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Prison Legal News: February, 1991

Issue PDF
Volume 2, Number 2

In this issue:

  1. The Parole Board Audit Report (p 1)
  2. No Blood For Oil (p 1)
  3. Response To "Tread Carefully" (p 3)
  4. Mothers in Prison (p 4)
  5. Spending on Corrections Rises Sharply (p 4)
  6. Texas Woman Wins $125,000 Settlement (p 4)
  7. Station Files Suit to Televise Execution (p 4)
  8. Nutraloaf and the Law in the Northwest (p 5)
  9. Florida DOC Officials Harass Women (p 5)
  10. New York Report Matches National Study Results (p 5)
  11. Some Peruvian Prisoners Released (p 5)
  12. Women Prisoner's Hunger Strike in Texas (p 6)
  13. From The Editor (p 6)
  14. Prisoner Assaulted by Guard (p 7)
  15. X-Ray Searches of Prisoners Found Unlawful (p 7)
  16. Prison Officials Liable for Not Correctly Computing Prisoner's Sentence (p 7)
  17. Insufficient Facts to Support Exceptional Terms (p 7)
  18. Clallam Bay Prisoner Brutalized (p 8)
  19. Deliberate Indifference Demonstrated (p 8)
  20. Habitual Criminal Case Update (p 8)
  21. Prison's Water Contaminated (p 9)
  22. Exception to Slave Labor (p 10)

The Parole Board Audit Report

Ed Mead

The Legislative Budge Committee (LBC) has issued its preliminary report on the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB). The December 14, 1990, report was an audit that examined the operations of the Board in the context of the dual sentencing system that now exsists in the state of Washington ...

No Blood For Oil

By Paul Wright

As we go to press with this issue of PLN the United States is preparing to attack Iraq in the Persian Gulf. There's a large number of veterans from past imperialist adventures still in prison throughout the United States today. PLN does not support the Iraqi ...

Response To "Tread Carefully"

Response To "Tread Carefully"

By Paul Wright

In Issue #1, Vol. 2, of PLN we had an article by Mark LaRue titled "Tread Carefully With Sex Offenders." In it Mark discusses, among other things, SSB-6259. This bill in the state senate, which passed and has since become law, among other ...

Mothers in Prison

Mothers In Prison

[The following article about Mothers in Prison was excepted from the "Pacific" section of the December 2, 1990, issue of the Seattle Times/P-1, and then edited further to meet the informational needs of Prisoners' Legal News readers.]




Lori and Raynette are both inmates at the Washington ...

Spending on Corrections Rises Sharply

Spending On Corrections Rises Sharply

Federal, state and local governments in the United States spent $61 billion in fiscal year 1988 for civil and criminal justice, an increase of 34 percent since 1985, according to a report recently issued by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice ...

Texas Woman Wins $125,000 Settlement

A woman won a $125,000 settlement from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that may set a precedent for more civil suits involving parole decisions. The woman was raped by a man who had been sentenced in 1977 to 123 years in prison for attacking 21 women. He ...

Station Files Suit to Televise Execution

Station Files Suit To Televise Execution

A San Francisco public television station, KQED, has filed a suit against the governor for permission to broadcast executions. Currently, cameras are barred and witnesses are not permitted to take notes. A DOC representative said the rules exist because executions are not intended to ...

Nutraloaf and the Law in the Northwest

Nutraloaf And The Law In The Northwest

By Wasseneh Taddesse


Nutraloaf is a dog-food type substance fed to prisoners on segregation status, generally to those who have committed some additional infraction while on that status. As with all repressive measures, the practice has been abused by those who hold power ...

Florida DOC Officials Harass Women

A recent investigation by Florida DOC investigator Clayton Lambert of complaints of sexual harassment made by several female employees against Martin Correctional Institution (MCI) warden David Farcas and Southeast Florida DOC director William Rouse.

The six women claimed that Rouse and Farcas made sexual comments to female employees, French kissed ...

New York Report Matches National Study Results

A study released in October of 1990 found that nearly one out of every four young black men in New York state is under the control of the criminal justice system on any given day. The results of the joint study by the Correctional Association of New York and the ...

Some Peruvian Prisoners Released

Prisons in Peru are so overcrowded and under financed that two prisoners a day are dying at Lurigancho prison (where 5,900 are housed). As a result of these conditions, prisoners went on a hunger strike for better conditions. The result of this strike was a "depenalization" decree by which ...

Women Prisoner's Hunger Strike in Texas

Women Prisoner's Hunger Strike In Texas

By Ana Lucia Gelabert

Gatesville, Texas, November 28, 1990. At 12 midnight tonight at least eight women prisoners at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Mountain View unit will begin an indefinite hunger strike in protest of the scheduled December 6, 1990, execution ...

From The Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to the tenth issue of PLN . As our readers may recall issues 6, 7 and 8 of Vol. 1 of PLN had been censored by prisoncrats at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, WA. The excuse they had given for this censorship was that the article ...

Prisoner Assaulted by Guard

Prisoner Assaulted By Guard

A prison employee was held liable for $1,000 after sticking the barrel of his revolver in the inmate's mouth and cocking the trigger. The prisoner had sought damages for assault in a federal civil rights suit against the prison employee. He claimed that the ...

X-Ray Searches of Prisoners Found Unlawful

X-Ray Searches Of Prisoners Found Unlawful

A claim that a x-ray search was ordered by prison security officials without medical authorization was not frivolous. The failure to inquire into the plaintiff's medical history to consider the possible cumulative effect of x-rays, to get a doctor's order, to have ...

Prison Officials Liable for Not Correctly Computing Prisoner's Sentence

A federal prisoner brought a Bivens action against the warden and administrative systems manager for failing to investigate his claim that his sentence was miscalculated. The prisoner repeatedly asked prison officials to correctly compute his sentence to show time he had served in a German prison. They refused to do ...

Insufficient Facts to Support Exceptional Terms

Insufficient Facts To Support Exceptional Terms

Division One of the Washington State Court of Appeals has vacated an exceptional term imposed by the parole board due to insufficient facts in the record to support the sentence imposed by the board.

Luis Vega, while incarcerated at the Reformatory, participated in an ...

Clallam Bay Prisoner Brutalized

By Paul Wright

On December 17, 1990, at about 6:35 in the evening several prisoners got into a fight in the F-Unit (Close Custody) rotunda area. Eventually guards carted the participants of that fight off to the "hole." At about 7:10 that evening Aaron Fast, a black prisoner ...

Deliberate Indifference Demonstrated

Proof of prison administrators' "consistent pattern of reckless or negligent conduct" in providing prisoners with medical care is enough to establish the deliberate indifference to prisoners' serious medical needs necessary to make out an Eighth Amendment violation and hence to subject the officials to civil liability. The December 4, 1990 ...

Habitual Criminal Case Update

You may recall that last year the Legislature passed SHE 1457 (now in RCW 9.95.013) which directed the Board to review all habitual criminal minimum terms and to apply SRA guideline ranges to them. You may also know that - as usual - the Board essentially ignored the law and ...

Prison's Water Contaminated

By Ray L. Levasseur

Prisoners at the U.S. Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois, have said for years that the government is poisoning us with contaminated water. The government has categorically denied these accusations. On September 28, 1990, a report issued by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (U ...

Exception to Slave Labor

Exception To Slave Labor

I would like to commend the staff of PLN (issue #8) because, in my opinion, it is the best issue yet. I was impressed with the listing of competent authorities for the facts and figures presented in the articles. One thing though that I would like ...