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Prison Legal News: January, 1995

Issue PDF
Volume 6, Number 1

In this issue:

  1. Unconstitutionality of Florida's Outdoor Yard Policies for Close Management Prisoners (p 1)
  2. Pretrial Detainee Housed at Marion (p 3)
  3. Racist Guard Fired (p 3)
  4. Ban on Japanese Publications Struck Down (p 4)
  5. Frivolous Litigation (p 4)
  6. Kansas Ad-Seg Plan Clarified (p 5)
  7. Federal Courts Must Rule on State Law Claims in Beating (p 6)
  8. Discriminatory Jury Selection Reversed (p 6)
  9. No FLSA Protection for Prisoner Workers (p 7)
  10. Legal Papers Filed When Mailed (p 7)
  11. CA BPT Lawyer Sentenced (p 8)
  12. MS Bans Appliances (p 8)
  13. TX Guards Charged in Beating Murder (p 8)
  14. Limits on Contact Visits With Counsel Reversed (p 8)
  15. Jail Population Cap Affirmed (p 9)
  16. Prisoner Shot Dead (p 9)
  17. Warden Killed in Alabama (p 9)
  18. Law Library Access Not "Core" Bounds Requirement (p 10)
  19. WSR Guard Convicted of Soliciting Assault (p 11)
  20. WI Enacts Sex Predator Law (p 11)
  21. Tennis Shoes Cost US Taxpayers Over $8,000 (p 12)
  22. OK Early Release Law Legal (p 12)
  23. Lucasville 1994 "Spilt Milk" (p 13)
  24. Award for Prisoners Beaten by OH Guards (p 14)
  25. Did Warden Seek SOCF Riot? (p 14)
  26. News in Brief (p 15)
  27. Algerian Prison Uprising (p 16)
  28. From The Editor (p 16)
  29. Resource Info Wanted (p 17)
  30. From a Michigan Reader (p 17)
  31. CT's "Gang Problem" (p 17)
  32. Japan Uses Prison Slave Labor (p 17)
  33. U.S. Prisoner in Thailand Needs Info (p 18)
  34. From a California Reader (p 18)
  35. Activists Labeled "Security Threat" (p 18)
  36. AIDS Info Sought (p 19)
  37. Conditions in Thai Prisons for US Prisoners (p 19)
  38. Televisions in Prison (p 19)

Unconstitutionality of Florida's Outdoor Yard Policies for Close Management Prisoners

by William Van Poyck

The constitutional right, based upon the Eighth Amendment's proscription of cruel and unusual punishment, of long term Close Management (C.M.) prisoners to outdoor recreation exercise yard is long and well established, nation wide, going back more than two decades. Federal courts have universally and ...

Pretrial Detainee Housed at Marion

Most PLN readers are familiar with the US Penitentiary at Marion, IL. The prison was totally locked down in October of 1983 and has remained that way ever since. Prisoners are locked in their cells 23 hours a day in extremely harsh and punitive conditions which have been condemned by ...

Racist Guard Fired

This case has little to do with prisoner rights litigation but we thought our readers would be interested in it. Ronald Lawrenz was a probationary prison guard at the Charlotte Correctional Institution (CCI) in Florida. On January 18, 1993, Lawrenz was at the home of another guard having a barbecue ...

Ban on Japanese Publications Struck Down

Yu Kikumura is a member of the Japanese Red Army held at the US Penitentiary in Marion, IL. A Japanese national, he can read, speak or write very little English and Japanese remains his primary language. On more than 20 occasions Marion prison officials rejected publications which were sent to ...

Frivolous Litigation

People hear the term "frivolous" litigation and what comes to mind are the guys who sue over a train whistle keeping them awake at night in prison. All too often prisoners seeking justice don't find any, not because their claims are frivolous but because they are too poor to ...

Kansas Ad-Seg Plan Clarified

In 1980 prisoners and prison officials in the Kansas state prison system entered into a consent decree designed to improve the living conditions of prisoners confined to administrative segregation (ad seg). In 1988 the case was reactivated when the prisoners sought the court's intervention claiming the defendants had not ...

Federal Courts Must Rule on State Law Claims in Beating

Michael McLaurin is an Arkansas state prisoner. A prison guard accused McLaurin of stealing cigarettes from another prisoner despite assurances from both prisoners that McLaurin was only holding the cigarettes as a favor to the owner. The guard struck McLaurin on the side of the face which knocked him to ...

