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Prison Legal News: November, 1992

Issue PDF
Volume 3, Number 11

In this issue:

  1. Status of Reformatory Crowding Litigation (p 1)
  2. Grievance Standards Changed (p 1)
  3. Overcrowding and Violence in Washington State (p 2)
  4. Parolees Have a Right to Bodily Privacy (p 3)
  5. Transferred Con Has Right to Books of Sending State (p 3)
  6. Prisoners Have Right to Privacy in Their Mail (p 3)
  7. Medication Must Be Delivered in Timely Manner (p 4)
  8. Contempt Order Appropriate for Consent Decree Violation (p 4)
  9. Expungement of Infraction Reversed (p 4)
  10. Federal Prisoners Must Exhaust Habeas Before Filing Suit (p 4)
  11. State Judges Can Be Sued for Injunctive Relief in Federal Court (p 5)
  12. Parole Officers Can Be Sued (p 5)
  13. BOP Prisoners Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies (p 5)
  14. Washington Smoking Suit Dismissed (p 6)
  15. Muslims Entitled to Prayer Oils (p 6)
  16. Gay Prisoner Entitled to Participate in Religious Services (p 6)
  17. Resistance at Lexington (p 7)
  18. Editorial (p 8)
  19. Committee Formed to Defend Abimael Guzman (p 8)
  20. Walla Walla News (p 9)
  21. Perotti Needs Help (p 9)

Status of Reformatory Crowding Litigation

In 1981 prisoners at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe entered into a consent decree with the state over the issue of double celling. The original complaint, filed by Evergreen Legal Services for Reformatory prisoners back in 1978, alleged a number of constitutional violations flowing either directly or indirectly from ...

Grievance Standards Changed

The Justice Department has modified the minimum standards for state prison inmates grievance procedures promulgated by the US Attorney General pursuant to § 7 of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997. The amendment is designed to clarify that the regulations do not require that prisoners ...

Overcrowding and Violence in Washington State

Back in 1985 I wrote an article predicting the future impact of Washington State's then recently adopted Sentencing Reform Act (SRA). The article noted that there would be an initial drop in prison populations, followed by a rapid increase until population levels were once again beyond what could be ...

Parolees Have a Right to Bodily Privacy

Parolees Have A Right To Bodily Privacy

Afemale parolee in California was ordered to provide a urine sample for drug testing by a male parole officer. While she was in a bathroom stall providing the sample, the male parole officer entered the stall and stayed there until Sepulveda, the parolee ...

Transferred Con Has Right to Books of Sending State

AUtah prisoner was subjected to what he claimed was an involuntary out-of-state transfer to an Arizona prison. The transferred prisoner filed a pro se habeas corpus petition in Superior Court of Arizona seeking, inter alia , access to legal research materials of the sending state, and trying to secure his return ...

Prisoners Have Right to Privacy in Their Mail

Prisoners Have Right to Privacy in their Mail

David Jolivet is a Utah state prisoner who married Dorothy Pacheco, a member of a prisoner rights group named "Pepper". Prior to marrying Jolivet, Pacheco had been married to another Utah prisoner named Stevenson. Craig Rasmussen is an investigator with the Utah ...

Medication Must Be Delivered in Timely Manner

Medication Must be Delivered in Timely Manner

Raymond Aswegan is a 70 year old Iowa state prisoner serving a life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary. Aswegan has numerous health problems including coronary artery disease, arthritis, obstructive pulmonary disease and a history of heart attacks. He filed suit claiming prison ...

Contempt Order Appropriate for Consent Decree Violation

Contempt Order Appropriate For Consent Decree Violation

In 1978 San Francisco jail prisoners filed suit over jail conditions. In 1982 the parties entered into a consent decree that included a limit on the number of prisoners that could be housed in the jail. Over the years the district court entered ...

Expungement of Infraction Reversed

Michael Elkin is a New Jersey state prisoner. During the process of obtaining and testing a urine sample from Elkin, prison officials did not comply with the terms of a consent decree requiring urine samples to have a "continuity of evidence" attached and completed. Elkin was infracted for having opiates ...

Federal Prisoners Must Exhaust Habeas Before Filing Suit

Federal Prisoners must Exhaust Habeas Before Filing Suit

Amilcar Marchetti is a federal prisoner who filed a Bivens civil rights suit against various state and federal law enforcement agencies and officials. He complained that his civil rights were violated by the government manufacturing false evidence and suborning perjury to secure ...

State Judges Can Be Sued for Injunctive Relief in Federal Court

State Judges Can be Sued for Injunctive Relief in Federal Court

Carrol Olson is a Kansas state probationer convicted of issuing a worthless check. Olson sought to appeal his conviction in the Kansas Court of Appeals. The state court of appeals was unable to hear his appeal because it lacked ...

Parole Officers Can Be Sued

Stephen Mee was a Colorado parolee whose parole was revoked by Jose Ortega, his parole officer, for alleged harassment. Ortega kept Mee in jail despite being told by the local prosecutor that because no violation of criminal law had occurred, Mee could not be kept in jail. Despite this advice ...

BOP Prisoners Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies

PLN recently reported the U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCarthy v. Madigan , 503 US ___, 112 S.Ct. 1081 (1992), which held that federal prisoners did not have to exhaust administrative remedies (the grievance system) prior to filing suit in federal court. In McCarthy a Bureau of Prisons (BOP ...

Washington Smoking Suit Dismissed

Ronald Guilmet is a Washington state prisoner at Walla Walla. Guilmet does not smoke and a smoker was placed in his cell. Five days later Guilmet complained to the unit sergeant that cigarette smoke bothered him. About five days after this Guilmet was assigned a non-smoking cellmate. Guilmet filed suit ...

Muslims Entitled to Prayer Oils

Three Michigan state prisoners at the Jackson State Prison filed suit under section 1983 claiming that a policy banning all use of prayer oils to Muslim prisoners violated their first amendment rights. The district court appointed counsel to represent the prisoners. Both parties moved for summary judgement and the district ...

Gay Prisoner Entitled to Participate in Religious Services

Paul Phelps is a gay Kentucky state prisoner who sued a volunteer prison chaplain and deputy warden claiming they had violated his first amendment right to practice his religion when they refused to allow him to participate in chapel services. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants at ...

Resistance at Lexington

On August 12-14, the first sustained act of resistance by women prisoners in the u.s. federal prison system in 20 years took place.

On Wednesday night, August 12, there was an argument between two prisoners in the central yard area ("Central Park") at about 8:30. It was over ...

Editorial

Editorial Comments

by Ed Mead

It's evidently necessary for us to repeat some messages every so often. Our increasing readership turnover is such that we will always have new groups of convicts to educate. And educating folks is what we're all about. Anyway, this month's "message rerun ...

Committee Formed to Defend Abimael Guzman

Abimael Guzman (also known as Chairman Gonzalo), the leader of the Communist Party of Peru, was captured by Peruvian government troops on September 14, 1992, in Lima, Peru. Mr. Guzman had been sought by government troops since 1980, when the PCP initiated the military aspect of the current people's ...

Walla Walla News

The prison chaplain has shut down our Indian group. Stating that we are getting too political. On August 11th, 1992, he called the squad to the chapel, and they surrounded all of the Indians, and asked us to leave the area. Our "Indian" rep from Olympia won't do anything ...

Perotti Needs Help

John Perotti, Mansfield, OH

On August 7, 1992, MANCI prisoncrats Bill Rachael (unit manager), Terry Knight (SHP Investigator), Mr. Fleming (SHP) and Capt. Jackson and Sgt. Harrell called a prisoner named Jerome Evans to their office and made a deal that if he set me up they would get him ...