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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: September, 2012

Issue PDF
Volume 23, Number 9

In this issue:

  1. Interview with Conrad Black, Former Federal Prisoner and Millionaire Media Magnate (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 14)
  3. Birthing Behind Bars: A Campaign for Reproductive Justice in Prisons (p 14)
  4. Ex-Warden’s Wife Sentenced to One Year for Assisting Prisoner’s Escape (p 15)
  5. Prisoner Medical Care Costs Oregon Taxpayers Over $100 Million Annually (p 16)
  6. Habeas Hints: 2012 Supreme Court Habeas Highlights: Plea Bargaining Cases (p 18)
  7. PHS Hit with $312,000 Verdict for Inadequate Care of Pennsylvania Prisoner (p 20)
  8. $657,670 Settlement in Ohio Juvenile Facility Class-action Suit (p 22)
  9. Ventura County, California Settles Wrongful Arrest Class-action Suit for $350,000 (p 22)
  10. $93,000 Settlement for Georgia State Prisoners Beaten by Guards (p 24)
  11. Iowa SOTP Requirement Does Not Violate Fifth Amendment (p 24)
  12. Bureau of Prisons Houses More “Terrorists” than Guantanamo (p 26)
  13. CIA Slammed for Torture Abuses at Secret Lithuanian Prisons (p 28)
  14. Economy Forces Oregon Jails to Eliminate Beds (p 29)
  15. The Mentally Disordered Inmate and the Law, 2nd edition (p 30)
  16. $2.3 Million Jury Award in Washington, D.C. Wrongful Parole Revocation Suit (p 30)
  17. FEMA Funds New Orleans Jail Complex (p 32)
  18. Hundreds Removed from Georgia’s Sex Offender Registry (p 32)
  19. Arizona DOC Faces Lawsuit Over Inadequate Medical Care (p 34)
  20. Bail Bond Companies Profit While Poorest Defendants Remain in Jail (p 36)
  21. GAO Report on Drug Courts Criticized by Drug Policy Alliance (p 40)
  22. Proving Damages to the Jury, 1st Ed., by Jim Wren (p 40)
  23. Onerous Change in Michigan Commutation Procedures Fails to State Ex Post Facto Claim (p 42)
  24. Prisoners and Families Connect with Video Visitation, for a Price (p 42)
  25. Texas Court Orders TDCJ to Provide Hearing Impaired Telecommunications (p 43)
  26. Tenth Circuit Holds Due Process Requires Meaningful Segregation Reviews (p 44)
  27. Idaho Appellate Defender: State’s Adult Misdemeanor Probation System “Void” (p 44)
  28. Arrests of Federal Prison Guards Soar 90% Over Past Decade; Misconduct Cases Double (p 46)
  29. Criminal Procedure – Constitutional Limitations in a Nutshell, 7th Ed., by Jerold H. Israel and Wayne R. LaFave (p 46)
  30. Google Provides Law Enforcement and Courts with User Information, Censors Content (p 48)
  31. Book Review: A Dictionary of Criminal Law Terms, by Bryan Garner (p 48)
  32. Attorney Who Brought Reporter into Prison Cleared of Ethical Violations (p 48)
  33. $375,000 Settlement for Washington Female Juvenile Detainee Raped by Guard (p 49)
  34. News in Brief (p 50)

Interview with Conrad Black, Former Federal Prisoner and Millionaire Media Magnate

“I never ask for mercy and seek no one’s sympathy. I would never, as was once needlessly feared in this court, be a fugitive from justice in this country, only a seeker of it.” – Conrad Black

Conrad Black, born in Canada, is a member of the British House of ...

From the Editor

This month’s cover story continues our series of interviews with some of the more prominent survivors of the American criminal justice system (for our first interview with former prisoner and famous movie actor Danny Trejo, see the August 2011 issue of PLN).

Prior to his incarceration Conrad Black was ...

Birthing Behind Bars: A Campaign for Reproductive Justice in Prisons

by Victoria Law and Tina Reynolds

“I never thought of advocating outside of prison. I just wanted to have some semblance of a normal life once I was released,” stated Tina Reynolds, a mother and formerly incarcerated woman. But then she gave birth to her son while in prison ...

Ex-Warden’s Wife Sentenced to One Year for Assisting Prisoner’s Escape

On November 7, 2011, the wife of a former Oklahoma warden was sentenced to one year in prison for helping a prisoner escape 17 years earlier.

Bobbi L. Parker, 49, was married to Randy Parker, assistant warden at the Oklahoma State Reformatory, a medium-security facility in Granite, when Randolph Franklin ...

Prisoner Medical Care Costs Oregon Taxpayers Over $100 Million Annually

As of July 1, 2011, the first day of Oregon’s most recent budget cycle, the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) had a population of just over 14,000 prisoners and a shiny new $1.36 billion budget for the 2011-2013 biennium.

Many factors contribute to such an enormous budget ...

