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Prison Legal News: April, 2005

Issue PDF
Volume 16, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. Abu Ghraib's Stain on Military Medicine (p 1)
  2. New Jersey County Settles With Imprisoned Deaf Man For $175,000 (p 7)
  3. From the Editor (p 8)
  4. PLN's ADX Censorship Suit Partially Survives Motion to Dismiss (p 9)
  5. Wisconsin Enacts Law, Prison Reforms Regarding Sex Assaults (p 10)
  6. California Establishes Statewide Hepatitis-C Management Program (p 12)
  7. Wisconsin County Pays $6.95 Million To Settle Strip-Search Suit (p 13)
  8. Four Guards Suspended By CCA Following Their Murder of Prisoner in Tennessee Jail (p 14)
  9. Five Homicides In L.A. County Jail Blamed On Security Lapses; 25 Sheriff's Deputies May Be Disciplined (p 16)
  10. PLN Wins Washington DOC Bulk Mail Suit, Again (p 18)
  11. Untreated Dental Infection Kills California Prisoner (p 20)
  12. Nine California Guards Fired For Prisoner Assaults (p 21)
  13. CCA Pays House Majority Leader’s Personal Charity $100,000 (p 22)
  14. New Federal Civil Rights Tax Relief Act Ends Double Taxation On Attorney Fee Awards (p 22)
  15. Phone Companies Gouge California Jail Prisoners' Families (p 23)
  16. California Criminal Fine Surcharges Ruled Ex Post Facto (p 24)
  17. New Federal Civil Rights Tax Relief Act Ends Double Taxation On Attorney Fee Awards (p 24)
  18. New York Legislator Pays For CSC-Chauffeured Rides (p 26)
  19. Concubine and Children Cannot Sue for Wrongful Death of Federal Prisoner (p 26)
  20. California Awards MCI WorldCom Another Sole-Source Prisoner Phone Contract (p 27)
  21. Louisiana Jail Settles Suicide Suit For $3 Million (p 28)
  22. California Youth Authority Fires Six For Pummeling Prisoners And Filing False Reports (p 28)
  23. Court Holds Florida's Administrative Processing Fee is Constitutional (p 29)
  24. Florida's Faith-Based Programs Under Watchful Eyes (p 30)
  25. $40,000 To Settle Excessive Force Claim At Los Angeles County Jail (p 31)
  26. Rhode Island Prisoner Awarded $3,900 for False Imprisonment (p 32)
  27. Texas State Equipment and Employees Used for Private Prison Labor Lobbying (p 32)
  28. Georgia Prison Official Immune, Prison Nurse Not, in Prisoner's Suicide (p 33)
  29. Race-Based California Prison Job Lockout May Violate Equal Protection (p 34)
  30. Illinois Appeals Court Reinstates Prisoner's Disciplinary Mandamus Petition (p 34)
  31. New Jersey DOC Liable for Prisoner Death Caused by CMS (p 35)
  32. No Miranda Error During FBI Office Interrogation Where Parolee Knew He Was Free To Leave (p 36)
  33. Fifth Circuit Allows Sexual-Orientation Discrimination in Texas Prisoner Rape Suit (p 37)
  34. Ohio Appeals Court Upholds $7,820 Award for 70 Days Unlawful Incarceration (p 38)
  35. D.C. Prisoner Receives $19,500 Settlement for Slip-and-Fall (p 38)
  36. BOP Good-Time Statute Upheld By Three Circuits (p 39)
  37. First Circuit Rejects Interlocutory Appeal for Authorities Accused of Frame-Up (p 40)
  38. Heck Doesn't Apply to Parole Revocation Incarceration Without Attorney or Hearing (p 41)
  39. News in Brief (p 42)
  40. Triple-Dipping Jail Psychiatrist Fired For Past Medicare Fraud Conviction (p 44)

Abu Ghraib's Stain on Military Medicine

by Steven H. Miles, MD

This article examines the relationship of military medical personnel to abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. It is based on testimony before the US Senate and House, 1,2 US government policy documents,3-7 US ...

New Jersey County Settles With Imprisoned Deaf Man For $175,000

On November 20, 2003, Mercer County, New Jersey, agreed to pay $175,000 to a deaf man who was imprisoned at the Mercer County Detention Center (MCDC) without appropriate accommodations and appeared before a county court without an interpreter. The County also agreed to provide injunctive relief.

