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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: April, 1992

Issue PDF
Volume 3, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. Cross Gender Pat Search Policy Upheld (p 1)
  2. Qualified Immunity Granted in Digital Rectal Searches (p 1)
  3. Claims Regarding Conditions in State Prison Were Sufficient to Survive Summary Judgment (p 2)
  4. Prisoners' Participation in Work, Training Reduces Recidism, Improves Behavior (p 2)
  5. The Death of HB 2834 (p 3)
  6. Corrections Costs to Soar, Study Warns (p 3)
  7. Complaint Should Not Be Dismissed for not Complying with Local Rule (p 4)
  8. Mass Graves Found in Venezuelan Prison (p 4)
  9. Son of Sam Law Struck Down (p 4)
  10. PLN Reader Sends ACLU Finger (p 4)
  11. In Memory-Farewell Brother Riegle (p 5)
  12. Lifers Litigation Update (p 5)
  13. Guard Liable for Hitting Prisoner (p 5)
  14. Court Reporters Entitled to Absolute Immunity (p 5)
  15. Prisoner Entitled to Discover Identity of Attackers (p 6)
  16. Law Would Let Prison Mothers Keep Kids (p 6)
  17. Counsel Appointed in Denial of Telephone, Beating Claim (p 6)
  18. CBCC Publisher Only Rule Upheld on Qualified Immunity Grounds (p 6)
  19. Editorial (p 7)
  20. Informant Testimony Must be Independently Weighed (p 7)
  21. Feds Seek $2.2 Billion for Federal Prisons (p 7)
  22. Counsel Should Be Appointed in Religious Suit (p 8)
  23. U.S. Murder Rate Increases Again (p 8)
  24. NY Prisoner Has Due Process Right to Remain In Population (p 8)
  25. Information on Visiting Needed (p 8)
  26. Some Thoughts on Crime and Punishment Rates (p 9)
  27. Test for Appointed Counsel on 1983 Suits (p 9)
  28. PLN Benefit Tape (p 10)

Cross Gender Pat Search Policy Upheld

A Washington prison's policy of subjecting fully clothed female inmates to random "pat searches" by male as well as female guards does not violate the first, fourth, or eighth amendments, a majority of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held. The Jan. 10th ruling set aside a district court ...

Qualified Immunity Granted in Digital Rectal Searches

Qualified immunity Granted In Digital Rectal Searches

In a case that may affect the many Washington state prisoners who were subjected to digital rectal searches, the 4th circuit court of appeals upheld a jury finding of qualified immunity for Arizona prison officials who had conducted such searches.

The court had ...

Claims Regarding Conditions in State Prison Were Sufficient to Survive Summary Judgment

On December 30th the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit provided some illumination as to what sort of allegations by an inmate regarding allegedly unconstitutional prison conditions are adequate to withstand a motion by prison officials for summary judgment. In so doing, the court decided that a ...

Prisoners' Participation in Work, Training Reduces Recidism, Improves Behavior

Federal Bureau of Prisons announces results of study

Prison inmates who have jobs or receive vocational training while incarcerated are better prisoners and are less likely to commit new crimes or become parole violators once they are released, according to a study conducted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The ...

The Death of HB 2834

The Death Of HB 2834

HB 2834 is dead. It almost made it through the legislative process but died when the Senate bogged down on the health care issue.

Originally the bill read that the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) would be eliminated as of July 1992. This was part ...

Corrections Costs to Soar, Study Warns

Corrections Costs To Soar, Study Warns

By Ed Penhale, P-I Reporter

Annual costs for running Washington's state and local corrections operations will rise by 50 percent over the next four years, adding $182 million a year to that expense by 1996, two corrections consultants said recently.

As state and ...

Complaint Should Not Be Dismissed for not Complying with Local Rule

Stephen Stackhouse, a former Pennsylvania state prisoner, filed a civil rights suit claiming he was denied due process and subjected to cruel and unusual punishment while in prison.

The defendants filed for dismissal and for summary judgement, Stackhouse did not respond as required by local district court rules. The district ...

Mass Graves Found in Venezuelan Prison

Mass Graves Found In Venezuelan Prison

A common grave containing the remains of at least 40 prisoners was recently uncovered in a Venezuelan prison located in the central city of San Juan de Moros.

The discovery has raised serious questions about the country's judicial and prison systems. While the ...

Son of Sam Law Struck Down

New York's "Son of Sam" law provided that those accused or convicted of a crime could not profit from such a crime by writing a book describing the offense. If such a book was written, the proceeds of same were to be given to the state's Crime Victim ...

PLN Reader Sends ACLU Finger

Recently the PLN received a letter from Kataza Taifa, imprisoned at the Westville Control Unit in Indiana. It included a copy of the following letter he has sent to the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union: "Dear ACLU Board Members, Since for what I understand to be financial ...

In Memory-Farewell Brother Riegle

By John Perrotti

On January 10, 1992, our bother Mike Riegle succumbed to his 2-year struggle with the AIDS virus. Mike was a strong supporter of the prisoner and gay rights struggle, and for more than ten years put out the outstanding prison page section of the national Gay Community ...

