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$7,500 Settlement in Pennsylvania Prisoner’s “Nuisance Suit” by In January 2016, Pennsylvania’s Northumberland County agreed to pay $7,500 to settle a former prisoner’s lawsuit alleging he was denied access to the courts, visitation, recreation and receipt of incoming publications. While at the Northumberland County Prison, Charles Picarella, Jr., who is ...
Kentucky Prisoners Entitled to Review of Audio Recordings at Disciplinary Hearing by A Kentucky Court of Appeals held on February 26, 2016 that prisoners have a due process right to request the review of audio recordings at a prison disciplinary hearing. Proceeding pro se, Kentucky state prisoner Sammy F. Mobley, ...
Five Wrongfully Convicted North Carolina Men Receive Almost $8 Million by David Reutter Five former prisoners who were wrongfully convicted in a home invasion murder have received settlements and compensation totaling nearly $8 million following a botched investigation and misconduct by the sheriff’s office in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Three ...
$5,000 Settlement for Prison Interfering with California Prisoner's Mail by In November 2015, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DORC) settled for $5,000 a federal civil rights action brought by DORC prisoner Sherman Manning alleging interference with Manning's mail and retaliation for his publication of books critical of the ...
Article • January 10, 2017 • from PLN January, 2017
Imprisoned Author Denied Access to His Own Published Writing by In order to survive being subjected to nearly three decades of solitary confinement, William “Billy” Blake turned to reading and, more importantly, writing. “A Sentence Worse than Death” is an essay Blake wrote for inclusion in an anthology of narratives ...
Dear Librarian: Filling the Information Gap for Prisoners with No Internet Access by Christopher Zoukis For most Americans, life without Google or Wikipedia would be quite different, and living without Internet access probably unimaginable. One might ask, “How would I obtain the information I need to live my life?” Yet ...
Photo of Prisoner Beaten by Georgia Gang Members Posted Online by Prisons are designed to be closed institutions, cut off from the rest of the world. Contraband cell phones, however, are opening them up and exposing the reality of what happens behind the walls. When Demetria Harris saw a photo ...
Another Appeal in New York Post-Release Supervision Case by Matthew Clarke On October 14, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin held she would retain jurisdiction over a class-action civil rights lawsuit in order to determine the damages to be awarded former prisoners for the imposition or continuation of post-release ...
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 ...
Article • December 7, 2016 • from PLN December, 2016
Fifth Circuit Holds Louisiana Prisoner May Sue Over Failure to Credit Good Time by Matthew Clarke On January 1, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Louisiana prisoner may sue prison officials for failing to credit him with good conduct time which would have shortened his sentence. ...
Abu Zubaydah: Torture’s “Poster Child” by Marjorie Cohn In August, Abu Zubaydah, who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo for 14 years without being charged with a crime, appeared for the first time before the U.S. military Periodic Review Board, which determines whether Guantanamo detainees will continue to be held as ...
A Primer on Prisoners’ Constitutional Rights by Alex Friedmann Prison Legal News (PLN) regularly reports on prison and jail-related court decisions involving violations of prisoners’ constitutional rights. Those who are new to the arena of civil rights litigation and unfamiliar with prisoners’ few remaining rights may need a basic introduction ...
Maryland DOC Suspends Volunteer, Drops Literature Program by Mikita Brottman led a reading and discussion group for nine Maryland prisoners serving life sentences at the Jessup Correctional Institution. A professor of literature at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a psychoanalyst, Brottman volunteered her time for two hours a ...
Article • November 8, 2016 • from PLN November, 2016
United Kingdom: Prison Book Ban Overturned by Derek Gilna A writ filed by Barbara Gordon-Jones, a prisoner at HM Prison Send in Surrey, southwest of London, resulted in the reversal of a policy instituted by the British government that effectively prevented prisoners from receiving books from friends and family members. ...
Article • November 8, 2016 • from PLN November, 2016
Eleventh Circuit Reverses Finding that Seizure of Prisoner’s Legal Mail Stated Claim by A Georgia federal district court, in denying a motion to dismiss, found an attorney has a Fourth Amendment right to “privacy and possessory interest in letters mailed to him, and that the government may not take and ...
Article • November 7, 2016 • from PLN November, 2016
Fifth Circuit Holds Four Decades in Solitary Confinement Implicates Liberty Interest; Last Angola 3 Member Finally Released by Matthew Clarke On December 17, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that holding a prisoner in solitary confinement for almost 40 years implicated a liberty interest, and that prison officials ...
Article • November 7, 2016 • from PLN November, 2016
From the Editor by Paul Wright By now everyone should have received our special fundraiser issue, which includes our 2015 annual report. We don’t get many visitors to our office in Lake Worth, Florida, and when we do reactions tend to fall into two categories when people realize we have ...
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds Conviction for Contacting Victim by Lonnie Burton On April 27, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction of a Texas state prisoner for Improper Contact with a Victim. David Schlittler was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of his five-year-old stepdaughter. He ...
Wisconsin Jail Policies Unconstitutional But Not Enjoined by Mark Wilson A Wisconsin federal court held that a jail's disciplinary, mail, and publication rules were unconstitutional. The court declined to enjoin those practices, however, essentially rendering its holding a mere advisory opinion. On September 29, 1970 pretrial detainees of the Milwaukee ...
Nevada Prisoner Receives $500, Other Considerations, in Settlement of Complaint Asserting Numerous Civil Rights Violations by Lonnie Burton On April 18, 2016, the Nevada Department of' Corrections (NDOC) agreed to pay a state prisoner $500 and make other policy changes' as part of a settlement agreement resolving the federal civil ...
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