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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: March, 1997

Issue PDF
Volume 8, Number 3

In this issue:

  1. Making Slave Labor Fly: Boeing Goes to Prison (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 4)
  3. Litigant Entitled to Summary Judgment Notice (p 5)
  4. From the Editor (p 6)
  5. BOP Brutality Info Wanted (p 6)
  6. Denial of Medical Diet States Claim (p 7)
  7. A Matter of Fact (p 7)
  8. Pro Se Tips and Tactics (Injunctive Relief) (p 8)
  9. Detainee Excessive Force Jury Instructions Reversed (p 9)
  10. Media TRO Denied (p 10)
  11. Congress Bans Porn in Federal Prisons (p 11)
  12. Reach Out and Bilk Someone (p 12)
  13. Execution Conflicts with Medical Ethics (p 12)
  14. New Triad (p 13)
  15. No Remedy for State Law Violations in Washington Disciplinary Hearings (p 13)
  16. Third Circuit: PLRA Doesn't Apply to Mandamus (p 14)
  17. PLRA Overrules FRAP 24(a) (p 14)
  18. 5th Circuit: PLRA Doesn't Apply to Habeas (p 14)
  19. PLRA 'Strike' Removed (p 14)
  20. Three's Company (p 15)
  21. Strife in Pleasant Valley (p 15)
  22. Case Closed After 24 Years (p 15)
  23. Canteen Corp. Info Wanted (p 15)
  24. California Bans Media Interviews with Prisoners (p 16)
  25. PNS Suspends US Publication (p 17)
  26. Pierce County (Tacoma) Jail Suit Settled (p 18)
  27. Tent City Jail Erupts in Flames (p 19)
  28. Washington Union Sues over Prison Slave Labor (p 20)
  29. California Prison Computer Project Crashes (p 20)
  30. CDC Trying to Polish Tarnished Image (p 21)
  31. Third Annual NCSCUP Conference (p 22)
  32. Used Law Books Not Good Enough in California (p 23)
  33. Detainee Entitled to Ad-Seg Hearing (p 23)
  34. News in Brief (p 24)
  35. Ten Years Is Enough; Belgian POWs Seek Freedom (p 25)
  36. No Immunity for Kidney Transplant Denial (p 25)
  37. No Service on US Required for Bivens Claim in Work Injury Suit (p 26)

Making Slave Labor Fly: Boeing Goes to Prison

With the repeal of welfare, some political opportunists and right-wing pundits are turning their sights on questions of law and order in general and prison "reform" in particular. They are starting to push Congress to impose the same solution on prisoners as on welfare recipients: put them to work. In ...

From the Editor

Welcome to another issue of PLN. I just finished typing this month's installment of "A Matter of Fact" (AMF), something I enjoy immensely. Since we started this feature last year, it has received mixed reviews. Readers have said it was a "waste of space," and "the most stupid column ...

Litigant Entitled to Summary Judgment Notice

The court of appeals for the ninth circuit has reaffirmed that a district court which transforms a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment by considering matters outside the pleadings must give the opposing party proper notice. Charles Anderson is a Nevada state prisoner and a minister of ...

From the Editor

Welcome to another issue of PLN. I just finished typing this month's installment of "A Matter of Fact" (AMF), something I enjoy immensely. Since we started this feature last year, it has received mixed reviews. Readers have said it was a "waste of space," and "the most stupid column ...

BOP Brutality Info Wanted

Kenneth Trentedue died at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City some time between 9:00 p.m. on August 20 and 3:00 in the morning of August 21, 1995. According to U.S. Department of Justice officials, Kenneth committed suicide. The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner, however, refuses to ...

Denial of Medical Diet States Claim

A federal district court in New York held that a prisoner who was denied a high fiber diet after undergoing a colostomy had stated a claim requiring a trial to resolve.

John Mandala is a New York state prisoner who had the misfortune of getting sick in prison on a ...

A Matter of Fact

The Maryland State Police Drug Interdiction Squad, an all white unit, has been warned by senior state police officials to be "impartial" after the Associated Press reported that 75 percent of the drivers stopped and searched on Interstate-95 are black.

More than 90 percent of police officers in the U ...

Pro Se Tips and Tactics (Injunctive Relief)

In many cases in which a prisoner or group of prisoners is suing over bad prison conditions or practices, the prisoners want an injunction, that is, an order to require state officials to stop violating constitutional rights. This column briefly discusses what "injunctive relief" is, the basic standards for getting ...

