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Prison Legal News: August, 1994

Issue PDF
Volume 5, Number 8

In this issue:

  1. The Scandal of Prison "Management" (p 1)
  2. AZ Medical Care Unconstitutional (p 2)
  3. NJ Prisoners' Resource Center (p 2)
  4. Coalition and Prisoners Fight for Better Health Care (p 3)
  5. TB Alert (p 4)
  6. AIDS #1 Killer in FL DOC (p 4)
  7. Researching Medical Deliberate Indifference (p 4)
  8. WA Initiative to Increase Gun Penalties (p 6)
  9. WSR Consent Decree Loses S. Ct. Challenge (p 7)
  10. Little Diversity in WA State Courts (p 7)
  11. WA Punishment for Use of Religious Name Illegal (p 8)
  12. OR DOC Held in Contempt for Retaliatory Transfer (p 8)
  13. MDOC Sanctioned for Ex Parte Contacts with Prisoners in Court Cases (p 9)
  14. Suit Filed Over Conditions at Virgin Islands Criminal Justice Complex (p 9)
  15. UNICOR Info Wanted (p 9)
  16. Suit Challenges Inadequate PD Funding (p 10)
  17. Help Get Mumia Abu-Jamal Back on the Air! (p 10)
  18. Oppression on the Rise in Arizona (p 11)
  19. FBI Heroin Dealer (p 11)
  20. Crimes Against Habeas Corpus (p 12)
  21. Statistics Under Attack: F.B.I. Director Speaks out in Support of DNA Profiling (p 13)
  22. Recidivism Revisited (p 13)
  23. Prisoner Unrest in Georgia (p 14)
  24. Aids in WA DOC (p 14)
  25. Lucasville Riot Tab $34 Million Plus (p 14)
  26. Reviews (p 15)
  27. How to Win Disciplinary Hearings (Book Review) (p 15)
  28. From The Editor (p 16)
  29. Freedom for Political Prisoners (p 16)
  30. The Global Prison (Book Review) (p 17)
  31. Medical Help Sought for Danish POW (p 17)
  32. South African Prisoners Rebel (p 17)
  33. Peru's Lawyers: A High Risk Profession (p 18)
  34. Indonesia's Final Solution to Crime (p 19)

The Scandal of Prison "Management"

By Jill Brotman

Throughout the AFSC's decades of prison work it has encouraged reconciliation and nonviolent alternatives to conflict. But Massachusetts Governor William Weld has declared that a stay in prison should replicate a tour of the circles of hell. Current prison management is supposed to be part of the ...

AZ Medical Care Unconstitutional

This lengthy (76 pages) opinion deals with a DOC-wide class action suit filed by Arizona state prisoners challenging the medical and dental care, treatment available for seriously mentally ill prisoners, and unequal medical treatment provided to females compared to that provided male prisoners. District court judge Muecke ruled in favor ...

NJ Prisoners' Resource Center

In conjunction with the New Jersey American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) former prisoners have set up a Prisoner's Resource Center (PRC) to provide services and advocacy for both current and former prisoners in New Jersey.

Among the services provided for prisoners are: assistance with parole plans, letters of assurance for ...

Coalition and Prisoners Fight for Better Health Care

San Francisco, March 10, 1994 -- Despite a demonstration of over 100 people at the gates of Chowchilla prison on January 29 for better health care, the daily medical neglect and abuse continues unabated. Since the beginning of the year, three women prisoners, two of whom had AIDS, have died ...

TB Alert

By David Gilbert

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious killer in the world. Long considered conquered in the industrialized nations, TB is now making a comeback in the U.S. Prison is one danger zone for this disease which can be spread by airborne bacteria. In recent mass screenings (with the ...

AIDS #1 Killer in FL DOC

According to Florida corrections officials, AIDS is the leading cause of death in Florida prisons and many prisoners are released without knowing if they are infected. Half of the people who die in Florida prisons die from AIDS. Prison officials estimate about 8 percent of that state's 50,000 prisoners are ...

Researching Medical Deliberate Indifference

By Dude J. Rose

Prisoners have an eighth amendment right to adequate medical treatment. When bringing a claim of inadequate medical treatment, the plaintiff/prisoner must allege and show deliberate indifference on the part of the defendants towards the prisoner's medical needs and treatment.

