Skip navigation
Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: March, 2003

Issue PDF
Volume 14, Number 3

In this issue:

  1. Georgia Parole Corruption Deepens (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 4)
  3. Louisiana Prisoners May Access Savings Funds Exceeding $250 (p 5)
  4. Suits Against Individual State Employees Available Under ADA (p 6)
  5. California Three-Year Lockdown of "Southern Hispanics" Held Unconstitutional (p 6)
  6. Thaddeus-X Standard Retroactive Except for Qualified Immunity Defense (p 7)
  7. Iowa Guards Fired for Beating Prisoner (p 7)
  8. Gender and Incarceration: How Men and Women Experience Life Behind Bars (p 8)
  9. Criminal Guards and Escaping Prisoners in Texas (p 10)
  10. Maryland Pays $700,000 to Settle Suit Over Murder Committed by Parolee in Colorado (p 11)
  11. Texas Eliminates Habeas Corpus Following Probation Revocation (p 12)
  12. Virginia Law Repeals Phone Rate Ruling (p 12)
  13. $2.5 Million Verdict in California Medical Neglect Case (p 13)
  14. Vehicle Forfeited for Smuggling Drugs into Arizona Prison (p 14)
  15. Tribal Funds Exempt from Washington LFO Seizures (p 14)
  16. Florida's Private Food Service Demonstrates that Profit Overrides Sanitary Practice (p 15)
  17. Habeas Hints: Standard of Review (p 16)
  18. Drug Addiction Disability Cannot Be Used to Deny Parole (p 18)
  19. California Parole Official Demoted (p 18)
  20. Disclosure of Transsexual, HIV+ Status States Eighth Amendment Claim (p 19)
  21. Class Action Filed on Washington DOC Seizure of Tribal Funds (p 19)
  22. Habeas Corpus Sole Remedy for BOP Sentence Reduction (p 20)
  23. $90,169 Plus Injunction in California Retaliation Suit (p 20)
  24. Hawaii Prison Doctor's Retaliation Judgment Upheld (p 21)
  25. Prisoner Phone Recordings not Exempt from FOIA Disclosure (p 22)
  26. Veteran's Benefits Deposited to Prisoner Trust Account Cannot Be Attached (p 22)
  27. Denial of Reporter's Access to Jail Unconstitutional (p 23)
  28. North Carolina DOC Supervisor Implicated in Scandal (p 23)
  29. Medical Claim Accrues on Last Date of Treatment Denial (p 24)
  30. Court Must Notice Pro Se Prisoner of Resonse Rights Before Granting Summary Judgment (p 24)
  31. Punitive Damages Are Prospective Relief Under PLRA (p 25)
  32. New York County Liable for Jail Strip Searches (p 26)
  33. Ohio Prison Officials Cannot Alter Jail-Time Credit Award (p 26)
  34. Sandin Applied to Wisconsin Sexual Offender Civil Commitment (p 27)
  35. Release of Medical Liability May Establish Deliberate Indifference (p 28)
  36. New York Jail Strip Search Policy Unconstitutional (p 28)
  37. Woman Gang Raped in Back of Jail Van (p 29)
  38. Failure to Assert Hearing Officer Bias Administratively Waives Claim on Habeas (p 29)
  39. News in Brief (p 30)
  40. Home Detainee Has Fourth Amendment Rights (p 31)
  41. New York Prisoner Awarded $411,000 in Failure to Protect Suit (p 31)
  42. BJS Releases New Recidivism Study (p 32)

Georgia Parole Corruption Deepens

A trail of corruption, greed, and cronyism has led to the indictment of a Georgia senator, the dismissal of an assistant attorney general and the resignation of six parole board members including the director and the chairman.


Van Streat was suspended from his office as state senator after he tried ...

From the Editor

I am pleased to announce that The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry, PLN's first book which was published in 1998, is now available in Spanish. El Encarcelamiento de America was published last summer in Spain by Editorial Virus, a progressive publisher in ...

Louisiana Prisoners May Access Savings Funds Exceeding $250

by Matthew T. Clarke


The Supreme Court of Louisiana has held that all state prisoners have a statutory right to transfer savings accounts funds exceeding $250 to their drawing accounts.


