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Prison Legal News: December, 2006

Issue PDF
Volume 17, Number 12

In this issue:

  1. Florida's Department of Corruption (p 1)
  2. Florida Prison Canteen Operators Offices Raided (p 4)
  3. Violent Oregon Prisoner Murders Cellmate; County Points Fingers; Family Sues (p 8)
  4. From the Editor (p 8)
  5. Aramark: Prison Food Service with a Bad Aftertaste (p 10)
  6. Private Prison Execs Win Big While Guards and Prisoners Lose Out (p 16)
  7. Habeas Hints (p 18)
  8. How to Exit Californias Sexual Predator Prison: Refuse Treatment (p 20)
  9. City Of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Settles Wrongful Imprisonment Claim For $12,250,000 (p 22)
  10. Wrongfully Imprisoned Wisconsin Man Awarded $400,000, Now Accused of Murder (p 22)
  11. Many U.S. Prisoners Give Birth In Chains (p 23)
  12. Deplorable Delaware Prisoner Health Care; Another Prisoner Death Results (p 24)
  13. Virginia Jail Disgraceful (p 24)
  14. Robotic Medicine Dispensers Pillage Jails Cost Savings (p 25)
  15. Florida Boot Camps a Bust, Replaced by Less Fatal Programs (p 26)
  16. Ten Months Later: 66 Maximum Security Prisoners Still Improperly Housed In CDCR Reception Centers (p 26)
  17. Texas Parole System Sick From Top to Bottom (p 27)
  18. Federal Judge Suspends Some Georgia Sex Offender Residency Restrictions (p 28)
  19. Federal Court Orders California DOC to Pay $58 Million In Overdue Medical Bills (p 29)
  20. BOP Must Let Prisoners Control Their Outside Assets; Pays $10,500 To Settle Grievances (p 30)
  21. NY Appellate Court Reverses Denial of Parole (p 30)
  22. Indiana Justice Agency Head Fired for Misallocating $417,000 in Funds (p 31)
  23. Missouri Prisoner Calls Get Cheaper; But Lowest Bid Rejected (p 32)
  24. New California SVP Facility Struggles to Attract Staff (p 32)
  25. $225,000 Settlement for Female Colorado Prisoner Raped By Guard (p 32)
  26. Hate-Filled Religious Fanatics Find a Home in Kansas Corrections (p 33)
  27. Florida Judge's Brother Receives Medical Furlough, Recuperates at Home (p 34)
  28. New York Prisoner Wins Brutality Suit, Loses Award to Son-of-Sam Law (p 34)
  29. Bacterial Contamination In Prison-Made Milk Fells 1,344 Prisoners and 14 Staff in 11 California Pris (p 34)
  30. PLRA Administrative Exhaustion Requirement Distinguished in Two California (p 35)
  31. San Francisco Jails Strip Search Policy Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Court (p 36)
  32. Court Invalidates BOP Prisoners' UCC Liens Against Judges and Officials (p 36)
  33. Wisconsin Prison Psychiatrists License Suspended After Prisoners Death (p 37)
  34. Alabama Guards Liable in Killing a Prisoner (p 38)
  35. California Sheriffs Authority to Fire Rogue Guard is Validated (p 38)
  36. Ninth Circuit: Total Exhaustion-Dismissal Rule Not Required Under PLRA (p 39)
  37. Sixth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of ETS/Retaliation Claims (p 40)
  38. Seventh Circuit Rejects Total Exhaustion Rule for § 1983 Complaints (p 40)
  39. Sixth Circuit Upholds $34,000 Retaliation Verdict; New Trial & No Recusal Not Abuse of Discretion (p 41)
  40. News in Brief: (p 42)
  41. Seventh Circuit Discusses Administrative Exhaustion (p 44)

Florida's Department of Corruption

Florida's Department of Corruption

by David M. Reutter

An underlying principle of our penal system is to instill respect for the laws and rules that govern our society. As such, those charged with running our nations jails and prisons have an ethical obligation to set an example for all ...

Florida Prison Canteen Operators Offices Raided

Florida Prison Canteen Operators Offices Raided

by David M. Reutter

Agents from the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided the office of American Institutional Services (AIS) on June 7, 2006 and seized the companys business records. AIS ran weekend visiting park canteens within the Florida Department of Corrections ...

