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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: September, 2006

Issue PDF
Volume 17, Number 9

In this issue:

  1. For-Profit Transportation Companies: Taking Prisoners, and the Public, for a Ride (p 1)
  2. PLN Wins FOIA Suit to Gain Copies of BOP Verdicts and Settlements without Charge (p 15)
  3. Florida Guards a Day Late and a Dollar Short with Failure to Exhaust Defense; $180,000 Verdict Upheld (p 16)
  4. From the Editor (p 16)
  5. $500,000 CCA Escape/Hostage Damage Award Upheld (p 16)
  6. Brownsville Texas Border Corruption Continues (p 17)
  7. A Captive Audience For Salvation (p 18)
  8. Pro Se Tips and Tactics: Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process: U. S. Supreme Court Clarifies Some Rights (p 20)
  9. Supreme Court: Banning Publications to Punish Recalcitrant Prisoners Trumps Their First Amendment Rights (p 25)
  10. CSC Alien Abuse Class Action Settled for $2.5 Million (p 26)
  11. Supreme Court Says No to Trial by Military Commission for Gitmo Prisoners (p 27)
  12. No Room in Prison? Ship Em Off Prisoners have become unwitting pawns in a lowest-bidder- gets-the-convict shuffle game (p 28)
  13. U.S. Government Settles 9-11 Detainee Abuse Suit for $300,000 (p 30)
  14. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ordered to Pay Prisoner $500 For Misconduct (p 31)
  15. Nevada Summary Judgment for Non-Exhaustion Reversed (p 32)
  16. Widespread Prisoner Labor Abuse Requires Reform (p 32)
  17. New York Strip-Search Suit Settled for $1.7 Million (p 33)
  18. Kentucky County Jail Settles Lawsuit Alleging Overcrowded Conditions (p 34)
  19. CCA Fineable in New Contracts With Colorado and Hawaii (p 34)
  20. Virginia Sheriffs Pay for Christian Ministries (p 35)
  21. $75,000 Settlement for Untreated Wisconsin Methadone Patient (p 36)
  22. Washington DOC Settles Mail Censorship Suit with PLN for $442,500 in Fees and Damages (p 36)
  23. Virginia Prisoners Challenge Grooming Policy Under RLUIPA (p 37)
  24. Sexually Abused Texas Prisoner Loses Federal Lawsuit, Returns To Prison (p 38)
  25. Florida County Bucks Paying $300,000 in Prisoner Medical Bills (p 38)
  26. Asthmatic South Carolina Prisoner Awarded $3,200 on ETS Claim (p 39)
  27. FL Work Releasees Reporting to Work Late Doesnt Amount to Escape (p 39)
  28. Delaware Legislature Rejects Bill Upgrading Prison Health Care (p 40)
  29. Supreme Court Holds Administrative Remedies Must Be Properly Exhausted Under the PLRA (p 40)
  30. Oklahoma Requires Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies For Ex-Prisoner Suits (p 41)
  31. Dismissal of Failure to Protect Claim Reversed; No Showing Necessary to Survive Rule 12(b)(6) Dismissal (p 41)
  32. News in Brief: (p 42)
  33. $470,000 Paid in Pennsylvania Jail Prisoners Seizure Related Death (p 44)

For-Profit Transportation Companies: Taking Prisoners, and the Public, for a Ride

According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of June 2005 approximately 2.2 million people were incarcerated in prisons and jails nationwide not including immigration detention centers and juvenile facilities. This enormous imprisoned population is not static; prisoners are moved ...

PLN Wins FOIA Suit to Gain Copies of BOP Verdicts and Settlements without Charge

by John E. Dannenberg

The United States District Court (D.D.C.) granted PLNs motion for summary judgment and ordered the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide investigative material requested by PLN under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) without payment of search or duplication fees. PLN, exercising ...

Florida Guards a Day Late and a Dollar Short with Failure to Exhaust Defense; $180,000 Verdict Upheld

Florida Guards a Day Late and a Dollar Short with Failure to Exhaust Defense; $180,000 Verdict
Upheld

Carlos Green, a Florida state prisoner, sued five guards and former Florida DOC director James
Crosby on a number of legal theories in federal district court, including excessive use of force,
deliberate ...

From the Editor

This issue reports positive developments we have acheived in two lawsuits, one against the
Washington Department of Corrections and the other against the federal Bureau of Prisons. Both
cases have taken a lot of time and energy on the part of both PLN staff and our attorneys to win.

Unfortunately ...

$500,000 CCA Escape/Hostage Damage Award Upheld

The Tennessee State Court of Appeals upheld a $500,000 compensatory damage award against Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), to a woman who was taken hostage by an escaped CCA prisoner.

Mike Settle was a prisoner at Hardeman County Correctional Facility (HCCF), a CCA prison in Whiteville, Tennessee. On August ...

