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Prison Legal News: October, 1990

Issue PDF
Volume 1, Number 6

In this issue:

  1. Mission of SOC To Change (p 1)
  2. Walls Gets "Special Needs Unit" (p 1)
  3. Clallam Bay Gets Computer Phones (p 1)
  4. From the Editor (p 2)
  5. Use of Jailhouse Informants Faulted (p 3)
  6. Prisoners Can't Be Punished for Refusing to Perform Unconstitutional Assignment (p 3)
  7. Government Spending for Civil, Criminal Justice Reached $61 Billion in 1988 (p 3)
  8. Police Torture in Ohio (p 3)
  9. Free Tim Anderson (p 4)
  10. The Ultimate Hunt (p 4)
  11. Private Gulags in England (p 4)
  12. Death Row Abolished (p 4)
  13. It Costs Too Much and It Does Not Work (p 5)
  14. Letters From Readers (p 6)
  15. Russian Prisoners Revolting (p 7)
  16. What's Wrong With This Picture? (p 7)
  17. Judicial Highpoints (p 7)
  18. Prisoners on Purpose (p 8)
  19. Women in Prison (p 8)
  20. Prison Resources (p 8)
  21. Expression (p 8)
  22. Wetmore v. Gardner (p 9)
  23. BOP Hotline (p 9)

Mission of SOC To Change

The Special Offender Center (SOC) is going to become another Intensive Management Unit (IMU). The proposed change is scheduled to take place on July 1, 1991. The SOC was designed and built to house prisoners with mental problems, and has served in that capacity since it was opened in the ...

Walls Gets "Special Needs Unit"

By Mark LaRue

With increasing numbers of mentally ill people being sent to prison here in Washington, prison officials finally decided that something must be done to treat their particular needs here at the Penitentiary.

Dubbed a "Special Needs Unit" in a local paper, administrators have made plans to house ...

Clallam Bay Gets Computer Phones

Starting on August 8th, prisoners at C.B.C.C. were treated to a new phone service, one run by a computer. You pick up the phone ant the machine asks for your name and the number you want to call. It hen dials the number and tells the person at the other ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to PLN #6. When we started this publishing project we didn't know how far we'd get. We decided to see how much support our efforts would generate. Issue #4 paid for itself, and #3 almost did, so it looks like we'll shoot for a full 12 ...

Use of Jailhouse Informants Faulted

Use Of Jailhouse Informants Faulted

A grand jury has issued a stinging rebuke of the Los Angeles district attorney's office for failing to assure that "jailhouse informants" called as prosecution witnesses repeatedly over the last decade were telling the truth. "Very little effort was expended by the DA's office to ...

Prisoners Can't Be Punished for Refusing to Perform Unconstitutional Assignment

Prisoners Can't Be Punished For Refusing To Perform Unconstitutional Assignment

In a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fruit V. Norris, 905 F2nd 1148 (8th Cir. 1990), the court held that "prison inmates are protected from punishment for refusing to perform an unconstitutional assignment. For prison officials to ...

Government Spending for Civil, Criminal Justice Reached $61 Billion in 1988

Government Spending For Civil, Criminal Justice Reached $61 Billion In 1988

Federal, state and local governments spent $61 billion for civil and criminal justice in 1988, a 34 percent increase since 1985, the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics announced on July 15.

Other findings in the report were ...

Police Torture in Ohio

Police Torture In Ohio

Dayton Ohio City Manager Richard Helwig has reprimanded police officials for a "breakdown of command" that allowed allegations of police torture of a drug suspect to go unreported for six months.

Greer, a drug suspect, with a clothes iron several times at Greer's apartment on January ...

Free Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson is an Australian political activist. In 1978 he and two others were convicted of planting a bomb that killed a cop and two bystanders. They were convicted and spent 7 years in prison. After extensive inquiries the government decided that Tim and the others had been wrongly convicted ...

The Ultimate Hunt

This is what jackets had embroidered on them that were given away by Jerry Hodge, the Vice-Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. The occasion was for Hodge and two of his cronies to "hunt" prisoners from the Huntsville prison using tracking dogs. The prisoner was released on state ...

Private Gulags in England

Private Gulags In England

By Mike Vukasinovic

Following the de-nationalized policies of the Tory government of the UK, plans are afoot to privatize new remand centers and the escort of prisoners to and from court. This announcement comes as a prison officer's revolt is happening. The officers are refusing new ...

Death Row Abolished

By Mark LaRue

For several months it was rumored that death row was being closed down and everyone with a death sentence was being moved to the other tiers in IMU or 5 Wing [protective custody, editor]. No one believed the rumors of course. So it came as a real ...

It Costs Too Much and It Does Not Work

It Costs Too Much And It Does Not Work

By Ed Mead

We need to prove it!

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), during the period between the end of 1988 and the end of 1989, there was a 12.1 percent increase in the number of state and ...

Letters From Readers

We encourage letters from PLN readers. Words in brackets [like this] reflect material added by the editors in order to clarify a subject. Letters are edited for length. The names of writers will not be published unless specific authorization is given. We would like to see this section become a ...

Russian Prisoners Revolting

Russian prisoners gave up after a riot in the Dnepropetrovsk prison in the USSR's Ukraine. The surrender took place on June 19, ending a rebellion that left the prison in smoking ruins and four prisoners dead. Of the four dead, one hanged himself, another overdosed on drugs from the prison's ...

What's Wrong With This Picture?

The Washington State Court of Appeals recently handed down a ruling that demonstrates how "equal justice" really works. In State v. Allert, 58 Wn.App. 200 (1990), the court upheld an exceptional sentence below the applicable guideline range for Terry Allert. Mr. Alert, the former police chief of Ritzville, Washington, robbed ...

Judicial Highpoints

Terry Dorsey, convicted in a Sacramento, California, Superior Court of shooting "Billy," the first police dog to die "in the line of duty," was sentenced to eleven years and eight months in state prison. This sentence was imposed in spite of the fact that the dog had first attacked Dorsey. ...

Prisoners on Purpose

Prisoners On Purpose

"A Peacemakers Guide to Jails and Prisons" is put out by Nukewatch. It deals with the experience of nuclear resisters (these are people who engage in civil disobedience/civil resistance to nuclear weapons and power, by blockades, hammering missiles, etc.) who have been imprisoned because of their activities ...

Women in Prison

Women In Prison

This is the topic covered in two parts by the publication "New Directions for Women" in the March/April and May/June, 1990 issues. The number of women in prison is about 7% and rapidly growing due to mandatory sentences, harsher laws, etc. All too often we forget that ...

Prison Resources

As you read through PLN you'll notice that few if any of our articles are reprints from other publications. We think it's better to be original than to duplicate the efforts of others and we have only 10 pages to get our message out. Whenever possible we try to let ...


By V. Martinez

When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human qualities. His mind does not become closed to ideas. His intellect does not cease to feed on free and open interchange of opinions. His yearning for self-respect does not end. Nor does his ...

Wetmore v. Gardner

At 735 F.Supp 974, is the ruling of Federal Judge Quakenbush on the states Motion to overturn the jury verdict in favor of Mr. Wetmore challenging the policy of rectal "probes" by officials at the Walla Walla Penitentiary. The jury found the policy unconstitutional and awarded nominal damages ($4.00), Judge ...

BOP Hotline

The federal Bureau of Prisons has a special phone service for those looking for someone they believe to be held in local, state or federal prisons. Contact:

Inmate Locator Hotline
Bureau of Prisons, Dept. of Justice
320 1st St., NW, Rm 640
Washington, DC 20536
(202) 724-3126 or 727-3198