Violent Oregon Prisoner Murders Cellmate; County Points Fingers; Family Sues

By all accounts, 22-year-old Thomas Allen Tommy Gordon is an extremely dangerous man. In 2001 he fatally shot his friend, Dylan Beck, in the back of the head while they were driving in Vancouver, Washington. While awaiting trial Gordon committed more than 30 major rule violations, including unprovoked assaults on ...

From the Editor

As the year 2006 closes we have reported a lot of news and major developments, some of it good, some of it not so good. The main thing though is we accomplished a lot as far as getting back on our regular publishing schedule, improving the already high quality of ...

Aramark: Prison Food Service with a Bad Aftertaste

by John E. Dannenberg

Aramark, Inc. is a Philadelphia-based $10 billion/yr. Fortune 500 company providing diverse institutional food services. Its Illinois-based subsidiary, Aramark Correctional Services, Inc., (ACSI), which bought out Wackenhuts Correctional Foodservice Management division in 2000, contracts with 450 prisons and jails in 40 states, serving over 300 ...

Private Prison Execs Win Big While Guards and Prisoners Lose Out

Many of the problems associated with imprisonment in the U.S. high staff turnover, prisoner neglect and abuse, and the introduction of contraband by employees, for example can be attributed to the paltry salaries and few benefits that most guards receive. But while low-paid guards must make do with their ...

Habeas Hints

Habeas Hints: Supreme Court Term 2005-2006

by Kent Russell

This column is intended to provide habeas hints to prisoners who are considering or handling habeas corpus petitions as their own attorneys (in pro per). The focus of the column is habeas corpus practice under AEDPA, the 1996 habeas corpus law ...

How to Exit Californias Sexual Predator Prison: Refuse Treatment

How to Exit Californias Sexual Predator Prison: Refuse Treatment

by John E. Dannenberg

California, with 538 sexually violent predators (SVP) civilly committed at its Department of Mental Healths Atascadero State Hospital (ASH), has an efficacious five-step psychological treatment program to prepare its wards for reentry into society. The problem is ...

City Of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Settles Wrongful Imprisonment Claim For $12,250,000

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay $12.25 million to settle with a man who spent 14 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, according to a settlement agreement filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on June 16, 2006 ...

Wrongfully Imprisoned Wisconsin Man Awarded $400,000, Now Accused of Murder

On February 14, 2006, a Wisconsin man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didnt commit settled his lawsuit against Manitowoc County for $400,000. Hell likely use the money to defend himself against a recent murder charge.

News of the settlement came as the plaintiff, Stephen ...

Many U.S. Prisoners Give Birth In Chains

Childbirth is sacred in most cultures. But for many female prisoners in the U.S., the process can be cruel and degrading. According to a March 1, 2006, report by the human rights group Amnesty International U.S.A., 23 state prison systems and the federal Bureau of Prisons expressly ...

Deplorable Delaware Prisoner Health Care; Another Prisoner Death Results

by David M. Reutter

Despite mainstream media pressure, public outcry, and a federal investigation, the Delaware Department of Corrections (DDOC) continues to keep its head in the sand about prisoner health care. Not surprisingly, it has resulted in another prisoner's death.

PLN reported the deplorable health care given to ...

Virginia Jail Disgraceful

Richmond City Jail is in such bad shape newly elected Sheriff C.T. Woody called it a ...disaster. I knew it was bad, but I had no idea it was that bad, he said.

On January 4, 2006 a report was issued detailing the deficiencies of the 40-year old jail ...

Robotic Medicine Dispensers Pillage Jails Cost Savings

Robotic Medicine Dispensers Pillage Jails Cost Savings

by John E. Dannenberg

ROBOT, a $1 million automatic pill dispensing system installed at the Contra Costa County (California) jails in February 2005 and advertised to save the county $240,000, has so far instead cost the county $60,000 in overtime pay ...

Florida Boot Camps a Bust, Replaced by Less Fatal Programs

A study of the Pinellas County, Florida boot camp for juveniles, requested by Sheriff Jim Coats, found the program to be a phenomenal failure.
The studys results, reported in March 2006, revealed that 90 percent of boot camp graduates eventually return to a life of crime and delinquency. Of the ...