Discriminatory Jury Selection Reversed

In the September, 1994, issue of PLN we reported on the unconstitutionality of racially discriminatory jury discrimination with regards to criminal trials. The right to a jury composed of members of the community also applies to civil rights suits. Frederick Davidson, a black Missouri state prisoner, sued prison officials claiming ...

No FLSA Protection for Prisoner Workers

Past issues of PLN have extensively reported on the struggles by prisoners to obtain the minimum wage for industrial and production work performed in prison. Much of this litigation has focused on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 29 U.S.C. § 201-219 which mandates that workers be paid ...

Legal Papers Filed When Mailed

Prisoner litigants representing themselves face greater problems when litigating than do most ordinary litigants. Not only are they usually untrained in the law but they lack control over basic things such as the mail. Courts operate on deadlines which often result in penalties for a party whenever they miss the ...

CA BPT Lawyer Sentenced

David Eugene Brown was the chief counsel for the California Board of Prison Terms (BPT) from 1982 until June, 1994. He worked his way up through the prison system's ranks, starting as guard, then captain and going to law school, after which he was appointed to serve on the ...

MS Bans Appliances

In August, 1994, the Mississippi state legislature held a special session to deal with prison overcrowding. Rather than deal with that issue, the legislature soon became embroiled in a debate on how to worsen prison conditions even more. Proposals were made to "restore fear to prison," of canings, of making ...

TX Guards Charged in Beating Murder

On October 7, 1994, 15 of about 300 prisoners in the recreation yard of the Terrell Prison Unit in Livingston, TX, attacked prison staff.  One guard suffered a broken nose. Prison guards beat several prisoners in retaliation for the attack. On October 9, 1994, Michael McCoy died in a hospital ...

Limits on Contact Visits With Counsel Reversed

Lee Barnett is a California state prisoner on death row. He filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that prison officials had retaliated against him for filing civil rights suits against them; that he was denied contact visits with his attorney in violation of his right of access ...

Jail Population Cap Affirmed

Prisoners and detainees in the Angelina county jail in Texas filed a class action suit claiming that overcrowding at the jail violated their constitutional rights. The district court agreed and entered an injunction imposing a population cap on the jail. The defendant county jail and sheriff also filed a third ...

Prisoner Shot Dead

On September 30, 1994, death row prisoner Timothy Pride was shot dead by San Quentin, California, prison guards after being involved in a fight with another prisoner. According to witnesses,  Pride was backing away from the other prisoner when shot. A prison spokesperson justified the killing saying: "From the taxpayers ...

Warden Killed in Alabama

In Mid-October, 1994, Kelvin Washington, 27, was arrested and charged with the murder of Charles Farquhar, the warden of a state prison cattle ranch in Greensboro, Alabama, his wife and two prisoners. The bodies believed to be that of Farquhar and his wife were found bludgeoned in his brick ranch ...

Law Library Access Not "Core" Bounds Requirement

In a major setback for Washington state prisoners the ninth circuit has held that prisoners do not have a right of access to prison law libraries. William Vandelft was infracted while at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton. He served a sanction of segregation and filed a state Personal Restraint ...

WSR Guard Convicted of Soliciting Assault

On June 3, 1994, Washington State Reformatory (WSR) guard Roger Wallace, 28, was arrested at the Monroe, Washington, prison on charges of soliciting a prisoner, Samuel McNeal, to assault Gerald "J.D." Enquist, another prisoner. On June 9, 1994, Wallace was charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with solicitation to ...

WI Enacts Sex Predator Law

By Jan Starks

On May 26, 1994, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson enacted a Sexual Predator Law, officially called 1993 Wisconsin Act 479. It was designed especially for two current prisoners: Gerald Turner, who in 1973 killed 9 year old Lisa French on Halloween night and Raymond Matzker, who in 1982 ...

Tennis Shoes Cost US Taxpayers Over $8,000

Though this is an unpublished case, and one we might ordinarily consider of small consequence, the prisoner litigant - David Cerullo - provided PLN with extensive information and background on the case that lends a very unusual perspective.

David Cerullo knew he was going to do some federal time. Two months before ...

OK Early Release Law Legal

In response to prison overcrowding, the Oklahoma state legislature has passed the Oklahoma Prison Overcrowding Emergency Powers Act, Oklahoma Statute 57, § 570-576. The act permits the prison system to release prisoners with less than medium custody convicted of lesser crimes in order to free up prison space. Timothy Keeton, an ...