Walter Burnette, a Louisiana state prisoner serving a 99-year sentence, filed a petition for judicial review in state district court ...

Suits Against Individual State Employees Available Under ADA

Suits Against Individual State Employees Available under ADA


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed two separate district courts and ruled that under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state employees can be sued in their official capacities for injunctive relief. Linda Gibson ...

California Three-Year Lockdown of "Southern Hispanics" Held Unconstitutional

California Three-Year Lockdown of "Southern Hispanics" Held Unconstitutional

by Marvin Mentor


A Del Monte County, California superior court ruled on December 10, 2002 that a three year lockdown of "Southern Hispanics" at maximum security Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) was unconstitutional because it discriminated on the basis of ethnicity. The ...

Thaddeus-X Standard Retroactive Except for Qualified Immunity Defense

Thaddeus-X Standard Retroactive Except For Qualified Immunity Defense

by Bob Williams


A federal district court in Michigan has held that the Thaddeus-X standard, rather than the "shocks the conscience" standard, is applicable to claims of guard retaliation for prisoners exercising First Amendment rights even when the claims arose prior to ...

Iowa Guards Fired for Beating Prisoner

Iowa Guards Fired For Beating Prisoner


On July 24, 2002, Sheriff David Armack fired five guards, including a supervisor, at the Woodward County Jail in Sioux City, Iowa, in response to a June 10, 2002, videotaped beating of a prisoner.


Stanley Munger, attorney for four of the five guards, identified ...

Gender and Incarceration: How Men and Women Experience Life Behind Bars

Gender and Incarceration: How Men and Women
Experience Life Behind Bars

Reviews by Silja J.A. Talvi


Prison Masculinities, edited by Don Sabo, Terry A. Kupers, and Willie London. Temple University Press, Philadelphia: 2001.


Counseling Female Offenders and Victims: A Strengths-Restorative Approach, Katherine van Wormer, Springer Publishing Company, New York ...

Criminal Guards and Escaping Prisoners in Texas

On July 21, 2002, Lt. Rick McCullough was arrested for assaulting two female guards at the Riverside State Prison for women in the central Texas town of Gatesville. McCullough, 41, a Texas prison guard assigned to the nearby Woodman State Jail for women, was held on $25,000 bond after ...

Maryland Pays $700,000 to Settle Suit Over Murder Committed by Parolee in Colorado

In May 2002, the State of Maryland agreed to pay $700,000 to a Denver woman whose daughter was murdered by a parolee released from a Maryland prison and sent to a drug treatment center in Colorado.


The suit, which was brought following the February 1999 slaying of 24-year-old Peyton ...

Texas Eliminates Habeas Corpus Following Probation Revocation

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) has eliminated the habeas corpus exception to the prohibition against attacking the original conviction after revocation of probation.


Timothy Lee Jordan, a Texas state prisoner, was convicted of theft and robbery and placed on probation. Later his probation was revoked. Jordan then filed ...

Virginia Law Repeals Phone Rate Ruling

Matthew T. Clarke


Effective July 1, 2002, the Virginia legislature has enacted a law specifically designed to undercut a favorable ruling on prison phone rates by the State Corporation Commission (SCC).


Robert Lee Jones, a Virginia state prisoner, filed a complaint with the SCC concerning the rates charged consumers for ...

$2.5 Million Verdict in California Medical Neglect Case

On May 8, 2002, a California superior court jury awarded $2.5 million in damages for negligent medical care to a severely diabetic state prisoner, who, debilitated from insulin shock, broke his neck in a fall sustained while trying to run to the prison medical clinic.


David Padilla was incarcerated ...

Vehicle Forfeited for Smuggling Drugs into Arizona Prison

The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the forfeiture of a vehicle involved in smuggling drugs into prison.


Arizona prisoner Dennis Day convinced his mother Teruko Simmons, to smuggle three grams of marijuana into the prison for him. Simmons drove her 1996 Nissan Sentra to a hardware store parking lot where ...

Tribal Funds Exempt from Washington LFO Seizures

In an unpublished order, a federal court in Washington granted a Native American prisoner's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability of prison officials in seizing monthly tribal per capita allotments from his prison account to satisfy court-ordered legal financial obligations (LFOs) pursuant to RCW 71.11 ...