Habeas Hints: 2012 Supreme Court Habeas Highlights: Plea Bargaining Cases

by Kent Russell

This column provides “habeas hints” to prisoners who are considering or handling habeas corpus petitions as their own attorneys (“in pro per”). The focus of the column is on “AEDPA” (Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act), the federal habeas corpus law which now governs habeas corpus practice ...

PHS Hit with $312,000 Verdict for Inadequate Care of Pennsylvania Prisoner

PHS Hit with $312,000 Verdict for Inadequate Care of Pennsylvania Prisoner

On February 17, 2012, a Pennsylvania state jury slapped Prison Health Services (PHS) with a $400,000 verdict for inadequate medical care of a prisoner at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Albion. The award was reduced to $312,000 ...

$657,670 Settlement in Ohio Juvenile Facility Class-action Suit

Less than a year after the filing of a federal civil rights class-action, a settlement was reached in the lawsuit, which challenged conditions of confinement at the Washington County Juvenile Center (WCJC) in Marietta, Ohio. In October 2011, the parties to the suit submitted a consent decree for approval by ...

Ventura County, California Settles Wrongful Arrest Class-action Suit for $350,000

In September 2011, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) agreed to settle a class-action civil rights lawsuit alleging that innocent people had been jailed when VCSO officials failed and/or refused to use readily available technological means (such as fingerprint identification) to verify that people being booked into the ...

$93,000 Settlement for Georgia State Prisoners Beaten by Guards

The Georgia Department of Corrections has paid $93,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by four state prisoners who were subjected to retaliatory beatings by guards at Hays State Prison.

At approximately 2:00 p.m. on August 12, 2010, the plaintiff prisoners – Miracle Nwakanma, Cornelius Spencer, Gregory Haines ...

Iowa SOTP Requirement Does Not Violate Fifth Amendment

The Iowa Supreme Court has held that prison officials do not violate the Fifth Amendment by depriving convicted sex offenders of earned-time sentence reductions when they refuse to participate in a sex offender treatment program (SOTP) that requires them to admit their guilt.

On March 21, 2006, Iowa resident Robert ...

Bureau of Prisons Houses More “Terrorists” than Guantanamo

According to the New York Times, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) confines more than twice as many prisoners for “terrorism-related” offenses than the controversial and oft-maligned U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“As of October 1, 2011, the ... [BOP] reported that it was holding 362 people ...

CIA Slammed for Torture Abuses at Secret Lithuanian Prisons

Despite a lawsuit filed in the European Court of Human Rights by Saudi-born alleged terrorist Abu Zubaydah, Lithuanian prosecutors have declined to pursue charges related to two CIA-operated prisons located in that country. Human rights groups Amnesty International and Reprieve have claimed, according to the Associated Press, that Zubaydah was ...

Economy Forces Oregon Jails to Eliminate Beds

Commissioners in Marion County, Oregon voted on October 19, 2011 to cut 128 jail beds, closing one pod and reducing the jail’s capacity to 400 prisoners. In reality, however, only 56 beds were cut because the county is reopening 72 work center beds that had been downsized previously due ...

The Mentally Disordered Inmate and the Law, 2nd edition

The Mentally Disordered Inmate and the Law, 2nd edition, by Fred Co-hen (Civil Research Institute, 2008). 1,114 pages, $237.50; and Practical Guide to Correctional Mental Health and the Law, by Fred Cohen (Civil Research Institute, 2011). 788 pages, $149.50

Book review by Julia Etter

The second edition ...

$2.3 Million Jury Award in Washington, D.C. Wrongful Parole Revocation Suit

A District of Columbia (D.C.) federal jury has awarded $2.3 million to a former prisoner who spent ten years in prison after his parole was wrongfully revoked based on unreliable hearsay evidence.

Charles Singletary was convicted of robbery, armed robbery and assault in D.C. Superior Court. He ...

FEMA Funds New Orleans Jail Complex

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has committed approximately $114 million to build a new jail complex that will be overseen by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Orleans Parish Prison and sheriff’s administration facilities suffered significant damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ...

Hundreds Removed from Georgia’s Sex Offender Registry

A May 2010 revision to Georgia’s sex offender law, one of the toughest in the nation, has resulted in more than 440 people being removed from the state’s sex offender registry as of October 2011.

Georgia has 20,676 registered sex offenders. The new law, passed as HB ...

Arizona DOC Faces Lawsuit Over Inadequate Medical Care

There are cuts to health care and there are health care cuts. At least one Arizona prisoner has personal knowledge of the unfortunate difference.

Prisoners and their advocates have accused the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) of being so obsessed with reducing costs that prison officials routinely deny medical care ...

Bail Bond Companies Profit While Poorest Defendants Remain in Jail

by David M. Reutter

As America’s prison population has swelled over the past three decades to become the largest per capita in the world, the number of special interests that feed off the so-called prison industrial complex has grown. The expansion of companies that benefit from crime and incarceration ...