Ten Months Later: 66 Maximum Security Prisoners Still Improperly Housed In CDCR Reception Centers

Following up on the August 2005 statewide directive to tighten up on procedures for properly segregating known dangerous new commitments at the reception center prisons, the California Inspector General (IG) conducted an audit on October 14, 2005 of CDCRs Distributed Data Processing System to determine housing and custody status of ...

Texas Parole System Sick From Top to Bottom

Texas Parole System Sick From Top to Bottom

by Gary Hunter

Parole in Texas has never been very reputable. During the 1920s and 30s Miriam Ma Ferguson, Texas first female governor, and her husband Pa Ferguson, who preceded his wife in office, enriched themselves with bribes of land and cash ...

Federal Judge Suspends Some Georgia Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

by Matthew T. Clarke

On June 29, 2006, e federal judge in Georgia granted class-action status and a temporary restraining order (TRO) suspending enforcement of some provisions of Georgias sex offender residency law (SORL), Ga.Code.Ann. § 42-15.

The SORL was passed in 2006 and included provisions prohibiting registered sex ...

Federal Court Orders California DOC to Pay $58 Million In Overdue Medical Bills

by John E. Dannenberg

On March 30, 2006, the U.S. District Court, N.D. Cal., ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to pay its backlog of overdue medical subcontractors bills within 60 days. The bills, some as old as four years, and totaling $58 million, had ...

BOP Must Let Prisoners Control Their Outside Assets; Pays $10,500 To Settle Grievances

by John E. Dannenberg

In a convoluted pro per suit, two federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) prisoners, who had been retaliated against after they grieved the BOPs having infracted them for controlling their legitimately-acquired outside assets from inside the walls [running a business], won a damage settlement totaling $10,500 ...

NY Appellate Court Reverses Denial of Parole

by John E. Dannenberg

The Appellate Division (1st Dept.) of the New York Supreme Court granted a non-life prisoners article 78 petition challenging the Parole Boards denial of his parole that had been based upon the nature and seriousness of the offense, alleged limited insight into his criminality, and alleged ...

Indiana Justice Agency Head Fired for Misallocating $417,000 in Funds

On May 26, 2006, the executive director of Indiana's Criminal Justice Institute was fired for misallocating $417,000 in grant money earmarked for a program to help the children of prisoners.

Heather Bolejack, 31, allegedly funneled the money to a family friend who intended to use the lucre for ...

Missouri Prisoner Calls Get Cheaper; But Lowest Bid Rejected

The competitive bid process is normally used by state agencies to compel companies to compete with lower bids while providing the same service. Usually, the lowest bid prevails. In the case of providing collect calls for Missouri prisons, the contract was awarded to a company that provided a bid that ...

New California SVP Facility Struggles to Attract Staff

The new $338 million Coalinga State Hospital (CSH), which opened in October 2005, houses only the best-behaved 170 Of Atascadero State Hospitals (ASH) 550 sexually violent predators (SVP), as of March 2006. Although the physical plant is in place, the staff is not. Of the 32 housing units at CSH ...

$225,000 Settlement for Female Colorado Prisoner Raped By Guard

In August 2005, Penifer Salinas, a female Colorado Department of Correction (CDOC) prisoner at Denver Womens Correctional Facility (DWCF) entered into a proposed $225,000 settlement with the State of Colorado. The settlement was a result of a Federal civil rights claim alleging a sexual assault against her by former ...

Hate-Filled Religious Fanatics Find a Home in Kansas Corrections

Hate is a strong word. Many prison employees and DOC officials are contemptuous of or indifferent to the prisoners in their custody. Detention facility staff are sometimes negligent, retaliatory and even abusive,(1) but they seldom display a fanatical hatred toward prisoners. There is, however, one group whose deep burning ...

Florida Judge's Brother Receives Medical Furlough, Recuperates at Home

Florida Judge's Brother Receives Medical Furlough, Recuperates at Home

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) has sent one of its prison doctors to review if a prisoner should return to prison to heal from heart surgery. The prisoners connections have some wondering if Kenneth Ackerman is receiving preferential treatment ...

New York Prisoner Wins Brutality Suit, Loses Award to Son-of-Sam Law

A New York prisoner won $15,000 in a suit over having been beaten by prison guards only to have a jury return a $42 million adverse verdict under New Yorks Son-of-Sam law.

