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Prison Legal News: February, 1995

Issue PDF
Volume 6, Number 2

In this issue:

  1. Contract With America = Contract on Prisoners (p 1)
  2. From The Editor (p 2)
  3. FL DOC Industries Fined (p 3)
  4. Immigration Detainees Rebel (p 3)
  5. PA Limits Suits Against Defense Attorneys (p 4)
  6. Visitor Search Held Illegal (p 4)
  7. No Immunity for Visitor Strip Search (p 5)
  8. Brutality Protested (p 6)
  9. AZ Passes Repressive Prison Laws (p 6)
  10. Fear and Loathing in California (p 7)
  11. News in Brief (p 8)
  12. Revolutionary Literature at Half-Price (p 9)
  13. Rikers Island Detainees in Struggle (p 9)
  14. OR Voters Pass New Prison Laws (p 10)
  15. Texas DOC to Ban Tobacco Use (p 10)
  16. Unconstitutional Jail Conditions Don't Need to be Relitigated (p 10)
  17. CT Phone Suit Filed (p 10)
  18. Former TX Parole Board Chairman Sentenced (p 11)
  19. No Interlocutory Appeal From Judgement (p 11)
  20. S.Ct. Revokes Review (p 11)
  21. Speeding Cop Loses Job (p 11)
  22. Settlements and Jury Awards (p 12)
  23. Prisoner Raped by Custodians (p 12)
  24. Exposure to Cold Illegal, Rectal Search Upheld (p 13)
  25. 9th Cir Reverses Dismissal of Publisher Only Rule (p 14)
  26. Guard Sues Over Discrimination Order (p 14)
  27. Prisoners Entitled to Free Legal Mail Postage (p 15)
  28. Damage Awards Can be Used for Restitution (p 15)
  29. NC Consent Decree Modified (p 16)
  30. WA DOC Sanctioned in Grievance Mail Case (p 16)
  31. OK Prisoners Have Disciplinary Hearing Remedy (p 17)
  32. MS Jail Officials Held in Contempt (p 17)
  33. CDC Must Establish Hobby Program (p 18)
  34. Contempt Finding Reversed (p 18)
  35. Tight Handcuffs State Claim (p 19)
  36. No Immunity for Sweat Lodge Denial (p 20)

Contract With America = Contract on Prisoners

In late September, 1994, while running for Congress Republican congressional candidates signed Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" which included detailed proposals in the form of draft legislation to modify federal criminal law in important respects. It is dubbed the "Taking Back Our Streets Act." While nothing is really new ...

From The Editor

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of PLN. In the September issue I asked what readers thought of our News in Brief column and whether we should keep it or eliminate it. About 20 readers responded and all want to keep it, no one voiced any ...

FL DOC Industries Fined

From the Editor
Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of PLN. In the September issue I asked what readers thought of our News in Brief column and whether we should keep it or eliminate it. About 20 readers responded and all want to keep it, no one voiced any opposition ...

Immigration Detainees Rebel

On November 14, 1994, 100 illegal aliens detained at the Federal Corrections Facility in Eloy, AZ, rebelled to protest bad food and onerous prison restrictions. A prison spokesperson said the detainees were "carrying baseball bats when they came into the cafeteria for supper." It took prison officials about two hours ...

PA Limits Suits Against Defense Attorneys

The malpractice suit against her was "a mere buzzing fly," said Patricia Dugan, a criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia, PA.   So rather than contact her insurance company and watch her rates rise she asked a friend to handle the case.

Her instincts were correct: the Common Pleas Judge swatted away ...

Visitor Search Held Illegal

Lenora Daugherty frequently visited her husband at the Turney Center, a Tennessee state prison. Prior to one of Daughertys visits a prison guard told the warden that he had received information that she was smuggling drugs into the prison. The warden also received two letters stating the same. Based on ...

No Immunity for Visitor Strip Search

Tina Spear regularly visited her boyfriend, Daniel Wade, at the Northpoint Training center, a Kentucky state prison. Upon arriving for a visit on Christmas day in 1990 prison officials told her she would not be allowed to visit Wade unless she submitted to a strip and body cavity search and ...

Brutality Protested

On October 10, 1994,  more than 25 protesters marched on the Oak Park Heights state prison in Minnesota The demonstrators entered the prison lobby and demanded to meet with warden Erik Skon, who declined. The march was organized by the Love & Rage Anarchist Federation of Minneapolis to protest the repression ...