Lifers Litigation Update

By John Midgely

Evergreen Legal Services

This is to update all interested persons on the progress of the Powell case in federal court. Recently, United States Magistrate Judge Sweigert made a recommendation to Judge Zilly that SHB 1457 be found ex post facto as to Mr. Powell. This is an ...

Guard Liable for Hitting Prisoner

Guard Liable For Hitting Prisoner

Ronald Neal is a Michigan state prisoner who was punched in the groin by a prison guard. Neal filed suit under 1983 claiming that his 8th amendment and due process rights had been violated, he also included a pendent tort claim for assault and battery ...

Court Reporters Entitled to Absolute Immunity

Court Reporters Entitled To Absolute Immunity

Jeffrey Antoine was charged with bank robbery and tried in US district court in Tacoma, WA. Shanna Ruggenberg was the court reporter at trial and was responsible for producing the transcript for Antoine's appeal after he was convicted.

For over 4 years Ruggenberg ...

Prisoner Entitled to Discover Identity of Attackers

Prisoner Entitled To Discover Identity Of Attackers

Chris Murphy filed a 1983 suit claiming that while he was imprisoned in the Harris County Jail, in Texas, he was beaten and attacked by jail guards in retaliation for having complained of jail conditions. The district court dismissed his complaint as being ...

Law Would Let Prison Mothers Keep Kids

A bill has passed the Illinois State House and Senate which will allow female inmates to keep their children with them until the children reach the age of six. The bill is designed to help preserve a positive relationship between mother and child. It provides that the Department of Corrections ...

Counsel Appointed in Denial of Telephone, Beating Claim

Counsel Appointed In Denial Of Telephone, Beating Claim

Billy Tucker was arrested and jailed in Kendall County, Ill. At the time of his arrest he was bloody and had a broken hand and ribs. He was taken to a hospital and washed but not treated for his broken bones. He ...

CBCC Publisher Only Rule Upheld on Qualified Immunity Grounds

Martin Johnson was a federal prisoner sent to the Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC) in Washington state as a boarder. He filed suit challenging numerous aspects of prison conditions under the due process clause of the federal constitution. The district court in Seattle dismissed the suit on motion by the ...

Editorial

Editorial Comments

By Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of the PLN . In this edition you will find an ad for the " PLN Benefit Tape." The tape has songs contributed by several bands to help us do some fund-raising to continue publishing the newsletter. While it may not be as ...

Informant Testimony Must be Independently Weighed

Informant Testimony Must Be Independently Weighed

Spellmon Bey is a Texas prisoner who was infracted for threatening other prisoners in order to extort commissary and sexual favors from them. The infraction was written by the unit captain, based on informant testimony, and listed only the date and time the infraction ...

Feds Seek $2.2 Billion for Federal Prisons

Feds Seek $2.2 Billion For Federal Prisons

At a news conference held in Washington on January 29th, George J. Terwilliger III, acting deputy attorney general, said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will seek a Fiscal Year 1993 budget of $11.3 billion, an increase of $1 billion, or ...

Counsel Should Be Appointed in Religious Suit

Counsel Should Be Appointed In Religious Suit

A Muslim prisoner in Nebraska sought to send a $2.00 donation to a Mosque in Lincoln, which prison officials refused to permit him to do. The practice of Zakah, a form of charity, is one of the 5 basic pillars of the ...

U.S. Murder Rate Increases Again

The nation's murder rate for 1991 reached its highest level in a decade, topping 24,000 for the first time, figures indicate.

Based on a survey of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the Senate Judiciary Committee estimates there were 24,020 homicides last year, up 580 from ...

NY Prisoner Has Due Process Right to Remain In Population

New York state prisoner Altagarcia Santana filed a civil rights suit, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming that his right to due process had been violated when he was placed in "keeplock" and not given a hearing for five days. When the hearing took place it lasted for ...

Information on Visiting Needed

Information On Visiting Needed

The Criminal Justice Ministries is trying to change the Iowa prison visitation law, which does not allow citizens to visit more than one person in the system (family and clergy are excepted). The Department of Corrections tells us this is common practice in other states. We ...

Some Thoughts on Crime and Punishment Rates

By Ed Mead

Elsewhere in this issue of the PLN we reported figures reflecting that the nation's murder rate for 1991 reached it highest level in a decade, topping 24,000 for the first time, a 25 percent increase since 1985. We pointed out that America's murder toll ...

Test for Appointed Counsel on 1983 Suits

Test For Appointed Counsel On 1983 Suits

A court considering an indigent prison inmate's request for appointed counsel to aid him in pursuing a civil rights action under 42 USC 1983 should consider, as a threshold matter, how hard the prisoner has already tried to retain an attorney to ...

PLN Benefit Tape

The long awaited "PLN Benefit Tape" is now available! It features the avant garde industrial and rock music of the bands Insomnia, Serena Slab, La Runcion de Repulsa, Chemical Plant, Nux Vomica, Operation Mind Control, Gustavo Pastre, Symboliks, Thru Black Holes Band, Factor X, and Cervis. Each tape comes with ...

 

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