Detainee Excessive Force Jury Instructions Reversed

The court of appeals for the seventh circuit held that a district court erred when it instructed a jury on jail guards' good faith immunity defense. Anyone bringing an excessive use of force involving pretrial detainees to trial will find this case helpful. In 1988 Jackie Wilson was detained in ...

Media TRO Denied

A federal district court in Missouri held that a television station and prisoners had virtually no likelihood of success in challenging a prison system's ban on video taped interviews. A Missouri TV station began filming interviews with prisoners throughout MO prisons. After initially granting the interview requests the MO ...

Congress Bans Porn in Federal Prisons

With little notice and no fanfare on September 30, 1996, president Clinton signed into law the mammoth Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill, PL 104-208, which is the federal government's budget. Section 614 of the law states: "None of the funds made available in this Act to the federal Bureau of ...

Reach Out and Bilk Someone

Florida DOC officials were found in 1995 to have fraudulently awarded a contract to North American Intelicom (NAI) to provide "inmate telephone services" to 35 Florida state prisons. Rival communications company MCI filed a protest because they were not awarded the contract, even though their bid scored higher than NAI ...

Execution Conflicts with Medical Ethics

David Nelson, a 51-year-old convicted murderer, was scheduled for execution in Alabama on December 8, 1996. A last-minute stay by the Alabama supreme court delayed the execution so that Nelson could donate a kidney to his brother, Louis Nelson, who lost a leg to diabetes and whose kidneys no longer ...

New Triad

Some death row prisoners who have been executed attain celebrity. We have all heard about the Rosenbergs, Carryl Chessman's name comes to mind, Gary Gillmore also.

But do you know Joseph Paul Jernigan? No? Come on, if I tell you CD-Rom disk ... Internet ... that's it - you've got ...

No Remedy for State Law Violations in Washington Disciplinary Hearings

The Washington state court of appeals for Division I held that prisoners challenging a disciplinary hearing must show actual and substantial prejudice before they are entitled to relief under a Personal Restraint Petition (PRP). In In Re Cashaw, 123 Wn.2d 138 (1994), [PLN, Vol. 5, No. 5] and In ...

Third Circuit: PLRA Doesn't Apply to Mandamus

The court of appeals for the third circuit held that the filing fee provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) do not apply to writs of mandamus. Ronald Madden, a Tennessee state prisoner, filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his extradition from Pennsylvania to Tennessee. After waiting four months ...

PLRA Overrules FRAP 24(a)

The court of appeals for the fifth circuit held that the PLRA's filing fee provisions supersede Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure (FRAP) 24(a). Ira Jackson, a Texas state prisoner filed suit claiming prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. The district court granted Jackson leave ...

5th Circuit: PLRA Doesn't Apply to Habeas

Joining the second, third and seventh circuits the court of appeals for the fifth circuit held that the filing fee provisions of the PLRA do not apply to habeas corpus actions. Ralph Cole, a federal prisoner, sought permission to appeal the denial of his habeas corpus petition without payment of ...

PLRA 'Strike' Removed

A federal district court in Maryland issued an order removing a PLRA "strike" against a prisoner litigant. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) added section (g) to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The new section states that whenever a prisoner has had three suits dismissed as frivolous or for failing ...

Three's Company

We [at the Washington Correction Center for Women] now have three women to a room -- in a space too small for two women. They simply moved in a top bunk on one side of the room. The number of women here has increased by 20 percent (from 500-623) since I ...

Strife in Pleasant Valley

In August and September of 1996, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP, in California) had several incidents resulting in shots fired at unarmed prisoners. Three incidents on C yard with at least one serious bullet wound to a black prisoner.

There are four level three yards and a level one yard ...

Case Closed After 24 Years

by Ronald Del Raine, Leavenworth, KS

[Editor's Note: This is the oldest running prison case that PLN is aware of. Talk about frivolous litigation?! How much money did the government spend dragging this through the courts for more than two decades?]

In November 1972, I mailed my first Complaint ...

Canteen Corp. Info Wanted

The Canteen Corporation of North Carolina has a five-year contract with Kansas to provide food services state-wide. After mere months in operation, Canteen Corp. has caused trouble by starving Kansas prisoners and serving shit for food. [See: "Un-Happy Meals in Kansas," PLN Vol.7 No.9.]

