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Prison Legal News: July, 2005

Issue PDF
Volume 16, Number 7

In this issue:

  1. The History of Prison Legal News (p 1)
  2. PLN in Court (p 8)
  3. $600,000 Awarded To Paraplegic Jail Prisoner Hurt By Riding In Non-Handicap-Accessible Vehicle (p 10)
  4. From the Editor (p 10)
  5. Prison Legal News at 15 (p 11)
  6. Interview with Leonard Schroeter (p 12)
  7. Alabama Prisoner Awarded $90,000 For Work-Related Eye Injury (p 13)
  8. Pro Se Tips and Tactics (p 14)
  9. Summary Judgment Reversed in Louisiana Jail Conditions Case (p 16)
  10. Crime Lab Problems Continue In Texas, Elsewhere (p 18)
  11. Three California Prisons Ration Water Due To Contaminated Wells (p 19)
  12. Two Pennsylvania Prisoners Win $1.2 Million For MRSA Skin Infections Contracted County Jail (p 20)
  13. California Parole Condition Prohibiting Computer Access For Molester Ruled Unreasonable (p 21)
  14. U.S. Supreme Court Holds California Policy Of Double-Celling By Race During Prison Intake Must Pass (p 22)
  15. U.S. Department of Justice Reports Soaring Justice Expenditures (p 23)
  16. Contraband Cell Phones On The Rise In U.S. Prisons (p 24)
  17. Sex Offenders Living In Nursing Homes (p 25)

The History of Prison Legal News

In May 1990, the first issue of Prisoners' Legal News (PLN) was published. It was hand typed, photocopied and ten pages long. The first issue was mailed to 75 potential subscribers. Its budget was $50. The first 3 issues were banned in all Washington prisons, the first 18 in all ...

PLN in Court

by Paul Wright


Since PLN started in 1990 we have been censored in prisons and jails around the country. We have always attempted to resolve censorship issues administratively, but in cases where the goal was to keep PLN out of prison at any cost, that obviously wasn't possible. We ...

$600,000 Awarded To Paraplegic Jail Prisoner Hurt By Riding In Non-Handicap-Accessible Vehicle

by John E. Dannenberg


A paraplegic jail prisoner who was transported to a hospital in a non-handicap accessible police car was awarded $600,000 by a federal jury on November 12, 2003 for injuries he claimed resulted from that forced mistreatment.

Philip Munoz, a 36 year-old T-10 (wheelchair-bound) paraplegic was ...

From the Editor

by Paul Wright


This issue marks PLN's 180th consecutive issue and our 15th anniversary. When I first started PLN in 1990 I didn't think it would last this long. I am pleased to report that it has and should continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

This ...

Prison Legal News at 15

I know a little something about newspapers.

As a teenager, I worked on the staff of The Black Panther newspaper. By worked," I mean, I did whatever I was told to do; whatever was needed to help get the paper ready for printing. That meant writing articles, typing out others ...

Interview with Leonard Schroeter

It's difficult to talk about Leonard Schroeter's law career without discussing one topic in particular: civil rights. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1951, Schroeter went to work for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), then headed by the late Supreme Court Justice ...

Alabama Prisoner Awarded $90,000 For Work-Related Eye Injury

by Michael Rigby


On February 5, 2004, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) agreed to pay $90,000 to a prisoner who was refused safety glasses and later suffered an eye injury while working at a prison recycling center.

Plaintiff Brian Dodd, a Gulf War veteran serving a short sentence ...

Pro Se Tips and Tactics

by Daniel E. Manville


Exhaustion of Administrative
Remedies

Introduction1

If you are confined and are suing in federal court prison or jail staff for an incident that occurred while locked up, you are required to exhaust the administrative grievance system that exists. There are no exceptions to exhaustion of the ...

Summary Judgment Reversed in Louisiana Jail Conditions Case

by Robert H. Woodman



The Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit, reversed summary judgment granted by the Twenty-Third Judicial District Court of Ascension Parish (Louisiana) to the Ascension Parish sheriff in a case involving conditions of confinement at the Ascension Parish jail. The appeals court ruled that the Louisiana ...

Crime Lab Problems Continue In Texas, Elsewhere

More than two years after the closure of its DNA division, the Houston Police Department (HPD) crime lab remains a lesson in how not to run a forensics unit. Recent developments include the discovery of 280 boxes of misplaced evidence and a revelation that an analyst from a private laboratory ...

Three California Prisons Ration Water Due To Contaminated Wells

by John E. Dannenberg


When wells at the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC), Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) and Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) state prisons became contaminated, water was severely rationed until repairs could be made.

In June, 2004, when maximum-security SVSP's well water was determined to be contaminated, the ...

Two Pennsylvania Prisoners Win $1.2 Million For MRSA Skin Infections Contracted County Jail

by John E. Dannenberg

An uncontrolled and untreated chronic infection of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a highly contagious, stubborn, disfiguring and sometime fatal bacterial disease, has permeated the Bucks County Correctional Facility (BCCF), unabated, for at least four years. BCCF officials have refused to treat the infections, inform prisoners ...

California Parole Condition Prohibiting Computer Access For Molester Ruled Unreasonable

The California Court of Appeals granted habeas corpus relief sought by a paroled child molester who complained that the condition of parole forbidding him from either using a computer or getting on the Internet was unreasonable. Ramon Stevens was convicted in 1997 of lewd conduct on a child. When arrested ...

U.S. Supreme Court Holds California Policy Of Double-Celling By Race During Prison Intake Must Pass

U.S. Supreme Court Holds California Policy Of Double-Celling By Race During Prison Intake Must Pass Strict Scrutiny," Not Rational Relationship" Test


by Marvin Mentor


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the strict scrutiny test, not the more deferential legitimate penological interest test, applied when determining the constitutionality of ...

U.S. Department of Justice Reports Soaring Justice Expenditures

by Matthew T. Clarke


In a recently-published report, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) of the U.S. Department of Justice documented the soaring costs of the justice system in the United States.

The BJS report is for the year 2001 and includes statistics on expenditures and employment in the ...

Contraband Cell Phones On The Rise In U.S. Prisons

Though drugs and weapons have long been a bane to prison officials everywhere, prisons around the country and the world are now experiencing a new contraband problem: cellular telephones.

Texas prison officials learned how serious the problem was during a months-long undercover investigation that began in the fall of 2003 ...

Sex Offenders Living In Nursing Homes

by Matthew T. Clarke


A recent study revealed that hundreds of sex offenders live in state-regulated nursing homes nationwide.

An Oklahoma-based advocacy group, A Perfect Cause, performed a computer search of the nation's sex-offender registries and cross-matched it with the addresses of the nation's state-regulated nursing homes. This ...