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Prison Legal News: January, 1991

Issue PDF
Volume 2, Number 1

In this issue:

  1. Editorial (p 1)
  2. Prison/Community Alliance (p 1)
  3. Non-Stenographic Depositions (p 2)
  4. Attention ISRB Prisoners (p 3)
  5. Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Poorer (p 3)
  6. Prison Cells, Only $30 a Night! (p 3)
  7. Psychiatry Can't Predict Violent Behavior (p 3)
  8. Reviews (p 3)
  9. Walla Walla IMU Stops Using Fire Hoses (p 4)
  10. Prisoner Wins Ban on Military Catalog (p 4)
  11. Attorney General Uses Erroneous Information (p 4)
  12. Florida DOC Offers Settlement (p 4)
  13. Problems That Can't Be Cured in Prison (p 5)
  14. Federal Court Upholds Slave Labor (p 5)
  15. Who's in Prison in America (p 5)
  16. Failure to Disassociate Noninfractable (p 5)
  17. Four Out of Ten Get the Slammer (p 5)
  18. Notice of Appeal Filed When Given to Cops (p 5)
  19. Money Down the Drain (p 6)
  20. Convict Entitled To Have Officer Called As Witness At Hearing, And To Have Independent Evaluation Of Informant's Allegations (p 6)
  21. Tread Carefully With Sex Offenders (p 6)
  22. Furlough Facts (p 7)
  23. Prisons - An Expensive Stone Wall (p 7)
  24. A Lesson To Be Learned From The Soviets (p 7)
  25. The Price of Resistance - Is It Worth It? (p 8)
  26. Book Request System Inadequate (p 8)
  27. Rejection Process (p 9)
  28. Breeder Reactors (p 9)
  29. Foreign Letter (p 9)


Editorial Comments

by Ed Mead

Welcome to issue #1 of the second volume of our little newsletter. With the new year you will notice that we have added a more polished look to the paper. In the past Paul and I would type up the paper and paste in graphics ...

Prison/Community Alliance

An organization, the Prison/Community Alliance will be registering with the State of Washington as a non-profit organization in January. The people involved in this organization have several objectives in mind.

The first and most important objective is to be the contact group for the upcoming initiative to have all pre-SRA ...

Non-Stenographic Depositions

By Paul Wright

The most crucial part or process of a civil rights suit is the discovery process. In prison suits the defendants, i.e. prison officials, have almost sole possession of the evidence that you will need to prove your claims. Many prisoners do not do much or any discovery, ...

Attention ISRB Prisoners

If you have a "technical violation" and have received an "excessive sentence" and/or have been max'd out, or if you have been taken before the ISRB for an 0.100 hearing and have had your minimum term extended, send copies of your reasons and decisions to: Ms. Patricia Arthur, Evergreen Legal ...

Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Poorer

In 1990, the richest 1% of the people have almost as much in after-tax income as the poorest 40%. To put it another way, 2.5 million rich people each take home 36 times as much as each 100 million poor. In 1980 it was 19 times as much.

The Center ...

Prison Cells, Only $30 a Night!

Prison Cells, Only $30 A Night!

Although the government spends over $30 billion per year on the prison system, some states have laws giving counties the authority to charge prisoners for the privilege of being locked up and deprived of their civil rights and liberties (not to mention their ability ...

Psychiatry Can't Predict Violent Behavior

In a 1982 amicus brief to the U.S. Court, the American Psychiatric Association concluded:

"...that the unreliability of psychiatric predictions of future dangerousness is by now an established fact within the profession...The large body of research in this area indicates that, even under the best conditions, psychiatric predictions of long ...


By Paul Wright

Sentencing Guidelines Commission Meetings. The SGC meets about every month or so to review how the SRA is working, its effects on prison and jail populations in the state of Washington, what recommendations to make to the legislature, trends in prison population due to sentencing, etc. The ...

Walla Walla IMU Stops Using Fire Hoses

By Clark Stuhr

Within the last few months I have noticed that WSP IMU staff no longer use the fire hose to discipline outraged inmates. No my friend, instead these outraged prisoners can plan on getting a healthy lung full of what else but "Capstun!" With the large number of ...

Prisoner Wins Ban on Military Catalog

A prisoner filed a civil rights complaint alleging that his constitutional guarantees were violated by prison officials refusing to allow him to receive a military surplus catalog. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff on the catalog issue, awarding him $1 in damages.

On appeal the court upheld the ...

Attorney General Uses Erroneous Information

A former inmate of the Reformatory filed a personal restraint petition because Earned Time credits had not been applied to his sentence once he had served two-thirds of his sentence. The petition alleged that he should be entitled to regain earned time credits that were denied previously (33 days).

During ...

Florida DOC Offers Settlement

In 1988 the Florida Justice Institute filed a class action suit on behalf of PC (Protective Custody) prisoners. The suit challenges the fact that PCs aren't allowed to work, thus can't earn good time which extends their prison sentence; are locked down 23 hours a day, can't smoke, exercise, etc. ...