Brownsville Texas Border Corruption Continues

Coronado Cantu took over the Cameron County Sheriffs office in January 2001. He took up
residence inside the Texas jail in June 2005. Cantu was charged with heading a crime ring that
included drug trafficking, extortion and prostitution of female prisoners.

Animo was Cantus watchword. Defined as spirit or enthusiasm ...

A Captive Audience For Salvation

A for-profit prison company stirs hope - and church-state issues - pursuing partnerships with
Evangelical Christian ministries.

NASHVILLE, TENN. - America has the highest incarceration level in the world, and its prisons
serve too consistently as revolving doors. Are faith-based programs in prisons the answer to
these disturbing trends?

The largest private company ...

Pro Se Tips and Tactics: Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process: U. S. Supreme Court Clarifies Some Rights

Pro Se Tips and Tactics: Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process: U. S. Supreme Court Clarifies
Some Rights

by Daniel Manville

Introduction1

For a number of years it seemed that rights of prisoners were being slowly narrowed, if not
eliminated by not only the lower federal courts but also the United States ...

Supreme Court: Banning Publications to Punish Recalcitrant Prisoners Trumps Their First Amendment Rights

Supreme Court: Banning Publications to Punish Recalcitrant Prisoners Trumps Their First
Amendment Rights

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) policy of
banning its most disruptive prisoners receipt of all non-legal and non religious magazines,
newspapers and photographs as a ...

CSC Alien Abuse Class Action Settled for $2.5 Million

On August 10, 2005, a federal court in New Jersey approved a settlement in Brown v. Esmor
Correctional Services Inc., USDC No. 98-1282 (DNJ). Esmor Correctional Services Inc. (Esmor) later known as Correctional Services Corporation (CSC), agreed to pay the plaintiff-alien class $2.5 million for abuses suffered while detained ...

Supreme Court Says No to Trial by Military Commission for Gitmo Prisoners

On June 29, 2006, the Supreme Court held that prisoners being held in the military concentration
camp prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo), could not be tried by the special military
tribunals set up by President Bush in a comprehensive military order dated November 13, 2001
(the Order). See 66 ...

No Room in Prison? Ship Em Off Prisoners have become unwitting pawns in a lowest-bidder- gets-the-convict shuffle game

No Room in Prison? Ship Em Off Prisoners have become unwitting pawns in a lowest-bidder-
gets-the-convict shuffle game

by Silja J.A. Talvi

It has been an arduous, surreal journey for eight Hawaiian female prisoners sent to do their time
on the mainland.

The plight of this group of women ...

U.S. Government Settles 9-11 Detainee Abuse Suit for $300,000

In a document filed February 27, 2006, the U.S. government agreed to pay an Egyptian who was
caught up in the post-9-11 sweep and detained for a year at the Brooklyn Metropolitan
Detention Center (MDC) $300,000 to settle his claims of having been abused by MDC guards.

Ehab ...

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ordered to Pay Prisoner $500 For Misconduct

On April 6, 2005, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas levied a $500
sanction award against two Assistant U.S. Attorneys for their unethical, unprofessional, and
dishonest conduct in a prisoner lawsuit.

Plaintiff Brandon Sample filed a pro se federal lawsuit on ...

Nevada Summary Judgment for Non-Exhaustion Reversed

The Nevada Supreme Court reversed a lower courts grant of summary judgment on a former
prisoners suit for failing to exhaust administrative remedies.

Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) prisoner George Simmons was brutally beaten by
another prisoner on April 14, 1997. He sustained a broken jaw, fractured vertebrae ... [and]
clavicle ...

Widespread Prisoner Labor Abuse Requires Reform

Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett and police Chief Jay Campbell were caught abusing the states
prisoner work program. Arkansas Department of Corrections requested, in early August 2005,
that the program be suspended after learning that state prisoners had been used to repair the
police chiefs boat and make improvements to his ...

New York Strip-Search Suit Settled for $1.7 Million

A federal class action suit, challenging a New York jails blanket misdemeanor strip-search policy
has been settled for $1,783,670.20.

Timothy Maneely brought suit in federal court, challenging the City of Newburgh, New York
policy of strip searching all arrestees without reasonable suspicion.

The case was certified as ...

Kentucky County Jail Settles Lawsuit Alleging Overcrowded Conditions

On November 30, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky tentatively
approved the settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging unconstitutionally overcrowded
conditions at the Campbell County Jail in Newport, Kentucky.

Built in 1991, the Campbell County Detention Center was designed to hold 135 prisoners ...

CCA Fineable in New Contracts With Colorado and Hawaii

Corrections Corporation of America has signed new contracts with Colorado and Hawaii which,
for the first time, include the possibility of the states imposing liquidated damages if CCA fails
to provide the contracted services. The provisions resulted from a lengthy interruption of
services to female prisoners at a private womens ...