Lucasville 1994 "Spilt Milk"

By John W. Perotti

It's been almost two years since the 11-day siege at the southern Ohio Correctional Facility located in Lucasville, Ohio. The problem?  "Spilt milk" is just the beginning.

Millions of dollars have been spent on reconstruction of the prison and prosecution of the prisoners that the ...

Award for Prisoners Beaten by OH Guards

In April of 1993, the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) at Lucasville, Ohio, erupted in one of the longest, costliest, and most violent prisoner rebellions in recent history. The rebellion brought Lucasville to national attention, but Ohio prisoners and prisoncrats had long been aware of problems leading up to the ...

Did Warden Seek SOCF Riot?

In April, 1993, prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) rebelled in what became the longest 2>prison siege in US history that left 10 dead. PLN has provided extensive coverage of the rebellion, its origins and its aftermath. Some SOCF prisoners have claimed that the rebellion was deliberately ...

News in Brief

Since June, 1994, 8 prisoners at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC) were placed in segregation after they allegedly gave friends and relatives a state toll free number at which to call them. The DOC operates a boiler room operation at CBCC which contracts with other state agencies and private ...

Algerian Prison Uprising

On November 13, 1994, 700 fundamentalist Muslim prisoners on death row, joined by 100 other prisoners, seized control of the Berrouaghia prison for several hours and tried to take guards hostage. The prison, located outside the capital of Algiers, holds several thousand prisoners. Many of the prisoners are members of ...

From The Editor

by Dan Pens  

Keeping these twenty pages filled and mailed out to 1,200 readers is no small task. Each month  I mail out about 50 letters, 75 post cards and a dozen or so invoices to PLN subscribers. I  generate most of the "routine" correspondence. Paul answers most of ...

Resource Info Wanted

I am in the process of compiling information for a prison resource directory. Send any info that you feel would be of benefit to prisoners, their families, ex-offenders and those working in the criminal justice arena. Any type of info can be used, i.e. legal services, educational services, medical ...

From a Michigan Reader

I was curious as to how you get your stories. They are very interesting, and that one in the Sept. issue about Emmett Jones and jury rigging in Michigan really hit close to home. I might have a story for you. I recently got fired from my job as prison ...

CT's "Gang Problem"

CT's "Gang Problem"

The RICO concept of guilt by association has recently moved from the statute books and has now made its appearance into prison management. Within the past year or so Connecticuts Department of Corrections adopted a gang management policy. The policy designates gangs and gang members, and ...

Japan Uses Prison Slave Labor

While the use of prison slave labor by China has been widely criticized by the US, less well known is the fact that Japan also has a similar system. In July, 1994, congressman Gary Ackerman (NY Dem), head of the foreign affairs subcommittee on Asia, told reporters that Japan should ...

U.S. Prisoner in Thailand Needs Info

I was arrested in June of 199l and charged with possession of narcotics and intent to export. The drugs weighed slightly more than five kilos. I was given "legal counsel" - I think. I was told by a man who spoke very little English, "Plead guilty. If not plead guilty I ...

From a California Reader

Governor Pete Wilson is constantly passing legislation that is cutting away at the Prisoner Bill of Rights, and has done away with conjugal visits for prisoners with certain sex convictions, and has recently signed a Bill that limits good time/work time credits to 15% (down from 33.3% -50 ...

Activists Labeled "Security Threat"

Being labeled as a "Security Threat Group" (gang) means anyone that is organizing and whose actions are considered disruptive to the prison system. For the most part the state [OH] is not focusing on real gangs, but rather focusing on prison activists and jailhouse lawyers. Every activist and jailhouse lawyer ...

AIDS Info Sought

Hi, my name is Jeannie Pejko and I am a former prisoner, having spent five years in Dwight Penitentiary in Illinois. I live in Chicago and work with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT Up), an organization fighting to end the AIDS crisis. ACT Up/Chicago's Prison Issues ...

Conditions in Thai Prisons for US Prisoners

Right now there are 31 American women and approximately the same number of men incarcerated in Thailand prisons on drug charges. Justice and impartial legal representation are not part of the equation here. Trials take years; guilt is assumed upon arrest. You can't win even if you are innocent ...

Televisions in Prison

Your article, Prisons TV: Luxury or Management Tool? [Vol.5 No.9, Sept. '94], raises an issue that has been debated by myself and some other prisoners here in Wisconsin. I believe that Wardens and others within the DOC have a perception that televisions are assisting them in minimizing static ...