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Prison - Prisoners' Rights

court inmates inmate solitary

Prisoners' rights are limited. For the most part, jail and prison inmates may demand only a "minimal civilized measure of shelter" (Union County Jail Inmates v. DiBuono, 713 F.2d 984 [3d Cir. 1983]). Generally, courts follow three basic principles when deciding whether to recognize a particular right. First, an inmate necessarily gives up many rights and privileges enjoyed by the rest of society; second, an inmate does not relinquish all constitutional rights upon placement in prison; and third, the constitutional rights retained by the prison inmate must be balanced against the security concerns of the prison.

The established rights of prison inmates include FREEDOM OF SPEECH and religion;

On March 21, 1963, the last of the inmates housed at Alcatraz Prison were transferred to other facilities. The permanent closing of the prison reflected the renewed emphasis on the rehabilitation of prisoners that arose during 1950s and 1960s.

freedom from ARBITRARY punishment (i.e., restraints, solitary confinement) on the sole basis of beliefs, religion, or racial and ethnic origin; freedom from constant physical restraints; a small amount of space for physical movement; essentials for personal hygiene and opportunity to wash; clean bedding; adequate clothing; adequate heating, cooling, ventilation, and light; and adequate nutrition.

Prisoners' rights can be infringed for security purposes. Prisoners have the right to freedom of speech, but prison officials may search their mail, deny a wide variety of reading materials, and edit the content of prison newspapers. Prisoners have the right to adequate space, but they may be confined in isolation for long periods, even years. Prisoners have the right to freedom from restraints, but their ankles and wrists may be shackled when they are moved. They may also be temporarily strapped down or otherwise restrained if officials believe that they present a danger.

Prison inmates often attempt to establish new rights in court. Issues connected to prison overcrowding, medical treatment, media access, even exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke, are among those faced by courts.

Another sensitive issue in prison is the use of prison guards of the opposite sex. Women prisoners may receive more privacy in this regard than men prisoners. For example, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in 1985 that the practice of assigning female guards to conduct strip searches on nude men and watch them while showering, urinating, and defecating did not violate any constitutional rights (Grummett v. Rushen, 779 F.2d 491 [1985]). However, in 1993, the same court held that it was CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT to allow male guards to conduct searches on female prisoners while the female prisoners were clothed (Jordan v. Gardner, 986 F.2d 1521 [9th Cir. 1993]).

Prisoners retain some rights aside from those concerning living conditions. Most prisons "classify" prisoners and place them in various units according to the categories. For example, violent criminals and persons suspected of gang affiliations are often housed in high-security areas of prison, separate from the remaining prison population. When an inmate is reclassified, he or she is entitled to notice of the reclassification and a citation of reasons for the move.

Congress and most states authorize the allowance of "good time" for prison inmates. Good time is credit for time served on good behavior, and it is used to reduce sentence length. For example, an inmate may receive one day of good time credit for every three days that he behaves well. Other states withhold recognition of good behavior until the defendant has served a certain portion of the minimum sentence imposed by the court. In New Hampshire, for example, an inmate may be released for good behavior after serving two-thirds of the minimum sentence (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 651-A:12 [1983]). When an inmate has good time credits taken away, she or he is entitled to notice, a hearing before the prison board, and an opportunity to present evidence in her or his favor.

Inmates may also gain early release from prison through PAROLE, which is granted by the parole board. Prisoners have no right to parole, and the matter of early release is left to the graces of the parole board. Once released on parole, a parolee may be returned to prison for breaking one of many conditions that are normally imposed. A parolee has no right to an attorney at a parole revocation hearing, nor does an inmate have the right to an attorney at a parole hearing.

Solitary confinement is used in many prisons for violent inmates and those inmates perceived as having gang-related affiliations. Some prisons are designed specifically for it. The original prisons, as envisioned by the Quakers, called for solitary confinement, but the practice was halted because of the detrimental effects it had on prisoners. However, the practice never completely ended. In the 1980s, solitary confinement became a regular feature of prisons, and it has become the sole form of incarceration in so-called Security Housing Units or Supermax prisons.

In a Supermax prison, the cells are eight-by-ten feet and windowless. The cells are grouped in "pods." The cell doors are perforated with holes large enough for guards to see inside the cell, but small enough to obstruct the prisoner's vision and light. All a prisoner can see through the door is another white wall. Each cell is furnished with a built-in bunk with a toilet-sink unit. Nothing is allowed on the walls. Prisoners may be allowed television, radio, and books, but these are taken away as punishment for any rule infractions.

Prisoners in solitary confinement are kept in their cells, under surveillance, for 22.5 hours a day. Unlike the rest of the prison population, inmates in solitary confinement may not take advantage of educational or recreational programs. The 90 minutes outside the cell may be divided between visiting a small library, washing, and exercising in a pen connected to the pod. Prisoners are strip-searched by the guards before and after visiting any place and are placed in waist restraints and handcuffs when being escorted.

