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Prison Legal News: July, 1990

Issue PDF
Volume 1, Number 3

In this issue:

  1. Prison Population Rises 12.1% (p 1)
  2. BOP Denies Medical Treatment (p 1)
  3. Pleading Supervisory Liability (p 2)
  4. Prisoner Advisors Reinstated (p 2)
  5. Civil Rights Suit For Damages Against State Prison Officials In Individual Capacities (p 2)
  6. County Fined $500,000 for Deliberate Indifference (p 2)
  7. Mental Cases Warehoused in IMU (p 3)
  8. Bankruptcy Declaration Voids Court Ordered Restitution (p 3)
  9. Fascism, Another Step Nearer (p 5)
  10. Summary Judgment on Retaliation (p 5)
  11. We Are All Prisoners (p 6)
  12. Indonesia Murders Long Term Political Prisoners (p 7)
  13. Washington Detains More Kids (p 7)
  14. "The Prison Issue" (p 8)
  15. "Captive Voice" (p 8)
  16. Capital Punishment (p 9)
  17. Small Fry (p 9)
  18. Vietnam MIAs in Perspective (p 9)
  19. The Fortress Economy: The Economic Role of the US Prison System (p 10)

Prison Population Rises 12.1%

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has issued its annual bulletin on prison populations. The report stated the number of state and federal prisoners in the U.S. grew by a record 76,099 prisoners during 1989. This figure now reaches a new high of 703, 687 men and women ...

BOP Denies Medical Treatment

Dr. Alan Berkman is currently serving a 12-year sentence for conspiracy to aid and abet possession of weapons and explosives. He is currently facing trial for Seditious Conspiracy. Dr. Berkman has a long history of political activism and putting medicine in the service of the people, including service in Harlem ...

Pleading Supervisory Liability

Prisoner seeking to sue prison officials in section 1983 Civil Rights actions must allege either personal involvement and/or supervisory liability by administrators in order to state a claim.

"To hold supervisors liable under section 1983," the court said at page 645, "a plaintiff must show that a superior had ...

Prisoner Advisors Reinstated

A warden's refusal to reappoint four inmates to their positions as inmate legal advisors has been overturned by a federal appeals court.

The inmates sued, alleging that the warden had refused to reappoint them because they criticized the performance of the chairman of the disciplinary board.

The court held ...

Civil Rights Suit For Damages Against State Prison Officials In Individual Capacities

Two prisoners filed a civil rights damage suite against state correctional officials, charging that they were denied due process because they were not given a timely hearing before being placed in segregation. The court noted that, under Will v. Michigan, 109 S.Ct. 2304 (1989), state officials sued in their ...

County Fined $500,000 for Deliberate Indifference

County Fined $500,000 For Deliberate Indifference

A federal appeals court upheld a damages award of $500,000 because of a physician assistant's deliberate indifference to an inmates serious medical needs.

The county road camp prisoner in Florida injured his leg when he jumped off the bed of a ...

Mental Cases Warehoused in IMU

Mental Cases Warehoused In IMU

By Mark LaRue

You would not believe how they are running the Intensive Management Unit (IMU) here at Walla Walla. The tier I am on is filled with nuts who loud talk day and night. Mental health staff openly admit that these people are housed ...

Bankruptcy Declaration Voids Court Ordered Restitution

On May 29, 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that criminals can avoid paying restitution for their crimes by declaring bankruptcy. The court, in a 7 to 2 ruling, held that restitution orders as part of criminal sentences are "debt" under the federal bankruptcy laws and as a result ...

Fascism, Another Step Nearer

[SSB-6259 Is Not Just For Sex Offenders]

Senate Substitute Bill 6259 is now law in this state. Most of its provisions came into effect on July 1, 1990. Most of us have heard of this law as the sex offender bill that allows civil commitment of such prisoners after they ...

Summary Judgment on Retaliation

Summary Judgment On Retaliation

The prisoner's appearance in court was a protected activity, and prison disciplinary action, taken immediately upon his return from court, provided circumstantial evidenced that prison officials retaliated against him for the exercise of his right of access to the courts.

The court cited numerous cases ...

We Are All Prisoners

By Ed Mead

I was reading the "Impact of Washington's Correctional Institutions on Communities," and found it to be a valuable source of correctional statistics, even if somewhat dated (1988). One particular set of figures was both surprising and important. These have to do with the extent to which ...

Indonesia Murders Long Term Political Prisoners

On the 16th of February, 1990 four prisoners: Sater Suryanto, Johannes Surono, Simon Solainman and Norbertus Rohayan, were taken from their cell in Cipinang prison in Jakarta (capital of Indonesia) and taken to an uninhabited island in Jakarta Bay where they were shot dead by a platoon of the Police ...

Washington Detains More Kids

According to the Bureau of Census' Children in Custody series, Washington State leads the nation in its confinement of juveniles in detention and state institutions. Washington has 1,211 juveniles in custody for every 100,000 population. The second ranked jurisdiction was the District of Columbia, which had 666 kids ...

"The Prison Issue"

Is put out by the folks at new studies on the left, 1484 Wicklow St., Boulder, Co. 80303. It is a "magazine" 216 pages long. There really isn't a whole lot to say about it, it's great!!!

This issue contains a number of thoughtful and provocative essays examining ...

"Captive Voice"

"Captive Voice"

This is the title of a quarterly magazine written entirely by Irish republican prisoners of war being held in Ireland, England, the US and Europe. The "CV" contains poetry, short stories, political analysis and the latest updates on prison related campaigns and issues. It is a platform for ...

Capital Punishment

By Laurance Boulton, Gatesville, TX

The thought of knowing one's death is drawing near, especially your own, is a portrait of terror. Although refined to a system of rules and legally sanctioned methods, executing a human being in nonetheless murder! No longer is a man or woman "burnt at ...

Small Fry

By Dan Pens

I'd have to bone up on my state history to say for sure which agency pioneered the strategy, but the Department of Corrections and the State Fisheries Department both have a good thing going. And they know it.

If I had to put money on it ...

Vietnam MIAs in Perspective

The MIA (Missing In Action) issue has been exploited by the U.S. government to block normalization of relations with Vietnam. Many prisoners have uncritically swallowed the state's propaganda on this issue. We'd like to put it in a more statistically accurate context:

The French still have 20 ...

The Fortress Economy: The Economic Role of the US Prison System

The Fortress Economy: The Economic Role of the U.S. Prison System is the title of a brand new 29 page booklet by the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers). It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it. The booklet will complement and enhance The Prison Issue, which I ...