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Prison Legal News: November, 1990

Issue PDF
Volume 1, Number 7

In this issue:

  1. Klan Papers Get into Texas Prisons but PLN is Banned (p 1)
  2. Florida Corruption (p 1)
  3. Fully Informed Jury Amendment (p 1)
  4. Editorial Comments (p 2)
  5. Prisoners' 1983 (p 3)
  6. Authority (p 4)
  7. Digital Probe Costs Nevada $4,000 (p 5)
  8. Full Due Process Required Before Termination of Work Release Status (p 5)
  9. Long-term Negligence Might State a Deliberate Indifference Claim (p 5)
  10. Severe Injury Not Required for Damage Claim Against Guards for Assault (p 5)
  11. Transsexual Wins Hormones Case (p 5)
  12. Free Supreme Court Opinions (p 6)
  13. Reviews (p 6)
  14. A Mother's Story (p 6)
  15. Warehouses of Misery (p 7)
  16. Lines in the Sand (p 8)
  17. The Initiative Process (p 9)
  18. Let's Get Educated (p 9)

Klan Papers Get into Texas Prisons but PLN is Banned

Michael Lowe, exalted Cyclops of the Waco Ku Klux Klan, is trying to reach some 13,500 white prisoners inside the Texas prison system. And Texas prison officials are allowing the KKK publications into their prisons. Well get prisoners out of their white prison clothes, said Low, and into white Klan ...

Florida Corruption


In May of 1989 the Florida Department of Law Enforcement began an investigation into drug trafficking by prison guards at the Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown, Florida. After a 15-month investigation FDLE agents arrested 10 prison guards and 6 prisoners. Over 60 prisoners and 25 guards were also ...

Fully Informed Jury Amendment


FIJA is a national group which seeks to put laws on the books in all 50 states which will inform juries that they have the right to return not guilty verdicts if the ends of justice would not be served by applying the law in question ...

Editorial Comments


Welcome to issue #7 of the Prisoners' Legal News. As I write this issue, #6 has not yet been mailed out to readers, and #5 has just been banned from the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla. The warden there said "the article, `Why Racism' clearly promotes violence ...

Prisoners' 1983


BY J.D. Enquist

Ask what the most common lawsuit filed by prisoners is and instinctively the answer will be the "Prisoners' 1983."

The section 1983 is the result of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. The statute was originally enacted by Congress under Section 5 of the Fourteenth ...


By: J. D. Enquist

It seems that there are increasingly more and more prisoner litigants and many of them becoming jailhouse lawyers. Or as it has been suggested, In-house Legal Consultants or Prisoners Legal consultants. The latter being of no importance, this article is focused on the new prisoner litigants ...

Digital Probe Costs Nevada $4,000

A U.S. Court of Appeals, noting that a digital anal body cavity search is "humiliating, degrading and uncomfortable" and that more "narrow and restrictive means could have been used," held that the defendant Associate Warden of a Nevada prison must pay an award of $1,000 in general damages and $3,000 ...

Full Due Process Required Before Termination of Work Release Status

A prisoner's work release status was revoked for drug use. She was returned to prison and found guilty at a disciplinary hearing. The Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the prisoner, holding that the due process clause itself invests prisoners with a liberty interest in remaining on work release, and ...

Long-term Negligence Might State a Deliberate Indifference Claim

A state prisoner alleged that he suffered from chronic foot problems and that prison officials refused to provide him with adequate medical care, thereby inflicting cruel and unusual punishment. The trial court dismissed the complaint.

The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed for further proceedings. It held that the complaint alleged ...

Severe Injury Not Required for Damage Claim Against Guards for Assault

Severe Injury not Required for Damage Claim Against Guards for Assault

A prisoner filed a civil rights complaint against guards for assaulting him. A jury awarded the prisoner with compensatory and punitive damages. The state appealed.

On appeal the defendants argued that the inmate had not stated a constitutional claim ...

Transsexual Wins Hormones Case

A male transsexual (born with male body by psychologically a woman) prisoner sued prison officials, claiming that denying her the opportunity to continue estrogen treatments at her own expense constituted indifference to her serious medical needs.

The plaintiff had a number of surgeries ant procedures to enhance her appearance as ...

Free Supreme Court Opinions

The new term for the U.S. supreme court started on October 1, 1990. The Court offers free copies of its decisions for each term to interested parties. This applies only to decisions in this term, there is a limit of 5 decisions per request, be sure to include the title ...


By Paul Wright


This is a 40-page English language publication put out by the European Autonomous movement. This first issue has a long article on the hunger-strike by GRAPO prisoners in Spain, persecution and history of the Kurdish Workers Party in West Germany and their ongoing struggle in Turkey, ...

A Mother's Story

By Shirley Dicks

My son is on death row for a crime he did not commit, and time has almost run out for him. I am trying, somehow or somewhere to find help for him.

My son was with his friend Donald Strouth on the day of the crime in ...

Warehouses of Misery

By Wm. Daniel Ravenscroft, esq.

What has our prison system really come to? Nothing more than a giant machine gobbling up human beings then spitting them out without the slightest concern for the collateral consequences.

The California prison system has over 90,000 inmates and the rate of incarceration and recidivism ...

Lines in the Sand

By Paul A. Wright

As we go to press several hundred thousand American soldiers are waiting in the desert of Saudi Arabia. I expect that before too long they will be attacking Iraq or Iraqi troops in Kuwait.

It cannot be said that U.S. troops are there to defend "democracy," ...

The Initiative Process

The PLN's coverage of the "initiative" idea was good, but I don't think it left anyone feeling any less powerless than they were before. This (legislative initiative) is going to take a lot of push. People on the outside are still in the dark about what to do.

I think ...

Let's Get Educated

I liked the PLN's proposal concerning getting outside people and prisoners together to lobby the legislature to change the laws in that state. I have done similar work here (in New York), to the point of actually writing a legislative bill and having it sponsored in the N.Y. Assembly.

What ...