The Supreme Court has adopted the "deliberate ...

WA Initiative to Increase Gun Penalties

By Paul Wright

The Washington Citizens for Justice are the right-wingers headed by Dave LaCourse, of the Public Policy Institute in Bellevue, WA; John Carlson, of KVI radio and Seattle Times columnist and Ida Ballasiotes, Republican state representative for Mercer Island. [Editor's Note: writing for the Times plugging I-593 Carlson ...

WSR Consent Decree Loses S. Ct. Challenge

By Paul Wright

As consistently reported in PLN, most recently in the March, 1994, issue, prisoners at the Washington State Reformatory (WSR) have been involved in nearly 13 years of litigation involving prison officials' challenge to the consent decree they entered into in 1981. The decree mandated that prison officials ...

Little Diversity in WA State Courts

A survey conducted by the Washington State Supreme Court's task force on diversity in the judiciary yielded not very surprising results. Out of 451 state judges in Washington 95 percent, all but 22, are white. Only three of those 22 are in courts other than King County (Seattle). Eastern Washington, ...

WA Punishment for Use of Religious Name Illegal

By Dawud Halisi Malik

On January 5, 1978, the superior court of the county of Walla Walla accepted my petition for name change as I had adopted Al-Islam as my religion. On May 8, 1990, I arrived at the Clallam Bay Correction Center (CBCC). I requested that I be acknowledged ...

OR DOC Held in Contempt for Retaliatory Transfer

In 1988 Arlen Smith and several other Oregon state prisoners sought judicial review of Oregon DOC administrative regulations in Oregon state courts. Shortly before the briefs were due, Smith, the initiator of the litigation, was transferred to the Nevada state prison system. Upon his transfer Smith was moved without any ...

MDOC Sanctioned for Ex Parte Contacts with Prisoners in Court Cases

Over eight years ago, lawyers from the Michigan Attorney General's office sent interrogatories directly to prisoners about the Knop v. Johnson case without notifying the plaintiffs' lawyers. Judge Enslen entered a protective order on February 19, 1986, and he later relied upon that conduct by the defendant's counsel as one ...

Suit Filed Over Conditions at Virgin Islands Criminal Justice Complex

For almost two years, prisoners at Criminal Justice Complex have been locked up for 23 hours a day in overcrowded, filthy, rat and roach infested cells. They are only allowed out for a short period each day to shower and for an hour of recreation twice a week. Cells designed ...

UNICOR Info Wanted

[Editor's Note: In the June, 1994, issue of PLN we reported on a lawsuit f led by BOP prisoners Joe Mohwish and Duane Olson alleging racketeering and other illegal labor practices by UNICOR. We received the following from Joe.] We would like to hear from federal prisoners who have any ...

Suit Challenges Inadequate PD Funding

By Marc Lee

Many lawsuits have been filed throughout this country addressing the problems in indigent defense programs. Although many of these lawsuits have been successful in showing the inadequacies in the indigent defense programs, for the most part they have been unsuccessful in obtaining relief. On May 12, 1994, ...

Help Get Mumia Abu-Jamal Back on the Air!

By Noelle Hanrahan

Sunday May 15th, 1994: The New York Times ran an AP article "From Death Row: A Radio Show" highlighting the next day's premier of Mumia Abu-Jamal's radio commentaries on All Things Considered (ATC). Most major dailies ran the article. That same day, NPR News Managing Editor Bruce ...

Oppression on the Rise in Arizona

By O'Neil Stough

Arizona has joined the ranks of many other prisons nationwide where oppressive and tried-and-failed barbaric methods of the distant past are being re-instituted.

Governor Fife Symington, up for reelection this year, and Director of Corrections, Sam Lewis whose experience is in law enforcement and kowtowing, both with ...

FBI Heroin Dealer

FBI agent Kenneth Withers stole one hundred pounds of high quality heroin from FBI evidence lockers and then sent mail solicitations with a one ounce sample packet of heroin, to drug dealers whose names he had acquired from FBI files. Withers, a seven year FBI veteran, instructed drug dealers to ...

Crimes Against Habeas Corpus

By Susan Blaustein

With its myriad new death penalty offenses, "three-strikes" provisions, mandatory minimums and moneys for prisons and police, Congress left only one thing out of its much-vaunted new crime package: any protection for Americans' most basic constitutional rights. In their poll-driven stampede to look tough on crime and ...

