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Prison Legal News: July, 1993

Issue PDF
Volume 4, Number 7

In this issue:

  1. No Qualified Immunity for Medical Indifference (p 1)
  2. Lack of Treatment States Claim (p 1)
  3. Reduction In Damages Improper (p 2)
  4. Equal Protection for Handicapped Explained (p 2)
  5. Racism and Treatment (p 3)
  6. Arizona Prisoners Denied Adequate Mental Health Care (p 3)
  7. The Transsexual in Prison-A Focal Point (p 4)
  8. Incompetent Medical Exam Violates 8th Amendment (p 5)
  9. Informal Brief Acts as Notice of Appeal (p 5)
  10. Confiscation of Legal Materials States Claim (p 6)
  11. Congress to Limit Prisoner Suits (p 6)
  12. AG Not Entitled to Immunity (p 6)
  13. Rehabilitation versus Punishment=Attitude (p 7)
  14. Grievance Procedure Tolls Statute of Limitations (p 8)
  15. Dismissal not Appropriate for Unintentional Delay (p 8)
  16. Illinois Tolling Statute Unconstitutional (p 8)
  17. Men in Prison: A Review (p 9)
  18. Prison Riot in Argentina (p 10)
  19. The Hot House; Life Inside Leavenworth Prison - A Book Review (p 10)
  20. We Need Solutions, Not More Prisons (p 11)
  21. From The Editor (p 11)
  22. German Prison Destroyed (p 13)
  23. Prison Breakout in Peru (p 13)
  24. Palestinian Political Prisoners (p 14)
  25. Letter from Spain (p 15)
  26. Control Units and Democratic Repression in Chile (p 16)

No Qualified Immunity for Medical Indifference

Dennis Hamilton is an Alaska state prisoner. After an ear operation prison officials tried to fly him to a federal prison in Oklahoma. The trip was aborted after the first leg of the trip due to extreme ear pain caused by flying. Hamilton's doctor wrote prison officials stating Hamilton ...

Lack of Treatment States Claim

Charles Watson is a Maine state prisoner. Prior to entering prison he injured his hand. Once imprisoned he sought medical treatment for his hand injury. A prison nurse examined him and refused treatment, saying the DOC was not responsible for injuries incurred before confinement. Watson eventually received treatment and had ...

Reduction In Damages Improper

Harry Weeks was a parapeligic Ohio state prisoner. For a two year period Weeks was housed in a control unit at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) at Lucasville, OH. The control unit did not permit Weeks to have a wheelchair. L.R. Chaboudy was the prison doctor during this ...

Equal Protection for Handicapped Explained

Wheelchair bound prisoners at the Iowa State Penitentiary (ISP) filed suit concerning denial of physical access and programming because of their disability. The parties settled most of the problems in a consent decree. The one issue not settled was prison officials' refusal to provide in-cell cable TV access to handicapped ...

Racism and Treatment

by Terrance Hazel

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) present method of administering Substance Abuse Treatment Programs (SATP) discriminate against Black and Hispanic inmates. Black and Hispanic prisoners are:

71 percent of inmate population (35,000+)
80 percent of that 71 percent have serious drug problems (20,000 ...

Arizona Prisoners Denied Adequate Mental Health Care

The treatment of seriously mentally ill prisoners in Arizona is "appalling," according to a recent decision today by United States District Judge Carl Muecke in Phoenix.

Ruling in Casey v. Lewis, a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of all Arizona prisoners, Muecke found that numerous deficiencies in the prison ...

The Transsexual in Prison-A Focal Point

[Editors Note: Quetzala Lofofora Eva Contreras is a First Nations Transsexual Lesbian. She is a trained paralegal and from 1990-1992 was the Executive Director in California of Transsexuals In Prison, a nationwide organization of incarcerated and non-incarcerated, pre-and post-operative male to female and female to male transsexuals and their supporters ...

Incompetent Medical Exam Violates 8th Amendment

Eugene Souza was a Rhode Island state prisoner. He developed acute appendicitis and sought treatment from prison doctors. The prison did not provide direct access to doctors; instead, sick prisoners were screened by a guard/nurse who would schedule doctor visits if they felt it was necessary. For a three ...

Informal Brief Acts as Notice of Appeal

William Smith is a paraplegic Maryland state prisoner. He filed suit against various prison guards, doctors and officials claiming they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by denying him use of a wheelchair. Before trial the district court dismissed several of the defendants. The case went to trial ...