Problems That Can't Be Cured in Prison

Problems That Can't Be Cured In Prison

Our society's criminal justice system is being used to treat or hide some serious social ills. Poverty, drug addiction, and alcoholism are intimately tied to the crimes for which most inmates in the federal system are serving time. Of those sentenced to federal ...

Federal Court Upholds Slave Labor

Can a Mississippi prisoner collect damages for a violation of his constitutional and civil rights because he was forced to work on private property without pay? The U.S. Court of Appeals says no, even in the face of a state law prohibiting inmates from doing private work.

The court held ...

Who's in Prison in America

Who's In Prison In America?

The overwhelming answer: young black males. Why? Racial and economic biases which are integral to the U.S. prison system. At this time, one of four black men, aged 20-29 (23%) are subject to the criminal justice system. The figure is 6.2% for white males and ...

Failure to Disassociate Noninfractable

A prisoner sought judicial review of a disciplinary hearing finding him guilty of advocating, creating, engaging in or promoting a disturbance.

There was indeed a disturbance, the court found, but a violation of the rule is only shown by an inmate engaging in "some affirmative action" related to the disturbance. ...

Four Out of Ten Get the Slammer

Four Out Of Ten Get The Slammer

A Bureau of Justice Statistics study tracked 536,000 felony offenders in 12 states in 1967. The study found that out of every 10 people arrested on felony charges, eight were prosecuted, six were convicted of the original charge or lesser offense, and four ...

Notice of Appeal Filed When Given to Cops

Notice of Appeal Filed When Given To Cops

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a pro se prisoner's notice of appeal from the denial of a civil law suit or habeas corpus relief is considered to have been filed at the point at which he delivered it ...

Money Down the Drain

Money Down The Drain

A special American Bar Association committee has concluded that the millions of dollars Americans pour into hiring more police, expanding the justice system and building more jails may by money down the drain because punishment is not an effective deterrent.

What does work, the ABA found, ...

Convict Entitled To Have Officer Called As Witness At Hearing, And To Have Independent Evaluation Of Informant's Allegations

Convict Entitled To Have Officer Called As Witness At Hearing, And To Have
Independent Evaluation Of Informant's Allegations

A prisoner at Sing Sing filed a federal civil rights suit challenging the constitutional sufficiency of the disciplinary hearing which found him guilty of assault on another inmate. The hearing officer had ...

Tread Carefully With Sex Offenders

Tread Carefully with Sex Offenders

By Mark LaRue

I have followed Ed Meads' series on the sex offenders and I'd like to respond by offering critical support for what he has said. By that, I mean to say, I see no reason for sex offenders to be locked away in ...

Furlough Facts

By Ed Mead

Whatever you decide to do with your life you should try to do it well - be a professional. I'm a professional prisoner. I do time. I've got 15 years in and figure to retire in another 5, maybe sooner if I have some luck in the ...

Prisons - An Expensive Stone Wall

This monolithic "solution" is becoming more and more costly to society. Yet, in spite of its expense and its dubious role in crime control and prevention, the prison response is being used with increasing frequency. In the last decade, the prison population doubled nationwide. The number of women in prison ...

A Lesson To Be Learned From The Soviets

In Soviet prisons for women, inmate mothers give birth in the maternity ward and see their children daily in the child care center until they are two years old. Soviet officials are considering raising this age to three years old.

Since 1985 the country has seen a variety of changes ...

The Price of Resistance - Is It Worth It?

By John Perotti

A comrade and brother, Ed Mead, recently wrote his opinion and analysis of the definition of POW and the continuing controversy of "Freedom Now." In it he raised the issue of how political prisoners traditionally do their time - either: a.) quietly doing it with the objective ...

Book Request System Inadequate

Many jurisdictions try to meet their constitutional obligation to provide segregated prisoners with adequate access to the courts through some sort of law book request system. This means the locked-down prisoner must send a written request to the prison law library asking for specific volumes of legal reference material. This ...

Rejection Process

Last Thursday I got a rejection slip in the mail for PLN #7! The reasons listed were: 1) the mail contains threats of physical harm against any person or threat of criminal activity - then in quotes "chewing policeman's hand off', 5) The mail concerns plans for activities in violation ...

Breeder Reactors

Breeder Reactors?

Latest PLN just arrived - excellent issue - you should know that your piece on prison cost was even more correct than you let on. That prisons are, in effect, breeder reactors where young men come in and, by treatment, are turned into something much like plutonium. Since ...

Foreign Letter

I see the continuing of PLN; the paper is fairly legible. It seems, the malignity of the rulers in Walla Walla and Monroe with their quest to delay, restrict or even destroy the PLN are banned. In any case there are some news lately which are of interests.

Comrade Gerry ...