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Article • December 8, 2016 • from PLN December, 2016
Prison Survival Guides Find Audience Beyond Soon-to-be Prisoners by Derek Gilna Those people unfortunate enough to have been incarcerated are all too aware of the harsh realities of life “on the inside.” Thanks to America’s fascination with prison as a solution for all anti-social behavior, as well as draconian sentences ...
Warrantless Jail Cell Manuscript Seizure Vacates Oregon Rape Convictions by Mark Wilson The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed an Oregon man's rape convictions, finding that prosecutors improperly seized a handwritten manuscript from his jail cell without a warrant. Kenneth Everett Moore was arrested on six counts of rape when his ...
Article • August 3, 2016
“Jail Mail:” United Kingdom’s Newest Prison System Newspaper by Derek Gilna Prisoners in United Kingdom (UK) correctional facilities have yet another newspaper to help pass the time.  “Jail Mail” is the third national newspaper in the British prison system, along with “Inside Time,” and “Converse,” and will have a print ...
Article • March 1, 2016
“My Words Are Dangerous”: An Interview with Christopher Zoukis by Aviva Stahl By Aviva Stahl While there has been a lot of interest in recent years in journalism about prisons and the criminal justice system, less well known is the journalism being done by prisoners themselves. From the San Quentin News in ...
Article • January 12, 2016
Filed under: Prisoner Media, TV/Movies
Tennessee Jail Duped into Allowing Filming of Rap Video by David Reutter Officials at Tennessee’s Davidson County Jail (DCJ) are outraged at being “duped” into allowing a film crew record inside DCJ under the guise of creating a documentary and then seeing it be transformed into a music video. Rapper ...
Article • September 22, 2015
Facebook Overhauls Its Inmate Account Takedown Process by Dave Maass Facebook Overhauls Its Inmate Account Takedown Process By Dave Maass Since at least 2011, U.S. prisons have had a special arrangement with Facebook. Prison officials would send links to profiles belonging to inmates that they wanted Facebook to take down. ...
Article • July 7, 2015 • from PLN July, 2015
Error for Florida Court to Find Action Moot Before Ruling on Motion to Supplement by David Reutter Error for Florida Court to Find Action Moot Before Ruling on Motion to Supplement by David Reutter lForida’s First District Court of Appeals held on January 2, 2015 that it was error for ...
The Hidden Cost of JPay's Prison Email Service by Dave Maass The Hidden Cost of JPay's Prison Email Service By Dave Maass Update May 8, 2015: JPay has changed its terms of service and will no longer claim intellectual property rights over correspondence.  JPay, a company that provides digital communications ...
Article • May 6, 2015 • from PLN May, 2015
Twenty-Five Years of Prison Legal News by Paul Wright The first issue of Prisoners’ Legal News (PLN) was published in May 1990. It was hand-typed, photocopied and ten pages long, and mailed to 75 potential subscribers with a budget of $50. The first three issues were banned in all Washington ...
Article • May 6, 2015 • from PLN May, 2015
Filed under: Editorials, Prisoner Media
From the Editor by Paul Wright From the Editor by Paul Wright It doesn’t seem like this is the 301st issue of Prison Legal News. When we published our first issue in 1990 I didn’t have an expectation of how long the publication would last nor did I think about ...
Article • April 15, 2013 • from PLN April, 2013
No Free Speech Protection for Prisoners Who Copy Excerpts from Books by Christopher Zoukis Prisoners who copy "arguably inflammatory” or “incendiary” passages from the books they check out from a prison library or are allowed to purchase are not entitled to rely on the First Amendment to protect them from ...
Article • September 15, 2012 • from PLN September, 2012
Birthing Behind Bars: A Campaign for Reproductive Justice in Prisons by Victoria Law by Victoria Law and Tina Reynolds “I never thought of advocating outside of prison. I just wanted to have some semblance of a normal life once I was released,” stated Tina Reynolds, a mother and formerly incarcerated ...
God’s Own Warden: If you ever find yourself inside Louisiana’s Angola prison, Burl Cain will make sure you find Jesus – or regret ever crossing his path by James Ridgeway God’s Own Warden: If you ever find yourself inside Louisiana’s Angola prison, Burl Cain will make sure you find Jesus ...
Article • June 15, 2012 • from PLN June, 2012
Angola: A Prison Passion Play by John Dannenberg by John E. Dannenberg The New Testament recounts Jesus’ plight as a prisoner: “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matthew 25:36). Spurred on by Bible-banging Warden Burl ...
Article • May 15, 2012
California Prisoner's First Amendment Claim Survives Motion for Summary Judgment by In September 2011, U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton issued an order tentatively permitting a California prisoner's First Amendment claim to proceed following the filing of a motion for summary judgment by the defendant prison officials in the case. ...
Article • May 15, 2012 • from PLN May, 2012
Seventh Circuit Upholds Indiana DOC’s Ban on Pen-Pal Ads by David Reutter by David M. Reutter On September 16, 2010, an Indiana U.S. District Court held that a prison regulation prohibiting prisoners from advertising for pen-pals and receiving materials from services that advertise for or provide pen-pals did not violate ...
Article • July 15, 2011 • from PLN July, 2011
In-Prison Filmmaker Prepares Next Release by David Reutter by David M. Reutter Compact video cameras smuggled into prison have allowed New Jersey prisoner Omar Broadway to become an amateur documentarian of life behind bars. His first video, taken inside a New Jersey state facility in 2004, has been turned into ...
Prison Officials’ Determination of Gang Symbols in Outgoing Mail Accorded Deference by The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has applied the “substantial deference” doctrine to a prisoner’s claim challenging censorship of his outgoing mail. After the district court granted summary judgment to prison officials, Wisconsin prisoner Joseph Koutnik appealed that ...
Article • December 15, 2010 • from PLN December, 2010
Filed under: Media, Prisoner Media
Breaking Free: Prisoners Find Voice in Zines by Danielle Maestretti "I swore that this time, I wouldn’t allow you to destroy me, to steal my life no matter what you did to me. Somewhere along the way, I found that I wasn’t a victim. I would be a survivor, a ...
The History of Prison Legal News by Paul Wright In May 1990, the first issue of Prisoners’ Legal News (PLN) was published. It was hand-typed, photocopied and ten pages long. The first issue was mailed to 75 potential subscribers. Its budget was $50. The first 3 issues were banned in ...
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