Abdul Majid, 57, a New York state prisoner was convicted of killing New York City police officer ...

Bacterial Contamination In Prison-Made Milk Fells 1,344 Prisoners and 14 Staff in 11 California Pris

Bacterial Contamination In Prison-Made Milk Fells 1,344 Prisoners and 14 Staff in 11 California Prisons

by John E. Dannenberg

Between May 16 and May 23, 2006, a milk-borne illness caused by the bacterium campylobacter caused vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headaches and dehydration in 1,344 prisoners and 14 staff in ...

PLRA Administrative Exhaustion Requirement Distinguished in Two California

Excessive-Force Suits

by John E. Dannenberg

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals consolidated two interlocutory appeals from U.S. District Courts in California that distinguished under what circumstances administrative exhaustion is deemed satisfied if the grievance process has been truncated below the highest available level.

Californias four-level grievance ...

San Francisco Jails Strip Search Policy Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Court

San Francisco Jails Strip Search Policy Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Court

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.) ruled on motions for summary judgment that the City and County of San Franciscos blanket jail policy of strip-searching all pre-arraignment detainees, regardless of offense or adjudication ...

Court Invalidates BOP Prisoners' UCC Liens Against Judges and Officials

A Virginia federal district court has entered a permanent injunction against two federal prisoners who filed liens under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) against judges and prison officials. The United States government brought this action against Lorenzo Grade Martin and Reginald Anthony Falice, prisoners serving life sentences at the United ...

Wisconsin Prison Psychiatrists License Suspended After Prisoners Death

Wisconsin Prison Psychiatrists License Suspended After Prisoners Death

by Gary Hunter

Yoges Pareek, had his medical license suspended by the Wisconsin Examining Board in October 2005. Pareek is a former psychiatrist at the Waupun Correctional Institution (WCT). He was found guilty of negligence in the death of a prisoner under ...

Alabama Guards Liable in Killing a Prisoner

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an Alabama federal district courts grant of summary judgment to guards in a civil rights suit stemming from the killing of a prisoner by guards during a struggle.
Following a successful escape attempt at Alabamas Mt. Meigs Youth Facility, seventeen-year-old Mario Haggard ...

California Sheriffs Authority to Fire Rogue Guard is Validated

California Sheriffs Authority to Fire Rogue Guard is Validated

by Marvin Mentor

The California Court of Appeal held that the San Diego County Civil Service Commission abused its discretion when it overturned the Sheriffs firing of a deputy who lied to cover-up his physical abuse of a prisoner. The Sheriff ...

Ninth Circuit: Total Exhaustion-Dismissal Rule Not Required Under PLRA

by John E. Dannenberg

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a prisoners 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit against prison officials should not be summarily dismissed under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) for containing both exhausted and unexhausted claims ...

Sixth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of ETS/Retaliation Claims

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(10)(1) dismissal of an environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) claim filed by a Tennessee prisoner, concluding that the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim. The appeals court also found that the prisoners ...

Seventh Circuit Rejects Total Exhaustion Rule for § 1983 Complaints

Seventh Circuit Rejects Total Exhaustion Rule for § 1983 Complaints

by Bob Williams

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the dismissal of a prisoners amended complaint, finding prior exhaustion putting the state on notice was sufficient to pass muster under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds $34,000 Retaliation Verdict; New Trial & No Recusal Not Abuse of Discretion

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower courts order granting a new damages trial on a prisoners retaliation claim. The appellate court also upheld the district judges refusal to recuse himself.

Ernest Bell, Jr., was a prisoner at the Southern Michigan State Prison who was held in administrative ...

News in Brief:

Arizona: On July 10, 2006, Kevin Peltier, 30, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for participating in the fatal beating of Mojave county jail prisoner Peter Deakin. Jereme Cosby, the alleged leader of the beating was sentenced to life in prison for the beating. Mark Morton, 26, Daniel ...

Seventh Circuit Discusses Administrative Exhaustion

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a prisoners amended complaint was the functional equivalent of a new complaint, and that new claims that were administratively exhausted after the original complaint was filed satisfied the Prison Litigation Reform Acts (PLRA) exhaustion requirement.

This action was filed by Joseph ...