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Prison Legal News: January, 1999

Issue PDF
Volume 10, Number 1

In this issue:

  1. Juvenile Crime Still Pays -- But at What Cost? (p 1)
  2. California Parolee Gag Order Lifted (p 3)
  3. From the Editor (p 4)
  4. BOP Visitors Subjected to Ion Scan (p 4)
  5. En Banc Review Granted in Taylor (p 5)
  6. PLRA Allows Fees on Fees in Failure to Protect Suit (p 5)
  7. PLRA Immediate Termination Provisions Unconstitutional (p 5)
  8. Tennessee Prisoners Fight to Keep Money (p 6)
  9. PLN Sues Oregon DOC Over Bulk Mail Ban (p 6)
  10. Arizona Jail Slave Labor Used to Stuff Ballot Envelopes (p 7)
  11. Georgia Prison Officials Take Taxpayers for a Long Ride (p 7)
  12. Guard's Death Threats May Violate Eighth Amendment (p 8)
  13. Open Society Institute Funds College Classes in Maryland Prisons (p 8)
  14. BOP Exceeds Statutory Authority in Denying Sentence Reductions (p 9)
  15. No Immunity for Forcing Disabled Prisoner to Work (p 9)
  16. News in Brief (p 10)
  17. Utah Strip Search Suit Settled (p 11)
  18. $15,001 Excessive Force Verdict Affirmed (p 12)
  19. AEDPA Statute of Limitations Tolled (p 12)

Juvenile Crime Still Pays -- But at What Cost?

Juvenile Crime Still Pays – But at What Cost?

by Alex Friedmann

[Last February, PLN published a cover article, "Juvenile Crime Pays," concerning the proliferation of for-profit juvenile justice services. This month we revisit the topic following recent reports of abuse and mis- management at privately operated juvenile prisons.]

The National ...

California Parolee Gag Order Lifted

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) admits it made a mistake when one of its agents tossed a parolee in jail for refusing to sign off on a parole condition banning him from talking to the media.

Arthur Putney, 52, was jailed after parole officials presented him with the no-media-contact ...

From the Editor

Greetings and welcome to a new year of PLN . Our longevity is a proud accomplishment and one that would not be possible without the continuing support of you our readers. I thank each of you who responded to PLN 's recent fundraiser mailing.

If you have yet to mail your ...

BOP Visitors Subjected to Ion Scan

A memo has been posted alerting the population at USP-Lompoc [federal prison in Calif.] that a pilot program has been implemented whereby visitors will be scanned with a nuclear ion machine that detects "drug use". There are graduated penalties for those visitors who fail this space-age drug test, ranging from ...

En Banc Review Granted in Taylor

In the December, 1998, issue of PLN we reported Taylor v. United States , 143 F.3d 1178 (9th Cir. 1998). In that case, a panel of the Ninth circuit court of appeals unanimously held that 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b)(2) is unconstitutional. This provision of the Prison Litigation ...

PLRA Allows Fees on Fees in Failure to Protect Suit

The court of appeals for the Third circuit held that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) allows lawyers to collect attorney fees in litigating attorney fee awards. The practice is sometimes referred to as "fees on fees." The court also held that the PLRA attorney fee rates, in that circuit ...

PLRA Immediate Termination Provisions Unconstitutional

Afederal district court in. New Jersey has declared unconstitutional the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b)(2)(3), permitting the immediate termination of consent decrees.

In 1983, Robert Lee Denike and Kenneth Vespa, New Jersey state prisoners, sued prison officials under § 1983 ...

Tennessee Prisoners Fight to Keep Money

Eight Tennessee prisoners have filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of a state law that allows the Department of Corrections to seize up to 90 percent of a prisoner's trust account to pay for the cost of their own imprisonment.

The new law took effect in May, 1998, however ...

PLN Sues Oregon DOC Over Bulk Mail Ban

On October 29, 1998, Prison Legal News ( PLN ) sued the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) in federal district court for damages and declaratory and injunctive relief. Since at least 1991 the Oregon DOC has had a policy requiring that all mail sent to Oregon prisoners be sent via first or ...

Arizona Jail Slave Labor Used to Stuff Ballot Envelopes

Prisoners at the Maricopa County Jail (home of "America's Meanest Sheriff") were used to stuff 400,000 envelopes with ballots for early voting in the 1998 elections. Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said that jail inmates received community service credit in lieu of wages and the guards assigned ...

Georgia Prison Officials Take Taxpayers for a Long Ride

Georgia prison officials used $23,602 from state prison industries profits to attend a conference on prisons in Israel tied to the country's 50th anniversary celebration.

DOC chief Wayne Garner defended the trip, saying he has been a" good steward of tax dollars." Garner said he paid his own ...

Guard's Death Threats May Violate Eighth Amendment

The court of appeals for the District of Columbia (DC) Circuit held that a guard's death threats to a prisoner stated a claim under the Eighth amendment. The court also held that the In Forma Pauperis (IFP) provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) do not apply to ...

Open Society Institute Funds College Classes in Maryland Prisons

When the Clinton Crime Bill gutted federal Pell Grants for prisoners, some states' prison education programs were hit harder than others. Many states funded post-secondary education entirely with state money. Maryland prisoners, though, were the hardest hit. Virtually all of Maryland's prison college education funding was channeled through Pell ...

BOP Exceeds Statutory Authority in Denying Sentence Reductions

Afederal district court in the District of Columbia held that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had exceeded its statutory authority by defining "violent" offenses to preclude a sentence reduction for convictions the courts have consistently defined as "non-violent." In 1994 congress enacted 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)B ...

No Immunity for Forcing Disabled Prisoner to Work

The court of appeals for the Eighth circuit held that a prison guard was not entitled to qualified immunity from money damages for forcing a prisoner to perform work he was physically incapable of doing. Ramon Sanchez, a Missouri state prisoner, had a medical exemption from performing hard labor due ...

News in Brief

AL : In September, 1998, Madison county (Huntsville) prisoners Rodney Baker, Antonio Davidson, Steven Dillard and Nara Lemons, were charged with murder for allegedly beating prisoner Robert Sevigny to death.

AL : Mario Centobe (32) is the Mississippi prisoner who escaped from a prison van when he and fellow prisoner Jeremy Granberry ...

Utah Strip Search Suit Settled

On January 21, 1998, the Utah Department of Corrections settled a strip search lawsuit with prisoner David Hansen. Hansen had filed suit claiming his Fourth amendment rights were violated when he was handcuffed and subjected to a strip search where prison guards manipulated his testicles and buttocks. Hansen also claimed ...

$15,001 Excessive Force Verdict Affirmed

The court of appeals for the First circuit affirmed a jury verdict awarding $15,001 in damages to a prisoner beaten by prison guards. The court affirmed several evidentiary rulings by the district court excluding evidence of a disciplinary hearing guilty plea by the plaintiff and not allowing defendants' counsel ...

AEDPA Statute of Limitations Tolled

The court of appeals for the Third circuit held that the one year statute of limitations in which to file a federal habeas corpus petition is a statute of limitation subject to tolling. In 1994 Frank Miller, a New Jersey state prisoner, was found guilty in a prison disciplinary hearing ...