Florida's Private Food Service Demonstrates that Profit Overrides Sanitary Practice

by David M. Reutter


In July 2001, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) entered into a five-year contract with Philadelphia's cost-conscious Aramark Corporation to feed prisoners at 126 of the 133 prisons in Florida. The contract is projected to reduce FDOC's cost of feeding its prisoners from $80 ...

Habeas Hints: Standard of Review

This column is intended to provide habeas hints for prisoners who are considering or handling habeas corpus petitions as their own attorneys. The focus of the column is habeas corpus practice under the AEDPA, the 1996 habeas corpus law which now governs federal habeas corpus practice throughout the U.S ...

Drug Addiction Disability Cannot Be Used to Deny Parole

by John E. Dannenberg


The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals held that California life prisoners could not be denied parole because of a drug addition disability that fell within the reach of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Charles Thompson and Stephen Bogovich, serving 15-life terms for second degree ...

California Parole Official Demoted

The vice chairman of the California parole board, Jones Moore, was recently demoted after board Chairwoman Carol Daly received what she termed "an unacceptable number of complaints" about Moore's behavior from numerous attorneys representing prisoners at their parole hearings.


In an August 27, 2002, letter to State Senate leader ...

Disclosure of Transsexual, HIV+ Status States Eighth Amendment Claim

On the second appeal from a trial court's rejection of a prisoner's Eighth Amendment claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the prisoner, vacated the trial court's grant of summary judgment for defendants, and remanded.


Dana D'Villa, who ...

Class Action Filed on Washington DOC Seizure of Tribal Funds

On March 29, 2002, a class action suit was filed in a Washington federal court on behalf of all Native American prisoners in the Washington prison system who have had tribal trust funds seized by the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) to satisfy court-ordered legal financial obligations (LFOs) pursuant to ...

Habeas Corpus Sole Remedy for BOP Sentence Reduction

Michael Bourke was convicted in federal court of possessing a machine gun and a controlled substance. He completed a drug treatment program in prison and then sought a one year reduction in sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)(B). The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) denied the ...

$90,169 Plus Injunction in California Retaliation Suit

by John E. Dannenberg


In a jailhouse lawyer retaliation suit where both expungement of prison records and $9,000 in damages were awarded, the US District Court (E.D. Calif.) awarded $2,000 for expenses, $8,447 in costs and $70,812 in attorney fees because the Prison Litigation Reform ...

Hawaii Prison Doctor's Retaliation Judgment Upheld

The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals affirmed the USDC (D. Hawaii) judgment [PLN, June 2001: "Prison Doctor Wins $654,471 In Retaliation Suit"] based on First Amendment violations, expressly noting that in such retaliation suits, "mixed-motive" analysis applies regardless of whether the plaintiff relies on direct or circumstantial evidence ...

Prisoner Phone Recordings not Exempt from FOIA Disclosure

Prisoner Phone Recordings Not Exempt From FOIA Disclosure


The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has held that a prisoner is entitled under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to recordings of his properly monitored phone conversations with his attorney and that all government claims of FOIA exemptions must ...

Veteran's Benefits Deposited to Prisoner Trust Account Cannot Be Attached

The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals held that veterans benefit funds deposited to a state prisoner's prison trust account could not be attached by prison authorities, even to pay an overdraft they accorded him for dental appliances he had earlier agreed to pay for.


Tarza Nelson brought a ...

Denial of Reporter's Access to Jail Unconstitutional

An Illinois Federal District Court has granted summary judgment in favor of a reporter denied access to the Cook County Jail. Access to a legal aid program for incarcerated mothers was denied in retaliation for a previously published and unflattering article.


Tori Marlan, a reporter for the Chicago Reader, was ...

North Carolina DOC Supervisor Implicated in Scandal

The Chief of Security for the North Carolina Department of Corrections, Charles K. Stewart, allowed his friend, Oscar "Pappy" Adkins,to bilk the state out of tens of thousands of dollars for training services, alleges an internal audit report completed in June 2002. The two also filed incorrect travel expense ...

Medical Claim Accrues on Last Date of Treatment Denial

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a prisoner's medical claim accrues on the last date that he was refused treatment and damages could be claimed back to the first date of refusal.