On September 10 ...

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

With last month's issue of PLN we reached an all time circulation high of 4,051 subscribers. This is the most subscribers PLN has ever had. Considering we started with 75 subscribers in 1990, that is a lot of growth. But considering there are over 2 ...

PLN's ADX Censorship Suit Partially Survives Motion to Dismiss

PLN's ADX Censorship Suit Partially
Survives Motion to Dismiss

by Bob Williams


On November 12, 2004, Colorado Federal District Court Judge Wiley Daniel dismissed all official capacity claims, one defendant, and one substantive claim in PLN's suit over ADX censorship of PLN. The court allowed PLN to proceed ...

Wisconsin Enacts Law, Prison Reforms Regarding Sex Assaults

by Michael Rigby


On August 31, 2004, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) announced it would immediately implement sweeping policy changes in the way it views and handles staff-on-prisoner sexual assaults. The reforms come a year after legislation was enacted criminalizing sex between guards and prisoners, and more than 18 ...

California Establishes Statewide Hepatitis-C Management Program

by John E. Dannenberg


The California Department of Corrections (CDC) Health Care Services Division instituted a statewide Hepatitis-C Clinical Management Program (Program) in March, 2004. The Program draws from the prototype HCV protocol developed under federal court order at Pelican Bay State Prison and a similar program recently begun at ...

Wisconsin County Pays $6.95 Million To Settle Strip-Search Suit

by Michael Rigby

St. Croix County, Wisconsin, and its insurer has paid $6.95 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the county jail's blanket strip-search policy, according to the terms of a February 27, 2004, settlement agreement.
The two named plaintiffs, D.B. and ...

Four Guards Suspended By CCA Following Their Murder of Prisoner in Tennessee Jail

Four Guards Suspended By CCA Following Their
Murder of Prisoner in Tennessee Jail

by Matthew T. Clarke

Four male CCA Guards have been placed on paid administrative leave following their murder of a female prisoner at the CCA-run Metro-Davidson County Detention Center (MDCD) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Estelle Richardson, 34, a ...

Five Homicides In L.A. County Jail Blamed On Security Lapses; 25 Sheriff's Deputies May Be Disciplined

Five Homicides In L.A. County Jail Blamed On Security Lapses;
25 Sheriff's Deputies May Be Disciplined

by Marvin Mentor


After investigating five brutal prisoner-on-prisoner slayings in a six month period inside the Los Angeles (L.A.), California County Jails, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors reported that ...

PLN Wins Washington DOC Bulk Mail Suit, Again

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the U.S. District Court's ruling below (and permanent injunction) that the Washington DOC (WA DOC) policy of prohibiting prisoners' receipt of standard rate mail (AKA bulk mail) and catalogs with no notice to the sender or intended recipient violated ...

Untreated Dental Infection Kills California Prisoner

A 41 year-old prisoner at the California State Prison (Solano) in Vacaville died six days after having a tooth extracted, when prison medical staff failed to treat his resulting infection.

Anthony Shumake, sentenced to 12 years, 8 months in 2000, had an abscessed tooth pulled on June 22,2004. Unfortunately ...

Nine California Guards Fired For Prisoner Assaults

Nine guards at California's maximum security Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP), including some belonging to the Green Wall" satanic gang of rogue guards, were fired on November 8, 2004 as a disciplinary action for allegedly assaulting a prisoner and then conspiring to keep the beating secret. A tenth official ...

CCA Pays House Majority Leader’s Personal Charity $100,000

By Matthew T. Clarke

In August, 2004, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) gave House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, (R) Sugar Land, Texas, a check for $100,000 for his DeLay Foundation for Kids during a Lexington, Kentucky, political fund raiser for DeLay’s defense fund organized by Representative Hal Rogers ...

New Federal Civil Rights Tax Relief Act Ends Double Taxation On Attorney Fee Awards

California Drug Possession" Disciplinary Satisfied By Positive Urine Test


The California Court of Appeal held that a positive urine test for THC (marijuana) was some evidence" sufficient to uphold a prison disciplinary finding of possession" of drugs. However, because the higher burden of proof required for a misdemeanor or felony ...

