Skip navigation

Prison Legal News: June, 1991

Issue PDF
Volume 2, Number 6

In this issue:

  1. Civil Commitment Roasted on ABC's Nightline (p 1)
  2. Which Shell is the Pea Under? Government Crime Statistics Invoke Slight of Hand (p 2)
  3. Mail to Public Officials and Media Protected (p 2)
  4. Court Upholds Collection of Blood Samples for DNA Data Bank (p 2)
  5. Female Guards Can Pat Search Male Prisoners (p 3)
  6. Medical Care (p 3)
  7. From The Editor (p 3)
  8. Prisoner Victims of Guard Assault Win Damages (p 3)
  9. Prisoner With AIDS Care Found Lacking (p 4)
  10. Mere "Institutional Security" Claim Not Enough (p 5)
  11. Crime and Revolution, Prisons Don't Work (p 5)
  12. Life Without Parole Okayed for 13-Year Old Killer (p 5)
  13. Still Not the Hilton (p 6)
  14. Reviews (p 6)
  15. Biden: Violence Is At a New High (p 7)
  16. Human Rights in the U.S. Criminal Justice System (p 7)
  17. New Report Cites Higher Rates of HIV Infection Among Inmates (p 7)
  18. Puppets on Strings of Oppression (p 8)
  19. Aftermath MANCI Control Unit & Perotti Update (p 9)
  20. Inhumane Living at CCI (p 9)
  21. Pro-War Hypocrisy (p 9)

Civil Commitment Roasted on ABC's Nightline

By Dan Pens

I had gotten word through the grape vine that Nightline was going to do a show on the Washington civil commitment law. So I stayed up several nights in a row to check it out. The plight of the Kurdish refugees seemed to be the dominant story ...

Which Shell is the Pea Under? Government Crime Statistics Invoke Slight of Hand

The U.S. Justice Department claims a "definite and positive" link between locking people up and violent crime rates in the United States. As more offenders go to prison, the argument goes, violent crime decreases.

It seems there was a 17% decrease in the nation's imprisonment rate during the ...

Mail to Public Officials and Media Protected

Mail To Public Officials And Media Protected

The New Jersey Department of Corrections had a regulation that prevented them from opening outgoing "legal correspondence," but allowed prison officials to open,-read; and censor mail being sent to public officials, government agencies and media representatives. Prisoners challenged the rule in state ...

Court Upholds Collection of Blood Samples for DNA Data Bank

A federal court has affirmed a Virginia policy of collecting DNA samples from incarcerated felons, saving the practice does not violate the inmates' right to privacy or constitute unreasonable search of seizure. The ruling is believed to be the first in the nation in a case challenging a state's ...

Female Guards Can Pat Search Male Prisoners

Prisoners at a Nebraska state all-male prison brought a civil rights lawsuit complaining that their constitutional right to privacy was violated by pat searches performed by female guards and by female guards observing them nude or partially nude while they showered, used toilet facilities, dressed and undressed, and slept. They ...

Medical Care

A former federal prisoner with diabetes was awarded $500,000 for failure to prison medical staff to provide proper diagnosis and treatment of foot infection which let to below-the-knee amputation of his right leg. The prisoner brought suit against the U.S. pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 ...

From The Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of PLN. As I write this I don't know how successful our plea for donations in the last PLN was. Hopefully everyone who hadn't donated yet was overcome with a spirit of generosity.

In an attempt to avoid having to ask ...

Prisoner Victims of Guard Assault Win Damages

Prisoner Victims Of Guard Assault Win Damages

Ten prisoners in the D.C. jail learned they were being transferred to another facility. A number of the inmates passively resisted the transfer. They alleged that after the transfer, they were beaten by correctional officers. None of the inmates were placed in ...

Prisoner With AIDS Care Found Lacking

The national commission on AIDS has concluded a study of AIDS in prisons and jails with the finding that "the situation today for many prisoners living with [the AIDS] disease is nothing if not 'cruel and unusual.'"

After visiting prisons, holding a fact-finding hearing, and gathering other information, the 15-member ...

Mere "Institutional Security" Claim Not Enough

Mere "Institutional Security" Claim Not Enough

A former prisoner of the Nevada State Prison brought a federal civil rights complaint against guards claiming that his fourth, eighth and fourteenth amendment rights were violated. He contended the violation occurred when guards forced him to submit to a blood test, supposedly in ...

Crime and Revolution, Prisons Don't Work

Crime And Revolution, Prisons Don't Work

Edited from MIM notes

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. government, the United States is number one in the world - number one in imprisonment.

More people are in prison and jail in the United States than in any ...

Life Without Parole Okayed for 13-Year Old Killer

On April 15 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for a Washington state 13-year old boy convicted of murder. The state courts had held that the sentence did not violate the eighth amendment prohibition against cruel and ...

Still Not the Hilton

Still Not The Hilton

From: Out Of Time 2/91

The Bureau of Prison's (BOP) 'mission' to isolate, hide and break the spirit of women political prisoners (a la Lexington High Security Unit, Lexington, KY 198688) continues at Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Marianna in Florida. The tactics, environment, and ...

Reviews

World View is the quarterly publication of the Political Prisoners Rights Campaign. The spring 1991 issue is 16 81/2x11 pages and contains articles on western military intervention in the USSR; a response to Amnesty International criticizing that organization for a pro US/UK bias (for example, Al. has not ...

Biden: Violence Is At a New High

Biden: Violence Is At A New High

Last year was "the bloodiest year in the United States history," with the murder toll jumping to an all-time high of 23,200, and rapes, robberies and assaults also reaching record levels, according to a report released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph ...

Human Rights in the U.S. Criminal Justice System

Human Rights In The U.S. Criminal Justice System

by Equal Justice U.S.A.

In addition to it's current use and expansion of the death penalty, the United States enters the 1990's with the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Over one million of our sisters ...

New Report Cites Higher Rates of HIV Infection Among Inmates

The virus that causes AIDS may be more common among prison and jail inmates, especially women, than previously thought, according to a new study based on testing of nearly 11,000 inmates entering 10 prisons and jails between mid-1988 and mid-1989. The study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of ...

Puppets on Strings of Oppression

Puppets On Strings Of Oppression

By Christofer Kneech

All of you came to prison because society did not enjoy your behavior and actions, whether they condemned such actions to be criminal when they may or may have been, but you all have a common relation which is that you are ...

Aftermath MANCI Control Unit & Perotti Update

Numerous organizations inquired into the beatings of six prisoners in the AC Control Unit at Mansfield, Ohio prison by 35 guards. The Cleveland ACLU has requested a written explanation and investigation into the matter. A civil rights complaint was filed by a free world citizen with the U.S. Department ...

Inhumane Living at CCI

Inhumane Living At CCI

By Angelo Crimi

CHILLICOTHE, OHIO - Prisoners at Chillicothe Correctional Institution (CCI) confined in the segregation unit are constantly subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Prisoners are confined to a building that is over 100 years old and the penalogical practice it was built for is inadequate ...

Pro-War Hypocrisy

By Paul Wright

In early March of this year I received a T-shirt that said "official WWI souvenir, brought to you by ITT Rockwell, General Electric, et al." With a small U.S. flag with a skull and crossbones on it.

Property guard L. Marts denied the T-shirt saying it ...