Delbert Heard was in the Illinois Cook County Jail from 1994 to 1996. Several ...

Court Must Notice Pro Se Prisoner of Resonse Rights Before Granting Summary Judgment

by John E. Dannenberg


The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals reversed a district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment because the district judge failed to give fair notice to the pro se prisoner plaintiff of his right to file counter-affidavits or other responsive evidentiary materials ...

Punitive Damages Are Prospective Relief Under PLRA

by David M. Reutter


The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the PLRA makes punitive damages prospective relief that requires the district court to make a factual finding the award is narrowly drawn to correct the violation of the Federal right. This appeal was filed by defendant guards ...

New York County Liable for Jail Strip Searches

A U.S. district court in New York granted a former prisoner's motion to amend his complaint in a suit involving strip searches and blasted Orange County attorneys for making frivolous arguments against it.


Jaime Murcia was mistakenly arrested on a Federal warrant by City of Newburgh Police. He ...

Ohio Prison Officials Cannot Alter Jail-Time Credit Award

The Court of Common Pleas of Marion County, Ohio, has granted release to an Ohio prisoner on habeas corpus after finding that Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DORC) officials illegally altered a court sentencing entry to "correct" a perceived error in awarding jail-time credit. Issuance of the writ was not ...

Sandin Applied to Wisconsin Sexual Offender Civil Commitment

In analyzing a district court's order finding Richard Thielman, a sexual offender civil committee, did not have a liberty interest from being restrained by waistchains, blackbox, and leg irons when being transported outside the Wisconsin Resource Center for medical treatment, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the ...

Release of Medical Liability May Establish Deliberate Indifference

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a consent to surgery releasing liability may establish deliberate indifference to medical care.


In 1996, David Wayne Vanderbeck (Beck), a Minnesota state prisoner, began suffering numbness and cramping caused by a bullet near his spine from a 1978 gunshot wound. While ...

New York Jail Strip Search Policy Unconstitutional

by Matthew T. Clarke


A panel of the Second Circuit court of appeals has upheld a New York federal district court's ruling that the blanket strip search policy of Nassau County, New York, which allows visual body cavity searches of all incoming prisoners, is unconstitutional. In doing so, the ...

Woman Gang Raped in Back of Jail Van

In August 1999, four Connecticut men sexually assaulted an unnamed female prisoner while being transported together in a New Haven County Sheriff's Department van. The men, who were also prisoners, allegedly broke down a metal gate separating them from the woman, removed her clothing and attacked her.


According to ...

Failure to Assert Hearing Officer Bias Administratively Waives Claim on Habeas

The court of appeals for the Seventh circuit held that a prisoner's failure to present his claim of hearing officer bias in an administrative appeal waived the claim on habeas review. Steven Eads, an Indiana state prisoner, was infracted for disorderly conduct and found guilty at a disciplinary hearing ...

News in Brief

Arizona: Protesting the seizure of property sold to them by the prison but which does not meet current prison property rules, on November 18, 2002, hundreds of prisoners at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence started fires from electrical outlets in their cells and threw burning items outside their ...

Home Detainee Has Fourth Amendment Rights

The Supreme Court of Virginia has held that a defendant who entered the Fairfax County Sheriff's Electronic Incarceration Program (Program) did not automatically waive his right to privacy of his home by agreeing to enter the Program. Upon entering the Program, Michael L. Megel agreed to adhere to rules ...

New York Prisoner Awarded $411,000 in Failure to Protect Suit

The New York State Court of Claims in Rochester, NY has awarded a state prisoner $411,000 for injuries he received when another prisoner attacked him.


Michael Schindler, a 34-year-old New York state prisoner, was playing "two-on-two" touch football at Groveland Correctional Facility when one of the other players attacked ...

BJS Releases New Recidivism Study

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a division of the Department of Justice, has published a recidivism study of prisoners released in 1994, the first since its 1989 report on 1983 releasees.


The report studied the recidivism rate of 272,111 prisoners released from 15 states in 1994. These former ...

 

Federal Prison Handbook

 



 

Prisoner Education Guide side

 



 

Advertise here

 



 


 

Prisoner Education Guide side