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Prison Legal News: January, 2000

Issue PDF
Volume 11, Number 1

In this issue:

  1. A Day at the Prison Fun Park (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 3)
  3. State Police Investigate Illinois Prison Industry (p 4)
  4. Arizona Incarceration Cost Setoff Law Upheld (p 5)
  5. Valdes Murder Witness Exiled, Muzzled (p 5)
  6. Amnesty International Calls for Stun Belt Ban (p 6)
  7. Drug Seizures Pay for Death Celebrations (p 7)
  8. California Governor Vetoes Media Access Bill (p 7)
  9. News in Brief (p 8)
  10. Florida DOC Curtails Use of Stun Belts (p 9)
  11. BOP Can't Keep Prisoner Who Refuses to Pay Fine Indefinitely (p 27)
  12. Washington Municipalities Liable for Attacks by Probationers (p 30)

A Day at the Prison Fun Park

"Have you guys been here before?" a female high schooler asks two young guys in baseball caps and shorts. "We have," she goes on. "We liked it so much we came back a second time." I hear an older man saying to his family, with just a tinge of irony ...

From the Editor

Welcome to another year of PLN. This issue contains our case and subject index for 1999. In 1995 we decided that indexing PLN would greatly enhance its value as a research tool. All of our back issues are indexed and each January we have published the index to the previous ...

State Police Investigate Illinois Prison Industry

According to a highly critical report by the Illinois Auditor General's office released April 21, 1999, a tire recycling industry at the Downstate Lincoln Corr. Center provided up to $325,000 in free recycling services to private businesses over a 2-year period. It is unclear who benefited from the ...

Arizona Incarceration Cost Setoff Law Upheld

The Arizona Court of Appeals held that, as applied, the state's incarceration cost setoff law does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or the anti-abrogation provisions of the Arizona Constitution.

A jury awarded $15,000 to Felix Duarte and $1,500 to Raymond Sidoma for ...

Valdes Murder Witness Exiled, Muzzled

On the cover of the October 1999 PLN was an article describing the July 9, 1999 beating death of "X-Wing" prisoner Frank Valdes at the hands of Florida State Prison (FSP) guards. The day of the killing Valdes' partner and fellow X-Wing prisoner William Van Poyck wrote a letter to ...

Amnesty International Calls for Stun Belt Ban

In 1996 Amnesty International called on the United States to "establish a rigorous independent inquiry into the use of stun belts and all other types and variants of electro-shock weapons;" it now calls for the outright banning of stun belts. "The use of the stun belt -- an inherently cruel and ...

Drug Seizures Pay for Death Celebrations

In 1998 the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office shelled out $1,291.27 for steak dinners to celebrate three death penalty verdicts. The DA's office used money and other assets seized in drug arrests to bankroll the celebratory dinners at a local steak house.

District Attorney Doug ...

California Governor Vetoes Media Access Bill

In September, 1999 California Governor Gray Davis vetoed legislation that would have rescinded his predecessor's policy of barring reporters from interviewing state prisoners.

The measure was supported by the California Correctional Peace Officers' Association (CCPOA) which said that barring reporters from prison makes their jobs harder, because it gives ...

News in Brief

CT: In October, 1999, the state DOC announced it would send 900 prisoners to the Wallens Ridge State Prison in Virginia to relieve overcrowding. Wallens Ridge is a "super-max" prison that has been repeatedly cited for human and civil rights abuses by various human rights organizations.

FL: In October, 1999 ...

Florida DOC Curtails Use of Stun Belts

After several Florida circuit judges ordered the state prison system to stop using stun belts on prisoners, DOC Chief of Operations James Upchurch ordered the routine use of the of the belts temporarily discontinued, the Palm Beach Post reported in its 23 September, 1999, edition.

State officials say they are ...

BOP Can't Keep Prisoner Who Refuses to Pay Fine Indefinitely

A federal district court judge in Virginia held that a prisoner's refusal to sign an agreement to pay a court ordered fine does not allow the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to keep him imprisoned indefinitely. This ruling amply illustrates the vast power and arrogance of the BOP. Its facts ...

Washington Municipalities Liable for Attacks by Probationers

The Washington state Supreme Court held that municipalities have a duty to protect others from reasonably foreseeable harm resulting from the dangerous propensities of probationers and pretrial releasees under their supervision.

In 1990 Barry Krantz raped a 6 year old little girl while on Seattle Municipal Court probation for a ...