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Prison Legal News: January, 1992

Issue PDF
Volume 3, Number 1

In this issue:

  1. Police Chief Faces Conspiracy Count (p 1)
  2. Prison/Community Alliance Update (p 1)
  3. Racial Discrimination in Prison Challenged (p 2)
  4. Politicians Exploit Death Penalty (p 2)
  5. Editorial Comments (p 2)
  6. Election Year Demagoguery (p 3)
  7. Prison Homophobia Challenged (p 4)
  8. Prison Population Up, Escapes Down (p 4)
  9. Receiving State is Agent of Sending State; Qualified Immunity Examined (p 4)
  10. Four Cons Die in Missouri Jail Fire (p 4)
  11. Alaska Con Has Liberty Interest in Prison Job (p 5)
  12. HIV-Positive Cons Win Partial Victory (p 5)
  13. Geronimo Pratt Wins Injunction Against Future Harassment; Loses Drug Trafficking And Possession Appeal (p 5)
  14. Prison's TB Response Legally Inadequate (p 6)
  15. U.S. Prisons Accused of Human Rights Abuses (p 6)
  16. Deadly Strain of TB Found in New York Prisons (p 6)
  17. Federal Prisoner Gets Medical Records (p 6)
  18. Incarceration Rate Grows in First Half of 1991 (p 6)
  19. State Prison Systems Emulate Marion Control Unit (p 7)
  20. Non-Specific Infractions Violated Due Process (p 7)
  21. IMU's and Controlled Feeding at CBCC (p 8)
  22. Chilean Political Prisoners End Hungerstrike (p 9)
  23. Canadian Officials May End Ban on Sex Between Prison Inmates (p 9)

Police Chief Faces Conspiracy Count

Cross City, FL (11/91) - Charges of conspiracy to commit perjury have been lodged against the Cross City police chief and a state correctional officer who are accused of arranging for a man to impersonate an inmate during hearings of prison brutality charges.

The impostor posed as a prisoner who ...

Prison/Community Alliance Update

The Prison/Community Alliance (P/CA) has made progress. It now appears we will be able to have legislation proposed directly to the legislature this January. If this happens we will not be doing the initiative for the November 1992 election.

A sequence of events has shown we have the ...

Racial Discrimination in Prison Challenged

Racial Discrimination In Prison Challenged

New York's Elmira Correctional Facility is plagued by racism toward prisoners in the areas of job placement, housing assignments, and discipline, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York held. Relying on both anecdotal and statistical evidence, the court found ...

Politicians Exploit Death Penalty

State-level lawmakers are using proposed death penalty legislation for political purposes rather than to deter crime, said the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty on October 9, 1991.

The group released its annual survey of state legislation on the volatile issue, finding 183 bills in 41 states relating to ...

Editorial Comments

By Ed Mead

Welcome to issue number one of the third volume of the Prisoners' Legal News. Paul and I are starting our third publishing year with a major trimming of the newsletter's mailing list. You should be sure to look at the address label on the last page ...

Election Year Demagoguery

Washington State attorney general Ken Eikenberry has announced that he will be running for the governor's office on the Republican Party ticket. Eikenberry has been attorney general since 1980 and is serving up a typical Republican economic program with regards to turning the state economy around, i.e., no ...

Prison Homophobia Challenged

A prisoner in a state prison filed a federal civil rights lawsuit complaining that he was removed from his job as a prison bakery worker because he is a homosexual. The federal trial court, in determining whether the prisoner should be allowed to proceed with his lawsuit as a pauper ...

Prison Population Up, Escapes Down

According to a poll conducted by Corrections Compendium magazine, there were fewer escapes in 1990 than in 1989. In 1989, there were 7,816 escapes reported from 48 states (1.33%). In 1990, those same systems reported 7,244 escapes (1.11%) - a decrease of 572 at a time when ...

Receiving State is Agent of Sending State; Qualified Immunity Examined

Receiving State Is Agent Of Sending State; Qualified Immunity Examined

An Iowa prisoner was under punitive segregation when he was transferred to the Texas prison system and released to the general population. When he was later transferred back to Iowa, the prisoner was returned to punitive segregation, without a hearing ...