AZ Passes Repressive Prison Laws

As part of the national trend towards bashing prisoners the 41st session of the Arizona legislature recently passed a number of repressive laws designed to make life harder for prisoners as well as restrict their access to the courts. The laws went into effect on July 1, 1994.

§ 31-201.01 ...

Fear and Loathing in California

As the campaign of hatred against people in prison reaches a frenzied crescendo in this era of reactionary politics, several draconian measure were passed by California legislators in the 1994 session vying with each other for the title, "Toughest On Crime."

A version of the so-called "Three Strikes" law swiftly ...

News in Brief

TX: On November 23, 1994, Hidalgo County sheriff Brig Marmolejo was sentenced to seven years in federal prison after being convicted of taking more than $151,000 in bribes from convicted drug dealer Homero Beltran Aguirre, who was awaiting trial in the jail between 1991-93, in exchange for giving him ...

Revolutionary Literature at Half-Price

Pathfinder Press prints and sells revolutionary literature on a variety of subjects, including the works of Lenin, Marx, Trotsky, Malcolm X, the American labor movement, Latin America, Africa, and more. As a special program for prisoners, Pathfinder offers all the materials in their catalog at half price plus a flat ...

Rikers Island Detainees in Struggle

Rikers Island is the largest penal colony in the world, holding more than 19,000 prisoners on a 410 acre island. Most of them are New York City pretrial detainees not convicted of any crime. The number of detainees is expected to increase to as high as 25,000 in ...

OR Voters Pass New Prison Laws

On November 8, 1994, Oregon voters passed three criminal justice measures that will cost millions to implement. Measure 10 requires a two thirds vote by the legislature before it can change voter approved prison sentences.

Measure 11 imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences on defendants convicted of violent offenses and bars ...

Texas DOC to Ban Tobacco Use

Texas DOC To Ban Tobacco Use

On November 18, 1994, Texas prison officials voted to ban all tobacco use throughout the states criminal justice system. The ban, unanimously approved by the state Board of Criminal Justice, covers all tobacco products and all property owned or leased by the Texas Department ...

Unconstitutional Jail Conditions Don't Need to be Relitigated

Chris Hall was a pretrial detainee in the Little Rock, Arkansas, city jail. He filed suit under 42 U.S.A. § 1983 claiming that jail conditions had violated his constitutional rights. Arrested for shoplifting, Hall spent 40 days in the jail, confined to a windowless cell for 24 hours a ...

CT Phone Suit Filed

The Connecticut Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) has filed suit against the Connecticut DOC over a phone monitoring system recently implemented by the DOC. Washington v. Meachum, Case No. CV-94-0534616S was certified as a state wide class action suit on May 3, 1994, in the state Supenor Court in Hartford.

The ...

Former TX Parole Board Chairman Sentenced

Former Texas slate parole board chairman, James Granberry,  pleaded guilty in April of 1994 to charges that he committed perjury during an investigation of independent "parole consultants."

After Granberry resigned from the Board of Pardons and Parole in May 1991, he set himself up as a freelance parole consultant. Cranberry ...

No Interlocutory Appeal From Judgement

In the July, 1994, issue of PLN we reported Littlewind v. Rayl, 839 F.Supp. 1369 (ND 1994). The case involved a North Dakota state prisoner who, after assaulting a guard, was put into four point restraints, naked, for seven hours, 23 hours in three point restraints and then spent ...

S.Ct. Revokes Review

In the November, 1994, issue of PLN we reported that the Supreme Court had granted review in Rowe v. DeBruyn  1,71. 94-249. The case involved an Indiana state prisoner who was infracted and punished for defending himself against an attempted rape attack. The question the supreme court initially agreed ...

Speeding Cop Loses Job

A New York police officer, Steven Schwartz, liked life in the fast lane. His personalized license plate read "MY T QUICK". Schwartz was also "MY T DEADLY". While responding to a police call m 1987, Schwartz struck and killed a pedestrian in a crosswalk when he ran a red light ...

Settlements and Jury Awards

NJ: Former Bayside State prison, NJ, doctor John Napoleon, will have to pay six prisoners $80,000 to settle an eighth amendment medical neglect suit against him. The prisoner plaintiffs, all incarcerated in NJ state or county prisons, claimed that Napoleon deliberately failed to treat them after being notified of ...