Confiscation of Legal Materials States Claim

Wayne Zilich is a Pennsylvania state prisoner. When he was transferred from prison to a county jail for court proceedings jail guards confiscated a number of his transcripts, legal materials and papers and refused to return them. Zilich filed suit under § 1983 claiming that the confiscation of his legal materials ...

Congress to Limit Prisoner Suits

A comprehensive civil justice reform bill has been introduced in the Senate by Charles Grassley (R-IA). S.585, the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1993, would establish a modified English rule on attorney fees in federal diversity cases. The amount the loser would have to pay would be limited to ...

AG Not Entitled to Immunity

Paul and I have been doing the newsletter with this new 16-paged magazine format for several months now, and in that time we have managed to get a sense of what difference in cost this new printing system will make. By dividing our production cost into the number of PLN ...

Rehabilitation versus Punishment=Attitude

I'm a prisoner at the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) in Walla Walla, Washington. I'm one of the Indeterminate Sentence Prisoners who the Parole Board has to determine is "rehabilitated" before they will release me back into society. While I have to be rehabilitated to secure my release, prisoners ...

Grievance Procedure Tolls Statute of Limitations

William Gartrell is a Texas state prisoner. He filed suit under § 1983 claiming prison officials conspired to file trumped up disciplinary charges against him in retaliation for his legal activities; the disciplinary hearing and grievance procedure did not comport with due process; and that he was denied an impartial review ...

Dismissal not Appropriate for Unintentional Delay

David Sterling is a BOP prisoner. He filed suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) in district court in California claiming prison officials at Leavenworth, Kansas, negligently prescribed medication which caused him severe stomach and auditory pain. After he filed suit he was moved to a North Dakota prison ...

Illinois Tolling Statute Unconstitutional

Until 1987 Illinois prisoners had until two years after they were released from prison in which to file lawsuits. Any statute of limitations was tolled by imprisonment. In 1987 the Illinois legislature modified Illinois Rev. Statute ch. 110, ¶ 13-211, so that claims by prisoners against the DOC or DOC employees ...

Men in Prison: A Review

Generally, whenever we review publications in PLN we give you a brief synopsis of their highlights and ordering information. That is because as a newsletter we lack the space to do much more than this. Occasionally a publication will come along that has a lot of good information in and ...

Prison Riot in Argentina

One prisoner was killed and several were injured by gunfire and several others managed to escape from Batan prison outside Mar de Plata, Argentina, when a riot erupted after a Feb. 8, 1993, break out attempt. According to differing reports, either 23 or 18 of the 25 prisoners who tried ...

The Hot House; Life Inside Leavenworth Prison - A Book Review

By Ed Mead

I have just finished a pretty good book. A comrade gave it to me late yesterday afternoon. I went back to my cell and started reading it, and then kept on reading until exhaustion overtook me at 3:00 in the morning. I woke up four hours ...

We Need Solutions, Not More Prisons

The state of Washington, like most other states in the U.S., is on an expensive prison building binge. The state's prison population has tripled since the late '70s, yet crime rates continue to soar. The same situation exists elsewhere across the country. Californians, for example, believe that the ...

From The Editor

Paul and I have been doing the newsletter with this new 16-paged magazine format for several months now, and in that time we have managed to get a sense of what difference in cost this new printing system will make. By dividing our production cost into the number of PLN ...

German Prison Destroyed

Many people in Germany had good reason to celebrate in March. Early on Saturday, March 27, a series of explosions destroyed most of a newly completed high-tech prison that was to be put to use in May, 1993. The prison in Weiterstadt, close to Frankfurt, took eight years to build ...

Prison Breakout in Peru

On March 27, 1993, some 70 prisoners from the Cuzco jail in the Southern Andes of Peru escaped after at least 20 presumed members of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) destroyed a back wall by exploding a vehicle loaded with explosives, according to a journalistic source.

A journalist from ...

Palestinian Political Prisoners

Israeli prisons are in many respects a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As places of detention and physical and psychological suffering, they represent in starkest terms the violent essence of occupation. On the other hand, Palestinian prisoners have turned them into fronts of struggle and steadfastness. Thus in the face ...

Letter from Spain

by Pablo Serrano Zaragoza, Spain

The only thing new is an important increase in the prisoner population. They are filling the prisons to the roof. They have built various new prisons that are already full. Aside from this process, which follows even greater social injustice and inequality, it is due ...

Control Units and Democratic Repression in Chile

In December of 1992 the Chilean government began building an "anti terrorist" prison which is part of that country's new policy in the so called "struggle against violent extremism." This new prison will have a capacity to hold more than one hundred of the so called "dangerous prisoners," who ...