Phone Companies Gouge California Jail Prisoners' Families

by John E. Dannenberg


In a scenario reminiscent of the Spy versus Spy" cartoon, phone companies are gouging California jail prisoners' families with outlandish collect call rates, while prisoners are defrauding the phone companies by taking advantage of new computerized phones to clandestinely bill their defense attorneys for collect calls ...

California Criminal Fine Surcharges Ruled Ex Post Facto

The California Court of Appeals determined that surcharges on fines levied upon criminal convictions were ex post facto where the laws establishing the surcharges were punitive and were enacted after the crimes had been committed.

Daniel High was convicted of property and drug offenses suffering eleven years in prison plus ...

New Federal Civil Rights Tax Relief Act Ends Double Taxation On Attorney Fee Awards

by John E. Dannenberg


On October 22, 2004, President Bush signed into law the Civil Rights Tax Relief Act (CRTRA), enacted as section 703 of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. While the CRTRA was intended to provide relief from double taxation of attorney fees owed prevailing plaintiffs in ...

New York Legislator Pays For CSC-Chauffeured Rides

A New York State Assemblyman has been sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and restitution for unlawfully billing the state for rides he got for free from Correctional Services Corporation (CSC). The sentence was imposed after Roger Green, a veteran Brooklyn Democrat, pleaded ...

Concubine and Children Cannot Sue for Wrongful Death of Federal Prisoner

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a concubine and her children could not sue for damages resulting from the cancer death of federal prisoner Jose Miguel Ruiz.

This action was brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 1346, against the United States ...

California Awards MCI WorldCom Another Sole-Source Prisoner Phone Contract

by Marvin Mentor


The California Department of Corrections (CDC) awarded a sole-source contract to MCI WorldCom (MCI) for all CDC prisoner phones. The October 29, 2004 agreement covers four years, with options for up to two one-year extensions. Significantly, CDC entered into the contract with no input from its prisoner ...

Louisiana Jail Settles Suicide Suit For $3 Million

On June 10, 2004, the City of Shreveport, Louisiana, agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit arising from the suicide death of a prisoner in. the city's jail.

Frances Loggins, 48, was arrested for public drunkenness and taken to the Shreveport City Jail on July 5, 2002 ...

California Youth Authority Fires Six For Pummeling Prisoners And Filing False Reports

On September 10, 2004, six California Youth Authority (CYA) Correctional Counselors (guards) were fired for using excessive force" in beating two prisoners at a Stockton, California youth prison on January 20, 2004, and then falsifying the reports. The San Joaquin County prosecutor and the State Attorney General declined criminal prosecution ...

Court Holds Florida's Administrative Processing Fee is Constitutional

by David M. Reutter

On December 21, 2004, Florida's Leon County Circuit Court held that a 2004 law that imposed an administrative processing fee on monies deposited into prisoner accounts does not violate the Florida Constitution's single-subject rule. The December 2004 PLN reported the enactment of this law ...

Florida's Faith-Based Programs Under Watchful Eyes

by David M. Reutter


With budget cuts eliminating its substance abuse programs and most educational programs in its prisons, the State of Florida is turning to religious groups to rehabilitate its prisoners. Since 1995, Florida's prison population has exploded from 62,000 prisoners to its current population of 80 ...

$40,000 To Settle Excessive Force Claim At Los Angeles County Jail

In September, 2004, the Los Angeles County Claims Board (Board) agreed
to pay $40,000 to settle an excessive force claim brought by a prisoner injured at the L.A. County Main Jail.

On March 17, 2002, prisoner Joseph Amezola was protectively housed in the 2500 Module of the Main ...

Rhode Island Prisoner Awarded $3,900 for False Imprisonment

A Rhode Island jury awarded a prisoner $3,900 for false imprisonment on April 21, 2004. In August 1994, William Ross was incarcerated and held by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) on a minor larceny charge.

During his incarceration, the State of Oklahoma issued a warrant for his ...

Texas State Equipment and Employees Used for Private Prison Labor Lobbying

by Matthew T. Clarke


Republican State Representative Ray Allen of Grand Prairie, Texas, Chairman of the Texas House Corrections Committee, has been using his state employees and state equipment to operate a private firm that specializes in consulting and lobbying for the private prison industry. Allen's company, called Service ...