Prisoner Raped by Custodians

A federal woman prisoner being transported from the Danbury prison in Connecticut to one in Texas was sexually assaulted by the owner of Fugitive One Transport, Arnold Faulhaber, and a company guard, Joseph Jackson. Both suspects were arrested on October 8, 1994, and charged by Monmouth County, New Jersey , prosecutors ...

Exposure to Cold Illegal, Rectal Search Upheld

Ronald Del Raine is a long time PLN supporter and an even longer term prisoner at the US Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois. In 1984 Del Raine filed suit claiming that assorted guards and officials at Marion had violated his eighth amendment rights by repeatedly exposing him to cold weather by ...

9th Cir Reverses Dismissal of Publisher Only Rule

PLN rarely reports on unpublished decisions because they cannot be cited as binding precedent. But in some cases prisoner litigants benefit from knowing cases that have been decided by the courts in their relevant circuits as well as new avenues of attack on issues that have been lost in the ...

Guard Sues Over Discrimination Order

This case involves a black California prison guard, Ali Moyo, who sued his superiors in the California Department of Corrections (CDC) after they fired him for protesting against and refusing to cooperate with the defendants practice of allowing white prisoners, but not black prisoners, to shower after their work shifts ...

Prisoners Entitled to Free Legal Mail Postage

Several prisoners at the Iowa Mens Reformatory (IMP) f led suit under 42 U.S.A. § 1983 seeking injunctive relief from the prisons policy of denying indigent prisoners in administrative segregation any free legal or personal postage. Prisoners in ad seg are not allowed to earn money from prison jobs ...

Damage Awards Can be Used for Restitution

Under Iowa state law all felons must pay victim restitution. The DOC sets up a restitution plan whereby up to half of a prisoners earnings can be confiscated and sent to the county court clerk who disburses the funds to the victims. Four Iowa state prisoners sued prison officials for ...

NC Consent Decree Modified

In 1985 North Carolina state prisoners filed a class action suit seeking relief from unconstitutional conditions at 49 of the states 97 prison facilities. During trial the parties settled and entered into a consent decree which limited overcrowding to 140% of capacity in medium security facilities and 120% of capacity ...

WA DOC Sanctioned in Grievance Mail Case

In the September, 1994, issue of PLN we reported OKeefe v. Murphy, the unpublished case by US District Judge Alan McDonald which held that prisoners mail to and from different government agencies was entitled to confidential treatment, i.e. being opened only in the prisoner recipient s presence without being ...

OK Prisoners Have Disciplinary Hearing Remedy

In the May, 1994, issue of PLN we reported Waldon v. Evans, 861 P.2d 311 (Okl. Cr. 1993) which held that Oklahoma state courts could hear prisoners challenges claiming due process violations in prison disciplinary hearings. In a new ruling, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has further clarified ...

MS Jail Officials Held in Contempt

In l978 prisoners at the Madison County jail in Mississippi filed a class action suit challenging conditions at the jail. Prior to going to trial the parties negotiated a consent decree incorporating a wide range of issues, everything from racial discrimination to the types of combs that prisoners at the ...

CDC Must Establish Hobby Program

Lassen County Superior Court Judge J. Harvey issued a writ of habeas corpus on August 16, 1994, which ordered the California Department of Corrections (CDC) to establish a hobby program and store materials at the California Correctional Center (CCC) at Susanville. Steve Yakle, a CCC prisoner, was transferred to CCC ...

Contempt Finding Reversed

In 1980 prisoners at the Iowa State Penitentiary (ISP) entered into a consent decree, Dee v. Brewer, with prison officials which prohibited guards from searching or removing prisoners legal papers from their cells when the prisoner was not present, unless exigent circumstances existed. In 1993 ISP officials received a tip ...

Tight Handcuffs State Claim

Ronald Davidson is a New York state prisoner. While being transported to the segregation unit of another prison he was handcuffed and shackled. The devices were so tight that they cut into Davidson s flesh and reduced circulation into his hands and feet, causing swelling. As a result his ankle ...

No Immunity for Sweat Lodge Denial

Ralph Thomas is a Nebraska state prisoner. He filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that prison officials had violated his right to religious freedom by denying him daily access to the prisons sweat lodge for prayer. He claimed this denial also violated his right to equal protection ...