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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: October, 2001

Issue PDF
Volume 12, Number 10

In this issue:

  1. America's Jails: The Dungeons of the New Millenium (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 7)
  3. The Connally Seven - A Texas Prison Escape and its Aftermath (p 8)
  4. Not Part of my Sentence: The Rape of Washington Prisoners (p 10)
  5. The Cost of Running Washington's Rape Camps (p 13)
  6. Male Prisoner Settles Guard Rape Suit for $6,000 (p 14)
  7. Qualified Immunity Denied in Washington Rape of Transsexual Prisoner (p 15)
  8. Jury Awards $5,000 to Beaten Texas Prisoner (p 16)
  9. BOP Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Brutality Charges (p 16)
  10. Malicious Use of Force Violates Eighth Amendment (p 17)
  11. Damages in Denial of Exercise Suit Reversed (p 18)
  12. Use of Restraint Chair Not Cruel and Unusual Punishment (p 19)
  13. Chinese Company Convicted of Using Forced Prison Labor (p 20)
  14. The Prison Payoff: The Role of Politics & Private Prisons in the Incarceration Boom (p 21)
  15. PLN Wins Nevada Censorship Suit (p 22)
  16. California State Prisoner's Handbook (p 23)
  17. Sanction Excessive When It Excludes Medical Expert's Testimony (p 25)
  18. Administrative Exhaustion Not Jurisdictional (p 26)
  19. Federal Appellate Rule 4(a)(6) Trumps Civil Rule 60(b) (p 26)
  20. Diabetic Prisoner's Deliberate Indifference Claim to Proceed to Trial (p 27)
  21. Denial of Interest Does Not Violate Takings Clause (p 27)
  22. Ohio ACLU Challenges Supermax (p 28)
  23. The Prison Activist Resource Center: It's About Sharing Resources and Working Collectively (p 29)
  24. Sixth Circuit Upholds PLRA Attorneys' Fees Cap (p 30)
  25. News in Brief (p 31)

America's Jails: The Dungeons of the New Millenium

At any given time there are approximately 500,000 people incarcerated in the more than 3,500 city and county jails across the United States. Some of these individuals are confined while awaiting trial, others are serving relatively short sentences for offenses ranging from misdemeanor or minor felony convictions to ...

From the Editor

PLN frequently reports on litigation and news arising from jails. This month's cover story, America's Jails: The Dungeons of the New Millenium , takes a broad look at the problems afflicting American jails: brutality, overcrowding, medical neglect, corruption, sexual assaults, etc. In many respects jails are like prisons, but ...

The Connally Seven - A Texas Prison Escape and its Aftermath

The John B. Connally State Prison is a 2,800-capacity maximum security facility for men. As part of Texas' $2 billion prison building frenzy of the 1990's, construction of the so-called "Michael prototype" unit was completed in 1994; the first prisoners arrived in the summer of 1995.

Located in ...

Not Part of my Sentence: The Rape of Washington Prisoners

Gig Harbor, Wash.: Annette Guzman-White, a 32-year-old minimum-security prisoner incarcerated on a second-degree burglary charge at the Washington Correction Center for Women (WCCW), is eager to get out of prison.

It's something that could probably be said of most of Washington's 15,000 prisoners, just slightly over 1 ...

The Cost of Running Washington's Rape Camps

As the accompanying article, Not Part of My Sentence , makes clear, the sexual abuse of female prisoners by male prison employees is an endemic problem. As past issues of PLN show, this problem is not confined to any single state or prison system, but is national in scope.

Surprisingly, given ...

Male Prisoner Settles Guard Rape Suit for $6,000

On November 22, 2000, Raymond Holmes, a Washington state prisoner, settled a civil rights suit against Washington prison employees. In 1997_98, while imprisoned at the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) in Walla Walla, Holmes was repeatedly forced to perform nonconsensual sexual acts with Anita Hernandez, a guard at the prison. Hernandez ...

Qualified Immunity Denied in Washington Rape of Transsexual Prisoner

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a Washington guard's claim of qualified immunity in sexually assaulting a transsexual prisoner. The Court also held the protection afforded by the Gender Motivated Violence Act (GMVA) extends to transsexuals, but upheld qualified immunity for the GMVA claims. The GMVA's ...

Jury Awards $5,000 to Beaten Texas Prisoner

A federal court in Texas has upheld a jury award of $5,000 to a prisoner who was beaten by a guard, denying the guard's motion for judgment as a matter of law.

Daniel Glenn Ostrander, a Texas state prisoner, filed suit against Gary Boles and David Bergeron, guards ...

BOP Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Brutality Charges

In an ongoing criminal investigation, the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, is continuing its probe into allegations of obstruction of justice and other civil rights violations at the federal prison in Beaumont, Texas. The investigation took a dramatic leap forward when Bryan Small, a 34-year-old lieutenant at the ...