GAO Report on Drug Courts Criticized by Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the nation’s “leading organization promoting alternatives to current drug policy,” often has to wade through murky data to expose the ineffectiveness of the nation’s drug court system. But a recent federal study touting drug court successes only required the DPA to perform some ...

Proving Damages to the Jury, 1st Ed., by Jim Wren

James Publishing, 2011). 800 pages (with CD), $70.00

Book review by John E. Dannenberg

Proving Damages to the Jury is a detailed “how-to” manual that takes the reader through the psychology, reasoning, preparation and execution of a civil damages trial. The object lesson is to learn how to select ...

Onerous Change in Michigan Commutation Procedures Fails to State Ex Post Facto Claim

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a change in procedures for commutation of sentence does not constitute an ex post facto violation.

The appellate court ruled in a case involving Michigan prisoner Keith Lewis-El, who was serving a non-parolable life sentence for first-degree felony murder. Lewis-El appealed ...

Prisoners and Families Connect with Video Visitation, for a Price

Since 2006, family members and friends of Virginia prisoners have been able to use modern videoconferencing equipment to enjoy visits with loved ones held in state prisons hundreds of miles away.

The Video Visitation Program, operated by two Richmond-based nonprofit groups, Assisting Families of Inmates and the New Jubilee Educational ...

Texas Court Orders TDCJ to Provide Hearing Impaired Telecommunications

On April 5, 2011, a Texas state court issued a temporary injunction ordering the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to provide telecommunications to hearing impaired prisoners using the Texas Relay Service (TRS).

Leslie Arrington, Janet Lock, Kathy Williams and Laura Beeman are Texas state prisoners who, with the assistance ...

Tenth Circuit Holds Due Process Requires Meaningful Segregation Reviews

Prisoners indefinitely confined to administrative segregation are entitled to meaningful, periodic reviews of their segregation status, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held on June 20, 2011, while granting qualified immunity to the prison official defendants. The appellate court issued an amended opinion in April 2012 ...

Idaho Appellate Defender: State’s Adult Misdemeanor Probation System “Void”

A memo authored by Sara B. Thomas, chief of the Idaho State Appellate Defender’s appellate unit, has concluded that the state’s adult misdemeanor probation system is unconstitutional, calling it “null, void and unenforceable.”

According to the August 15, 2011 memo, the legislative delegation of authority to the counties ...

Arrests of Federal Prison Guards Soar 90% Over Past Decade; Misconduct Cases Double

According to a September 2011 report by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), arrests of federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) guards increased almost 90% over the previous ten years, while staffing in the BOP grew only 24% over the same period of time. From ...

Criminal Procedure – Constitutional Limitations in a Nutshell, 7th Ed., by Jerold H. Israel and Wayne R. LaFave

Criminal Procedure – Constitutional Limitations in a Nutshell,
7th Ed., by Jerold H. Israel and Wayne R. LaFave

(West Group, 2006). 539 pages, $38.00

Book review by John E. Dannenberg

Criminal Procedure – Constitutional Limitations in a Nut Shell is best understood by first understanding what it is not – it is ...

Google Provides Law Enforcement and Courts with User Information, Censors Content

Tech giant Google congratulated itself in October 2011 for refusing two “takedown” requests from U.S. law enforcement agencies that claimed videos of police brutality posted on YouTube were defamatory. Google owns YouTube, the Internet’s most popular video-sharing site.

A “local law enforcement agency,” which Google did not identify ...

Book Review: A Dictionary of Criminal Law Terms, by Bryan Garner

(Thomson West, 2000). 751 pages, $29.00

by John E. Dannenberg

PLN readers will recognize this compact 751-page pocketbook as a “junior” version of the venerable 1,920-page Black’s Law Dictionary, which is also the work of seasoned legal lexicographer Bryan Garner. The Dictionary of Criminal Law Terms gains ...

Attorney Who Brought Reporter into Prison Cleared of Ethical Violations

A Kansas lawyer who took an investigative reporter into the Topeka Correctional Facility (TCF), a women’s prison, has had the cloud of a pending ethics complaint lifted after two years. The complaint was filed with the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys (Board) by Charles Simmons, then-deputy secretary of ...

$375,000 Settlement for Washington Female Juvenile Detainee Raped by Guard

On July 7, 2011, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) agreed to a $375,000 settlement in a lawsuit that alleged a guard had raped a female detainee at the Echo Glen Children’s Center.

The detainee, Brittney Brown, was 19 at the time she was ...

News in Brief

Indiana: Lynsey Stangel, 26, formerly employed as a federal prison guard at Terre Haute, pleaded guilty on May 2, 2012 to having sex with a prisoner in a patrol car while on duty. “Unfortunately, there were firearms in the vehicle at the time the tryst occurred, including a 12-gauge shotgun ...

 

Federal Prison Handbook

 



 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual

 



 

Federal Prison Handbook

 



 


 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual