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Prison Legal News: February, 1992

Issue PDF
Volume 3, Number 2

In this issue:

  1. Occupation Justice: The Israeli Treatment of Palestinians (p 1)
  2. Maximum Security Unit Prisoners Win Access Suit (p 2)
  3. Ex-Mayor Barry Having Sex in Visiting Room? (p 2)
  4. Plea for Help (p 2)
  5. Prisoner Can Receive Diploma in Mail (p 3)
  6. Access and Indigency Expanded (p 3)
  7. From the Editor (p 3)
  8. Typewriters for Prisoners (p 3)
  9. Denial of Personal Hygiene Items States Claims (p 4)
  10. Caring Captors? (p 4)
  11. Supreme Court Informers (p 4)
  12. Bush Campaign Silences Prisoner (p 4)
  13. Bibliography of Selected Prison Cases (p 4)
  14. The Capacity of Prison Overcrowding (p 5)
  15. Prison/Community Alliance Update (p 6)
  16. Reviews (p 6)
  17. Justice Dept. to Take Back Higher Inmate Limits (p 7)
  18. CBCC IMU Hungerstrike (p 8)
  19. Indiana Ad Seg Policy Does Not Create Liberty Interest (p 8)
  20. State May Retain Private Attorneys to Defend DOC (p 8)
  21. Prisoners Get Squeezed (p 9)
  22. Letter from China (p 9)
  23. Reply from Germany (p 9)
  24. Reply to: Guards, Victims or Villains? (p 9)

Occupation Justice: The Israeli Treatment of Palestinians

In February 1985 the Ramallah Military Court inflicted five years' imprisonment upon a 13-year old boy from Dheishe Refugee Camp, in the course of an "instant trial" lasting not more than one afternoon.

Following that trial, Jerusalem peace activists Gideon Spiro wrote letters to all three of the military judges ...

Maximum Security Unit Prisoners Win Access Suit

The U.S. District Court for Delaware ruled in favor of the inmates at the Delaware Correctional center's Maximum Security Unit (MSU). The prisoners claimed in a 1983 action that the law library services provided at the MSU facility were wholly inadequate. The security measures were oppressive, including the use of ...

Ex-Mayor Barry Having Sex in Visiting Room?

Ex-Mayor Barry Having Sex In Visiting Room?

From: Seattle Times, January 6, 1992

Washington - Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry denied an allegation published in The Washington Post that a woman performed oral sex on him in a prison visiting room in front of dozens of inmates and their families. ...

Plea for Help

Plea For Help

Demba Diop is a Mauritanian expatriate confined at the Rheinbach prison in Germany on fabricated charges. Demba is the only black prisoner of the 500 prisoners at Rheinbach. Demba has been an active participant of the FLAM (Forces de Liberation Africaine de Mauritanie) since the early 1970s ...

Prisoner Can Receive Diploma in Mail

Bobby Griffin is a Missouri state prisoner who graduated from a college paralegal course. Upon graduation the college mailed him his diploma and grade transcript. This was rejected by prison officials who claimed prison regulations prohibited prisoners from having original diplomas and transcripts to prevent forgeries by prisoners and instead ...

Access and Indigency Expanded

Access And Indigency Expanded

A law library rule merely saying prisoners "shall be provided physical access to law library during assigned law library hours," when considered against the backdrop of uncontested allegations of inadequate access, was held not "to provide detailed guidelines to thwart arbitrariness." The court also struck down ...

From the Editor

From The Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of PLN. We are pleased to report that we are now registered as a tax exempt educational corporation with the IRS. What this means is that we can take advantage of cheaper postage rates to mail PLN to you each ...

Typewriters for Prisoners

Typewriters For Prisoners

The Typewriters for Prisoners Project (funded by a grant from Resist) has a few more typewriters to donate to prisoners. Preferences are: 1. inside groups that are involved with education or organizing; 2. prisoners who are using typewriters to help a number of other people. Write and ...

Denial of Personal Hygiene Items States Claims

Denial Of Personal Hygiene Items States Claims

A Kentucky state prisoner claimed that while he was held in a county jail he was denied personal hygiene items for two weeks which violated his Eighth amendment rights. He also claimed that jail officials refused to provide him with stamps, envelopes, writing ...

Caring Captors?

By Robert Pierce

A recent issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer contained an article in which Mid-Western law enforcement officials were complaining about the increasing cost of providing health care to prisoners in county jails. One sheriff, Tim Bivins of Lee County, Illinois, had what he thought was an answer. He ...

Supreme Court Informers

The most recent (#39) issue of Covert Action Information Bulletin contains an interesting article by Alexander Charns titled "FBI Involvement in the Supreme Court." Mr. Charns is a lawyer who has written a book concerning the FBI and the American judiciary. In this article Charns notes that in the recent ...

Bush Campaign Silences Prisoner

Brett Kimberlin is a federal prisoner serving time for drug and weapons charges. In November, 1988, a few days before the presidential elections, he was going to have a press conference where he was going to relate his account of having sold marijuana to now vice president Dan Quayle. Before ...

Bibliography of Selected Prison Cases

Bibliography Of Selected Prison Cases

This is the second edition of this useful 32 page booklet by South Dakota prisoner Roger Flittie. It provides a very good reference point for prison case law. With sections covering everything from class action conditions of confinement suits to ad seg, disciplinary actions, property, ...

The Capacity of Prison Overcrowding

The Capacity Of Prison Overcrowding

By Wm. Daniel M. Ravenscroft, Attorney At Law

A major difficulty in describing the extent of prison overcrowding is that there is no general agreement as to the definition of the "capacity' of overcrowded institutions.

To merely count the number of prison beds and inmates ...

Prison/Community Alliance Update

By Carrie Roth

The Prisoner/Community Alliance received a phone call from former Rep. Doug Sayan on Jan. 21, 1992. He said that the draft bill is now at the Code Revisors Office. The bill is an Omnibus bill which will include several aspects of sentencing. As of this date, Jan. ...


USA A LOOK AT REALITY is a quarterly human rights tabloid newspaper. Previous issues have examined the racism in use of the death penalty and brutality in the American gulag. The latest issue examines events at Attica and its prison legacy today, 20 years later. It has a chronology of ...

Justice Dept. to Take Back Higher Inmate Limits

Justice Dept. To Take Back Higher Inmate Limits

By Ronald J. Ostrow, Los Angeles Times

From: Seattle Times, January 15, 1992

Agency taking hard-line position on crowded prisons

WASHINGTON - Outlining a major policy shift, Attorney General William Barr said yesterday that the Department of Justice will be "receptive" to ...

CBCC IMU Hungerstrike

Did you happened to hear about the 2-1/2 day hungerstrike? They brought 10 of us here from WSP (Walla Walla) IMU to supply bodies to justify opening an IMU at CBCC. We got here and F unit isn't even prepared to accept IMU prisoners. 8 out of the 10 brought ...

Indiana Ad Seg Policy Does Not Create Liberty Interest

Two Indiana state prisoners filed suit over being placed in administrative segregation (Ad Seg). They claimed their right to due process had been violated and sought relief under § 1983.

The district court dismissed the suit on the grounds they did not have a liberty interest in not being placed ...

State May Retain Private Attorneys to Defend DOC

State May Retain Private Attorneys To Defend DOC

A Missouri state prisoner filed suit claiming he was denied medical care by prison officials. The state attorney general then contracted a private law firm to represent the defendants prison officials.

O'Connor, the prisoner plaintiff, filed a motion to disqualify the defendants ...

Prisoners Get Squeezed

The massive New York state budget crisis is starting to hit the prisons. Governor Cuomo, like other politicians, plans to squeeze pennies from those who have nothing, while leaving the fat cats sacrosanct. The main cuts are slated for Medicaid and schools. Also they plan to take 20% of prisoners' ...

Letter from China

Letter From China

Thank you for the Prisoners Legal News. It is not only a source of some news from the prisons in the U.S.A., but also a window through which I can see the prisoners' live in other countries. I enjoyed it very much.

Prisoners' life in China is ...

Reply from Germany

Reply From Germany

We are referring to the readers letter from Germany in your issue from November 1991.The writer, D.D., is giving the misleading impression that all RAF prisoners were betraying each other for personal gain. This is applying only to those former RAF members who had been hiding in ...

Reply to: Guards, Victims or Villains?

I've sent for a copy of the September 1991 issue of "Blueprint for Social Justice" and read both articles in it as you suggested. While the authors of these articles divulged some good points concerning the behavior of prison guards, their superiors and the psychology of prisondom, I think that ...