In an unexpected mass ...

California Bans Media Interviews with Prisoners

California Governor Pete Wilson issued an executive order banning face to face media interviews with prisoners. The ban comes at a time when most civil rights for the state's 142,000 prisoners have been taken and violence is on the rise in the world's largest prison system. At ...

PNS Suspends US Publication

It is with deep regret that Prison News Service (PNS) is announcing that we are pulling back from the American side of our work. The paper will continue as is, but with a primarily Canadian focus. We will also be cutting the number of copies we send into U.S ...

Pierce County (Tacoma) Jail Suit Settled

In the February, 1995, issue of PLN we reported the filing of Herrera v. Pierce County, a class action suit challenging overcrowding and various other unconstitutional conditions at the Pierce County jail in Tacoma, Washington. The suit was settled in mid 1996 in three separate stipulated orders. The settlement results ...

Tent City Jail Erupts in Flames

Most PLN readers are aware of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reputation as "the meanest sheriff in America," infamous for his tent-city jail, stripped of amenities, sweltering in the Arizona sun under a large neon "Vacancy" sign. Arpaio is unabashedly proud of his reputation for being tough on prisoners ...

Washington Union Sues over Prison Slave Labor

On August 29, 1996, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local 970 filed suit in Pierce County (Tacoma) superior court over the use of prison labor to expand the Cedar Creek Correctional Center. The prisoners are paid between 50¢ and $1.40 an hour to install electrical wiring. Union members ...

California Prison Computer Project Crashes

With over 144,000 prisoners, tens of thousands of employees, some thirty prisons and a multi-billion dollar budget, the California Department of Corrections just rejected design plans for a mammoth computer project to automate its antiquated record keeping system. CDC officials suspended a $2 million payment to TRW Inc., the ...

CDC Trying to Polish Tarnished Image

The editors of PLN receive newspaper clippings from all over the U.S. We recently received articles clipped from about a dozen California newspapers. The articles appeared in the same week and all were strikingly similar. They were about how California Department of Corrections (CDC) prison guards are facing stronger ...

Third Annual NCSCUP Conference

The National Campaign to Stop Control Unit Prisons (NCSCUP) held its third annual conference on the weekend of November 8-10 (1996) at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago. More than fifty members of NCSCUP attended. The purpose of the conference was to strategize and brainstorm about what measures should ...

Used Law Books Not Good Enough in California

The California Department of Corrections bought used law books from National Law Resources of Chicago for its High Desert State Prison last year at a savings to taxpayers of $69,000. But, the CDC claimed some of the used books contained "paper clips, staples and other items that could be ...

Detainee Entitled to Ad-Seg Hearing

A federal district court in Texas held that a pretrial detainee was entitled to a hearing before being placed in segregation. Robert Poole was a pretrial detainee in the Jefferson County jail. This ruling concerns the denial of the defendant's motion for summary judgment on Poole's claim that ...

News in Brief

Albania: On January 26, 1997, two prisoners were killed in a riot at the Bardhor jail as part of a wave of protests that swept the small Balkan nation as pyramid savings schemes collapsed. At the jail prisoners set fire to their cells and battled guards and police.

CA: On ...

Ten Years Is Enough; Belgian POWs Seek Freedom

In 1984 and 1985 the Communist Fighting Cells (CCC) attacked imperialist and capitalist interests in Belgium. Among the targets attacked were banks (including the Bank of America), NATO headquarters, the federation of big employers, energy companies, etc. On December 16, 1985, Pascale Vandegeerde, Bertrand Sassoye, Pierre Carette and Didier Chevolet ...

No Immunity for Kidney Transplant Denial

The court of appeals for the ninth circuit held it lacked jurisdiction to hear prison doctors' interlocutory appeal that they were entitled to qualified immunity for denying a prisoner on dialysis a kidney transplant. Raymond Jackson, a California state prisoner, filed suit claiming prison doctors violated his eighth amendment rights ...

No Service on US Required for Bivens Claim in Work Injury Suit

The court of appeals for the ninth circuit held that plaintiffs suing federal officials solely in their individual capacities do not need to serve the complaint on the United States. John Vaccaro is a federal prisoner with a congenital spine deformity. Despite knowledge of his disability, prison officials ordered him ...

 

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