Skip navigation

Prison Legal News: September, 1991

Issue PDF
Volume 2, Number 9

In this issue:

  1. Remembering Attica: Twenty Years Later (p 1)
  2. The Rich Get Richer (p 3)
  3. Prisoners Are Entitled to Recovery For Underpayment of Wages (p 3)
  4. Women Prisoners Entitled to Equal Education (p 4)
  5. The Class Implications of Prisoner Rights Litigation (p 4)
  6. Supreme Court Slams Conditions Case (p 5)
  7. Group Cites Shift from Education to Prisons (p 5)
  8. Prison/Community Alliance Update (p 5)
  9. Editorial (p 6)
  10. Prison Discrimination Illegal (p 6)
  11. CBCC Mail Suit Filed (p 7)
  12. Families Against Mandatory Minimums (p 7)
  13. State and Federal SRA Parole Systems Similar (p 7)
  14. Why Do Legal Work? (p 7)
  15. Racial Discrimination at Raiford (p 8)
  16. More Racism in Florida's Slammers (p 8)
  17. Resistance at Pelican Bay Gulag (p 8)
  18. View From Italy (p 9)
  19. Prison Education (p 9)
  20. 24-Hour Cell Lights (p 9)

Remembering Attica: Twenty Years Later

By Ed Mead

On September 13, 1978, prisoners at Walla Walla celebrated Attica Day by holding a sparsely attended memorial talent show in the prison's auditorium. On September 13, 1979, the Washington Coalition Against Prisons (WaCAP) braved heavy rain to stage a rally in Olympia to protest overcrowding and other ...

The Rich Get Richer

The Rich Get Richer...

The North American working class is now ninth in the world in terms of wages and benefits, and continues to decline. At this point the earnings of the U.S. working class have been driven back to what they were in the mid-1960s.

More than 60 million ...

Prisoners Are Entitled to Recovery For Underpayment of Wages

Prisoners Are Entitled To Recovery For Underpayment Of Wages

By Mark Cook, Leavenworth, Kansas

There are over one Million prisoners in the United States, yet we are not counted as part of the US statistical labor force. It is in the interest of those politicians in office who claim their ...

Women Prisoners Entitled to Equal Education

Women Prisoners Entitled To Equal Education

Glover v. Johnson, 934 F.2d 703 (6th Cir. 1991) is a class action suit originally filed in 1978 by female Michigan state prisoners claiming violation of their right to equal protection because they were not provided with educational vocational training programs comparable to those ...

The Class Implications of Prisoner Rights Litigation

The Class Implications Of Prisoner Rights Litigation

Compiled by Ed Mead

Today the most reactionary and violent faction of the ruling class controls the government. These right-wing conservatives ignore the root causes of crime and instead seek to scapegoat prisoners and the poor for all sorts of social ills. And, ...

Supreme Court Slams Conditions Case

Just before finishing its last session, the United States Supreme Court handed down a ruling making it more difficult for prisoners to challenge the constitutionality of prison conditions. The five to four decision held that prisoners must prove that prison officials not merely maintained inadequate facilities, but deliberately did so. ...

Group Cites Shift from Education to Prisons

Group Cites Shift From Education To Prisons

The criminal justice system is "stealing" dollars away from public education, according to a study by the national Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA), an Alexandria, Virginia-based criminal justice research organization. "We're trading textbooks for prison cells," a NCIA representative said in releasing ...

Prison/Community Alliance Update

By Carrie Roth

I received a copy of the June 24, 1991 indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) minutes today and in it is another example of the ISRBs' inability to adequately perform their duties. In the minutes is a short paragraph which states, "Ms. Bail sent a memorandum to Chase ...


Editorial Comments

By Ed Mead

Welcome to yet another edition of the PLN. In this issue I have an article on the class implications of prisoner rights litigation. It was written in response to one of many letters we get from readers asking about the politics of doing legal work ...

Prison Discrimination Illegal

Mark Labounty, a black New York state prisoner fled suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming violation of his Eight amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and his right to equal protection of the law because he was denied work as a prison electrician while white ...

CBCC Mail Suit Filed

By Paul Wright

In May of 1991 CBCC mailroom staff here began a practice of rejecting without notice to the prisoner or the sender or an opportunity to appeal all mail that arrived without the prisoners DOC number on it. No notice of any type was given of this practice ...

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

FAMM is a nationwide organization of citizens working for the repeal of statutory mandatory minimum sentences. Its members consist of prisoners, their families and loved ones, lawyers and civil rights activists. Mandatory minimum sentences are sentences which must be served with no possibility of parole or early release and which ...

State and Federal SRA Parole Systems Similar

I find the articles in PLN dealing with Washington state's dual sentencing procedure interesting and thought provoking because the federal system is going through something worse. There are at least four sentencing procedures going on here. The oldest is for those prisoners sentenced under the Board of Paroles Act, which ...

Why Do Legal Work?

Dwight Correctional Center is served educationally by Lewis University, " A Christian Brothers University." Lewis University offers courses entitled Paralegal I and II (16 weeks each), which I have decided to take. According to Lewis University, "the primary purpose of this course is to train inmate law library clerks to ...

Racial Discrimination at Raiford

Racial Discrimination At Raiford

The prison population at gulag Union Correctional Institution (UCI) in Raiford, Florida, borders on 1,500 captives. The population is made up of approximately 800 Blacks (55%), 675 Whites (43%), and 120 Hispanics (7%).

Under the compulsory slave labor theme of the thirteenth amendment, prisoners in Florida ...

More Racism in Florida's Slammers

More Racism In Florida's Slammers

I have recently heard of the PLN and at this time I will share some headlines of the legalized slavery here at Martin Correctional Institution. There are serious racial problems at MCI within the administration and continuous harassment and brutality by correctional officers. The most ...

Resistance at Pelican Bay Gulag

Resistance At Pelican Bay Gulag

Greetings from the Control Unit in California's Pelican Bay state prison. I am litigating a civil rights act lawsuit 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983, due to being forcibly double celled here. The case is Fetters v. Marshall, N.D. Cal. Case No. C-91 -0633. Correctional personnel here ...

View From Italy

The U.S. prison system is one of the worst in the world: it is a means of mass oppression and control against the "minorities" (the people of the inside colony) and the proletarians - a perfect example of "class justice" as Marx said - and a specific means of destruction ...

Prison Education

As you know, the 9th Circuit ruled in Hernandez vs. Johnston (a case out of MICC) that we don't have a right to education or rehabilitation. My opinion is the that whole "school in prison" thing is a sham. The state could care less about education for prisoners. It's used ...

24-Hour Cell Lights

Prisoners confined in the oppressive and mentally debilitating environment of the Intensive Management Unit (IMU) at Walla Walla are being subjected to a highly effective form of sensory deprivation, a part of which being the lights in cells that are kept on 24 hours a day.

These lights, which just ...