Georgia Prison Official Immune, Prison Nurse Not, in Prisoner's Suicide

by Robert H. Woodman


The Court of Appeals of Georgia, Second Division, affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the Gwinnett Superior Court in a case brought against a prison official, a prison nurse, and other defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law ...

Race-Based California Prison Job Lockout May Violate Equal Protection

by John E. Dannenberg


A divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that during a California prison partial lockdown limited to two ethnic populations, prison officials' exclusion from early return-to-work of pre-screened critical" prisoner workers solely because of their race, did not rise under the ...

Illinois Appeals Court Reinstates Prisoner's Disciplinary Mandamus Petition

The Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, held that prisoner in the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) had adequately stated causes of action for mandamus relief pertaining to disciplinary sanctions imposed against him.

On September 11, 2002, William Cannon, Jr., a prisoner at the Pontiac Correctional Center, was issued a ...

New Jersey DOC Liable for Prisoner Death Caused by CMS

by Robert H. Woodman

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, partly affirming a New Jersey prisoner's estate's suit, held that the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) could be held liable for the negligence of Correctional Medical Services (CMS) in treating a prisoner's medical condition ...

No Miranda Error During FBI Office Interrogation Where Parolee Knew He Was Free To Leave

by John E. Dannenberg


An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that no Miranda violation occurred in failing to suppress an interrogee's statement taken in the office of the FBI, where the person knew he was free to leave. The court further ...

Fifth Circuit Allows Sexual-Orientation Discrimination in Texas Prisoner Rape Suit

by Matthew T. Clarke


The Fifth Circuit court of appeals held that a homosexual prisoner who prison officials allegedly allowed to be repeatedly sexually assaulted and made a sex slave may sue the prison officials for both failures to protect him in violation of the Eighth Amendment and discrimination based ...

Ohio Appeals Court Upholds $7,820 Award for 70 Days Unlawful Incarceration

By Robert H. Woodman

The Tenth District Court of Appeals of Ohio upheld a $7,820 damages award by the Ohio Court of Claims to Alton M. Stroud, a prisoner of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DORC). In its 2-1 decision, the appeals court found that DORC “may ...

D.C. Prisoner Receives $19,500 Settlement for Slip-and-Fall

The United States and the District of Columbia agreed on June 4, 2004, to pay Robert M. North $19,500 for injuries he received from falling down a set of stairs while handcuffed. North was arrested on Thanksgiving Day 2000 by Federal Marshals. Since all federal buildings were closed for ...

BOP Good-Time Statute Upheld By Three Circuits

by John E. Dannenberg


The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a U.S. District Court ruling that had accorded BOP prisoners 54 days good-time credit per year, holding instead that the maximum credit available is only 47 days per year. In separate cases, the First and Third ...

First Circuit Rejects Interlocutory Appeal for Authorities Accused of Frame-Up

by Robert H. Woodman


In a case involving charges of frame-up and cover-up by former Massachusetts and federal authorities brought by former Massachusetts state prisoners, their family members, estates, and survivors, the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ...

Heck Doesn't Apply to Parole Revocation Incarceration Without Attorney or Hearing

The Tenth Circuit court of appeals has held that a prisoner who claims he was denied an attorney or court hearing for 73 days while awaiting extradition for parole revocation need not show that the revocation had been reversed before filing suit.

Steven Roy French, an Oklahoma state prisoner, filed ...

News in Brief

News in Brief:


Arkansas: On February 6, 2005, real estate developer NGI Rental filed a $2 million lawsuit against sex offender Randall Collins, his wife and the real estate company that allowed the Collins to purchase their home. NGI claims that after Collins moved into the neighborhood sales stopped. The ...

Triple-Dipping Jail Psychiatrist Fired For Past Medicare Fraud Conviction

Dr. Kripa Kashyap, 62, a psychiatrist providing treatment to prisoners at the Harford County (Maryland) Detention Center in Bel Air was barred from treating any more prisoners after The Baltimore Sun newspaper revealed his past conviction for Medicare fraud. For the past seven years, Kashyap counseled prisoners and prescribed medications ...