Statistics Under Attack: F.B.I. Director Speaks out in Support of DNA Profiling

By Dale Gardner

The method used by the FBI to calculate the frequency of a DNA match has been questioned in a recent paper. It is reported that the FBI calculates match probability based upon a database of large pools of "Caucasians" or "Blacks". In an article in Science, Volume ...

Recidivism Revisited

Michigan's corrections department recently released a five-year study of its paroled prisoners that reached the same conclusion as a similar six-year Louisiana study released last year: 55.2% of Michigan's 1986 parolees never returned to prison (nor did 56% of Louisiana's 1987 released prisoners).

5-year follow-up study on first-time Michigan parolees ...

Prisoner Unrest in Georgia

By A Georgia Reader

On Sunday, June 19, 1994, prisoners at Hancock Correctional Institution in Sparta, Georgia revolted in one of the worst prison riots in Georgia history. Damages were estimated at over one million dollars. Establishment media reports erroneously blamed the disturbance on "faulty showers". In fact, captors at ...

Aids in WA DOC


Beth Anderson, health services administrator for the Washington DOC, said that since 1985, 7,604 WA DOC prisoners have been tested for the HIV virus and 135 have tested positive. Currently, the DOC claims there are 63 HIV positive prisoners in custody, with 38 not yet showing ...

Lucasville Riot Tab $34 Million Plus

The 11 day rebellion at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, OH, which began on Easter day, 1993, left cell block L in ruins. So far it has cost the state $19.2 million to repair cellblock L alone. It cost $32.5 million to build the entire maximum security ...


By Paul Wright

North Coast XPress is a magazine for people who care about Constitutional issues, U.S. foreign policy, the criminal "justice" system, labor news, animal rights, global and domestic economics, the environment and other topics that the mainstream media won't touch. Each issue has prisoner art, poetry, and articles ...

How to Win Disciplinary Hearings (Book Review)

How To Win Disciplinary Hearings (Book Review)

Reviewed by Mark Cook

HTW is a manual for federal prisoners written by former federal prisoner Allan Parmelee. This gives the manual integrity from the git go but keep in mind that the undercurrent directions of how to beat a valid "shot" (rule ...

From The Editor

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of PLN. As we reported last month, the ACLU has filed suit against the Washington state parole board over their no-contact parole condition on Ed Mead, PLN's former coeditor, which terminated his involvement with PLN. So far the case has ...

Freedom for Political Prisoners

In July, 1992, different groups from around the world meeting in Munich, Germany over the 500th anniversary of the Columbus Encounter, formed a group called "Libertad!" around the goal of organizing an International Day of Action around the issue of political prisoners. The primary organizers of Libertad! are the Movimiento ...

The Global Prison (Book Review)

The Human Rights Watch Global report On Prisons

Edited by Aryeh Neier 303 pp. 1993. New York: Human Rights Watch. $20.00 (pb).

Review by David Gilbert

The Brazilian Military Police's wanton murder of 111 prisoners involved in a disturbance is just one of the grim realities presented in The Human ...

Medical Help Sought for Danish POW

An international campaign has been launched to obtain better conditions of confinement and medical care for Swiss militant Marc Rudin, who is currently serving an eight year prison sentence for alleged robbery in Denmark. Rudin is better known as Jihad Mansour, the movement name he adopted while working with the ...

South African Prisoners Rebel

On June 10, 1994, prisoners in seven South African prisons rebelled, taking prison officials hostage and destroying prisons. Prisoners demanding an amnesty held a warden captive for nearly 24 hours at the Modderbee prison east of Johannesburg before releasing him. One prisoner was killed and at least 30 escaped from ...

Peru's Lawyers: A High Risk Profession

"In the eyes and ears of the sinister power, all of us are under suspicion." Oiga Magazine Feb 21, 1994, p.5

To defend political prisoners in Peru is a delicate matter. The war that has been going on in the Andean country since 1980 has atrophied the legal institutions because ...

Indonesia's Final Solution to Crime

The American media was recently awash over the case of Michael Fay, an American youth sentenced to four months in jail and 6 lashes of a cane for vandalism by a court in Singapore. Singapore's laws and justice system received a fair amount of scrutiny resulting from the Fay case. ...