Virginia Sheriffs Pay for Christian Ministries

Several Virginia sheriffs have used public money to pay for services from Christian groups that
minister to prisoners, the Virginia-Pilot reported on March 2, 2006. The payments have drawn
criticism from some watchdog groups that advocate for a strong separation of church and state.
Portsmouth Sheriff Gary Waters has paid ...

$75,000 Settlement for Untreated Wisconsin Methadone Patient

Outagamie County, Wisconsin, has agreed to pay $75,000 to a man whose withdrawal from
methadone went untreated at the county jail.

Richard Foelker was participating in a methadone treatment program for heroin addiction when
he checked himself into the Outagamie County Jail on April 27, 2000, to serve a ...

Washington DOC Settles Mail Censorship Suit with PLN for $442,500 in Fees and Damages

by John E. Dannenberg

As previously reported in PLN, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the U.S. District
Court ruling (Prison Legal News v. Lehman, 272 F.Supp.2d 1151 (W.D. Wash. 2003); see PLN, Sep.
2003, p.18) enjoining the Washington Department of Corrections ...

Virginia Prisoners Challenge Grooming Policy Under RLUIPA

Get in a fight behind bars and in most states, youll serve somewhere between a few days or
months in segregation. Refusal to cut your hair in Virginia and youll be segregated until you
comply.

In 1999 the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) adopted a prisoner grooming policy
prohibiting beards ...

Sexually Abused Texas Prisoner Loses Federal Lawsuit, Returns To Prison

Roderick Keith Johnson, a prisoner who garnered national attention with allegations that Texas
prison officials allowed him to be bought and sold as a sex slave, has lost his federal lawsuit
against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Following the October 2005 verdict,
Johnson was returned to prison for ...

Florida County Bucks Paying $300,000 in Prisoner Medical Bills

Floridas Brevard County has been sued by three local hospitals seeking payment for medical
care rendered to prisoners who incurred injuries during their arrests. The County refused to pay,
arguing the detainees technically were not in custody at the time of treatment.

The hospitals - Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Cape ...

Asthmatic South Carolina Prisoner Awarded $3,200 on ETS Claim

A federal court in South Carolina found that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to an
asthmatic prisoners medical condition by exposing him to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS),
from February 1999 to November, 2001. The court awarded $3,200, or $100 a month, finding
that while plaintiffs injuries were not de ...

FL Work Releasees Reporting to Work Late Doesnt Amount to Escape

FL Work Releasees Reporting to Work Late Doesnt Amount to Escape

Leon Williams, a prisoner in a state work release center, left the center to walk to work but was 90
minutes late getting there. When he arrived he was arrested and charged with escape under Fla.
Stat. sec. 944 ...

Delaware Legislature Rejects Bill Upgrading Prison Health Care

by David M. Reutter

After a public outcry condemned the health care services provided to prisoners held by the
Delaware Department of Corrections, (DDOC) the Delaware Legislature has passed a bill that
provides an inflation adjustment for services and created three oversight positions. PLN
reported upon the lack of health ...

Supreme Court Holds Administrative Remedies Must Be Properly Exhausted Under the PLRA

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court held that before filing a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint, a prisoner must
first fully, properly and timely exhaust his administrative remedies. Specifically, as here, failure to
properly exhaust remedies below may not later be cured by claiming that no ...

Oklahoma Requires Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies For Ex-Prisoner Suits

The Oklahoma Legislature has enacted a law that prohibits former prisoners from bringing a civil
action unless the prisoner has exhausted all administrative remedies. To PLNs knowledge, this is
the first law of its kind.

The legislation, which was signed by the Governor on April 11, 2006, becomes effective
November ...

Dismissal of Failure to Protect Claim Reversed; No Showing Necessary to Survive Rule 12(b)(6) Dismissal

Dismissal of Failure to Protect Claim Reversed; No Showing Necessary to Survive Rule 12(b)(6)
Dismissal

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district courts dismissal of a civil committees
failure to protect and equal protection claims, for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P ...

News in Brief:

California: On July 20, 2006, about 100 prisoners at the California Institution for Men in Chino
rioted in Borrego Hall in the Reception Center West. The fight was between white and Hispanic
prisoners. No guards were injured and order was quickly restored using pepper spray.

Canada: On July 20, 2006 ...

$470,000 Paid in Pennsylvania Jail Prisoners Seizure Related Death

$470,000 Paid in Pennsylvania Jail Prisoners Seizure Related Death

The Estate of a Pennsylvania prisoner has settled its civil rights action alleging Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment violations for the wrongful death of Virginia Brejcak, 42, at the Bucks
County Correctional Facility (BCCF) for $470,000. The federal lawsuit was ...

 

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