Malicious Use of Force Violates Eighth Amendment

The Third Circuit held that in claims alleging the malicious use of force by prison guards the wantonness of the attack, rather than the degree of injury suffered, is the dispositive issue for courts reviewing such claims on summary judgment.

Pennsylvania state prisoner Alan Brooks filed suit claiming that prison ...

Damages in Denial of Exercise Suit Reversed

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a harshly worded opinion, reversed an Illinois federal district court judgment that a one-year loss of yard privileges suffered by a prisoner in disciplinary segregation was cruel and unusual punishment.

Alex Pearson is a prisoner at the Stateville Correctional Center (SCC) in Illinois ...

Use of Restraint Chair Not Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has affirmed a lower court's grant of summary judgment and denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law on an excessive force claim brought by a convicted prisoner awaiting sentencing in a county jail. The excessive force claim ...

Chinese Company Convicted of Using Forced Prison Labor

On February 28, 2001, Peter Chen, a Taiwanese entrepreneur, pled guilty in a New Jersey federal district court to charges of selling goods in the U.S. which were produced by forced prison labor. Chen will pay a $50,000 fine.

Chen owned Allied International Manufacturing Stationery Co., Ltd. (AIMCO ...

The Prison Payoff: The Role of Politics & Private Prisons in the Incarceration Boom

by Brigette Sarabi and Edwin Bender

The popularity of the term "prison-industrial complex" in recent years, and especially since the groundbreaking Critical Resistance conference in Berkeley in September 1998, has produced a few critics who wonder if "prison-industrial complex" is an accurate description of today's prison/policing/judicial apparatuses ...

PLN Wins Nevada Censorship Suit

Beginning in January 2000, the Nevada Division of Prisons (DOP) began censoring Prison Legal News in all of its prisons, affecting 21 Nevada prisoners who subscribed to PLN .Prison Legal News was never afforded any notice of the censorship nor given an opportunity to appeal. Eventually prison officials told PLN ...

California State Prisoner's Handbook

by Steven Fama, et. al.

Subtitled a "Comprehensive Practice Manual" for California prisoners, the new 3rd edition of the California State Prisoners Handbook easily lives up to its billing. Covering in detail all aspects of California prisoners' interaction with the "correctional experience" from reception to parole, this 900 page soft-back ...

Sanction Excessive When It Excludes Medical Expert's Testimony

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that a discovery sanction is excessive when it causes the dismissal of a prisoner's suit by excluding expert medical testimony. The Court also held that dismissing a claim for failure to file an adequate physician's certificate of merit ...

Administrative Exhaustion Not Jurisdictional

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (PLRA), a federal court is not deprived of jurisdiction to hear a prisoner's civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 if he has not first exhausted administrative remedies. In so doing ...

Federal Appellate Rule 4(a)(6) Trumps Civil Rule 60(b)

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure (FRAP) 4(a)(6) trumps Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 60(b).

Ernest Clark, a federal prisoner, filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Colorado. Before his case was decided, the Bureau of ...

Diabetic Prisoner's Deliberate Indifference Claim to Proceed to Trial

A federal district court in Alabama held that a diabetic pretrial detainee's medical neglect claim required a trial to resolve, overruling the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Wendi Flowers, a severe diabetic, was arrested and booked in the St. Clair County Jail, Pell City, Alabama, on April 9, 1998 ...

Denial of Interest Does Not Violate Takings Clause

The Fourth Circuit held that the denial of interest earned on prison trust accounts does not violate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Virginia prisoner William Washlefske earns an average of $108.76 each month from prison labor. That money is credited to his "spend account." He also maintains ...

Ohio ACLU Challenges Supermax

The ACLU has filed a class-action suit in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the conditions of confinement at Ohio's supermax prison in Youngstown. The lawsuit alleges that conditions at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) constitute cruel and unusual punishment, violating both the United ...

The Prison Activist Resource Center: It's About Sharing Resources and Working Collectively

The Prison Activist Resource Center: It's about Sharing Resources and Working Collectively

"We all need energetic people to spark us," says Vanessa Agard-Jones, the coordinator for the Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) located in Berkeley/Oakland, California. But, more importantly, she points out, "People trying to build this movement ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds PLRA Attorneys' Fees Cap

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the cap on attorneys' fees imposed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(3), does not violate the equal protection provision of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This case, which has been ...

News in Brief

Canada: On July 16, 2001, at least 31 prisoners at the maximum security Atlantic Institution rioted. After ransacking the canteen, breaking through walls and refusing to return to their cells, the protest ended July 19, 2001. Media accounts did not state the cause of the uprising. The prison riot is ...

 

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