Four Cons Die in Missouri Jail Fire

Four Cons Die In Missouri Jail Fire

A fire that started in a malfunctioning generator sent thick smoke billowing into the Taney County Jail in Forsyth, MO, last September 14th, killing four prisoners. Thirteen other prisoners were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

The fire began when an extension cord connected to ...

Alaska Con Has Liberty Interest in Prison Job

An Alaskan prisoner was subjected to a random urine test using the Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique (EMIT). He tested positive for marijuana use. Immediately after the test results came in, and without a disciplinary hearing, the prisoner was removed from his job in correctional industries. He was subsequently found guilty ...

HIV-Positive Cons Win Partial Victory

In a significant victory for prisoners who have been tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a lower court order in a case that had challenged the prisoners' conditions of confinement. Prisoners who ...

Geronimo Pratt Wins Injunction Against Future Harassment; Loses Drug Trafficking And Possession Appeal

Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt is a political prisoner convicted after an FBI COINTELPRO frame job of murdering a school teacher during an alleged robbery attempt of the victim and her husband on a Santa Monica tennis court. Pratt has consistently maintained that the FBI framed him for the murder because of ...

Prison's TB Response Legally Inadequate

Prisoners at a Minnesota correctional facility filed a class action lawsuit challenging the tuberculosis screening and control procedures at the prison as so inadequate that they constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the eighth amendment. The trial court agreed with the inmates, but denied an injunction because it ...

U.S. Prisons Accused of Human Rights Abuses

An international human-rights group recently charged that the U.S. prison authorities are engaging in "numerous human-rights abuses" through the increasing use of " super maximum security" prisons modeled after the federal prison in Marion, Ill. Condemning what it called the "Marionization" of the nation's prison system, Human Rights Watch ...

Deadly Strain of TB Found in New York Prisons

Deadly Strain Of TB Found In New York Prisons

[Editor's Note: The following article is reprinted from the November 15, 1991, issue of "The Colombian."]

A virulent new strain of tuberculosis has killed 12 inmates and one guard in the New York state prison system and poses a "deadly ...

Federal Prisoner Gets Medical Records

A federal prisoner filed a request for his medical records under the U.S. Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP), released 56 pages of the prisoner's medical file, but withheld the remaining 66 pages of files, which contained the evaluations and opinions of ...

Incarceration Rate Grows in First Half of 1991

Incarceration Rate Grows In First Half Of 1991

The nation's state and federal prison population grew by 30,149 inmates, just under four percent, during the first half of1991 to reach a record 804,524 men and women as of June 30, the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau ...

State Prison Systems Emulate Marion Control Unit

By Faw Dowker and Glen Good

Inspired by the Federal Bureau of Prisons' seven year experiment with a super-maximum security "control unit" prison at Marion in southern Illinois, state prison systems across the country have begun operating their own similar facilities. Control unit prisoners are subjected to nearly round-the-clock cell ...

Non-Specific Infractions Violated Due Process

Two prisoners found guilty of participation in "violent group conduct" challenged the sufficiency of the evidence presented at their hearings to establish their guilt. The principal evidence utilized were written misconduct reports stating that all inmates present in a mess hall (numbering around 140) actively participated in a riot.

The ...

IMU's and Controlled Feeding at CBCC

IMU'S and Controlled Feeding At CBCC

As part of the continuing trend across the U.S. to open control units the Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington state has opened an Intensive Management Unit (IMU). Currently prisons at Shelton, Wa. and Walla Walla, Wa., have IMU's. The physical ...

Chilean Political Prisoners End Hungerstrike

On November 13, 1991, four Chilean political prisoners ended a 44-day hungerstrike. 24 hours after a street demonstration supporting them had culminated with the detention of 252 people by police. The announcement was formulated by the hungerstrikers themselves in the hospital where they were interned over the weekend due to ...

Canadian Officials May End Ban on Sex Between Prison Inmates

Canadian Officials May End Ban On Sex Between Prison Inmates

by Rod Mickleburgh

Toronto Globe and Mail

TORONTO - Canadian federal corrections officials are considering an end to the ban on sex between prisoners, in light of the government's decision to make condoms available.

The issue has arisen because the ...