violent convictions and some sex convictions. I have not heard if he was going to try to make this retroactive, but I don't think so because ex post facto would preclude doing so.  

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) is currently putting a policy into effect that would require charging prisoners a $5.00 fee for all "nonemergency" medical services. I believe this can be defeated in light of other cases concerning this issue, i.e. Collins v. Romer , 962 F.2d 1508, wherein a $3.00 fee was unacceptable.  

CDC currently has a "zero tolerance" indigency plan, i.e. if you have any money on your account you are not entitled to postage-paid envelopes, paper, pencil, etc. I am currently preparing a Civil Rights Action (42 U.S.C. §1983) challenging this policy, in light of the holdings in Casey v. Lewis III , 834 F.Supp. 1553, where the U. S. District Court of Arizona, addressing indigency, held that even making prisoners choose between obtaining hygienic items and legal materials was unconstitutional, and I will use the fact that prisoners here also will be charged $5.00 for medical services and a $3.00 surcharge for filing any litigation. [See also: Gluth v. Kangas , 951 F.2d 1504 (9th Cir. 1991), and "AZ DOC Denies Court Access" in PLN , Vol. 5, No. 5]  

I am also attacking the Tuberculosis Testing Program here, as I believe it is flawed and inadequate. Additionally, I am attempting to achieve the removal of mentally ill prisoners from the general population (for the sake of as well as for the sake for other general population prisoners) so they can be housed in a medical facility and receive the care they need.

R.B., California

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