The assignment of a prisoner to solitary confinement is made by prison officials. With regard to assigning supposed gang members to solitary confinement, it is the policy in some prisons to require that the perceived gang member "debrief" officials on his or her gang activity and renounce his or her gang affiliations before being released back into the general population.

One of the most important rights possessed by prison inmates is access to the courts through HABEAS CORPUS petitions. After an inmate has exhausted all the motions and appeals available to contest the conviction and prison sentence, a final round of limited JUDICIAL REVIEW is provided through the writ of habeas corpus. Through the ancient writ of habeas corpus, a court may order the release of a prisoner wrongly held.

Habeas corpus petitions are granted only for certain constitutional violations in the prosecution of a criminal defendant. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, 28 U.S.C.A. § 2261 et seq., placed strict limits on this form of relief by directing federal judges to conduct habeas petition reviews according to this law. Under the act, a federal judge may not grant habeas relief on any claim adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the adjudication resulted in a decision that was contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law, as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since a state court is unlikely to defy a general principle of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW that the Supreme Court has clearly established, this review provides a few opportunities for a federal judge to examine and determine constitutional law.

Relief may be granted if the state court's judgment is based upon an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence. An application of law to facts is unreasonable only when it can be said that reasonable jurists considering the question would be of one view that the state court's ruling was incorrect. If the prisoner fails to develop all the facts in state court supporting the claim, the prisoner will not be allowed to develop any new facts in federal court.

Under the 1996 law, a federal court cannot award relief on the basis of any claim that was previously decided against the prisoner by a state court. This directive must be followed even though the federal court concludes that the state court decision was erroneous and that the prisoner's federal constitutional rights have been violated.

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almost 7 years ago

Re: that unwritten prison policy of holding young men, first time non-violent offenders INDEFINITELY in the hole is cruel and unusual punishment and must stop

WHile we think that we are including all people in our public discourse for fairness and humanity for all. Will we include those millions of American Citizens locked up in American prisons? many first time nonviolent offenders! they too deserve to be listened to and to be treated humanely. A huge percentage of prisoners are first time nonviolent offenders yet we are led to believe by the media that all prisoners are big baddie murderers set on raping and murdering you and your family, that is simply not true (there is a very small percentage of prisoners who are truly dangerous those who commit serious crimes are but a very small percentage of the prison population). Many men, first time nonviolent offenders, have made a mistake and are serving their time for their crime, must they be furthermore subjected to cruel and unusual punishment on top of that. I am speaking to putting men indefinitely in the ‘hole’, SHU, solitary confinement, here in the United States.

Firstly let me begin by stating that there is nothing normal about prison, nothing that even resembles normal about being locked away in a steel cage, yet men are being put in SHU, ‘the hole’ for minor infractions and not allowed to do their time in general population. These men are thrown in the hole for minor infractions ie. alleged extra food in their cell, accused of being involved in a row, locked away indefinitely 30, 60, 90 days, 120 days indefinitely, some even for years, does that strike you as fair?. The inhumanity of it.

The prison has its own rules behind those walls and barbed wire and we are not privy to what goes on or to what men must endure there. In some cases even when a federal court has ruled that there is no proof of involvement in an altercation, the prison will take the matter into its own hands and dole out more punishment within their own walls, away from prying eyes, to these poor young men and lock them away in the hole, just to get the upper hand, to be tough, to prove a cruel sadistic point that they won, but there are no winners in this inhumane practice of locking young men, first time non-violent offenders, in the hole indefinitely. Statistics and studies show that that is so, that no one wins from the cruel and sadistic practice of locking men in the hole indefinitely is a fact.
These poor young men being subjected to this, that is a shame, I am speaking about nonviolent first time offenders being subjected to this all across our prison systems. Who will speak to it, the damage to these young men, to our communities is immeasurable.

The media has played a dastardly hand in portraying these poor young men as less than human and that is how they are being treated in American prisons by being locked away in SHU, 'the hole', solitary confinement all colloquialisms for the same thing, being subjected to mental torture being punished for minor infractions by being placed in the hole indefinitely is common practice now in prisons and so many men are being wounded, psychologically damaged by this barbaric practice. Who will speak to it, who will call it out?

These poor young men are cruelly denied contact with their families only allowed one 15 min. phone call every 30 days. Can you imagine a child must wait 30 days to hear his Dad say 'Hi son', then another 30 days and then another 30 days, how cruel is that? These men are held indefinitely while their particular issue "is under investigation".
Due process it appears has been thrown out the window. Men are being held indefinitely, it could be perhaps based on a suspect spurious letter from another inmate, perhaps someone who dislikes another inmate, or someone wishing to curry favor with prison authorities, who knows and yet these poor men remain indefinitely in the hole, why?

There must be a code of ethics which governs actions in these matters, to prison officials we all must say and insist that they please be guided by that ethical standard and ensure that justice prevails and that harsh punishment , being put in the hole for weeks or months, indefinitely, a cruel and unnecessary practice in any reasonable, sane persons eyes, also many many scholars judges and in my estimation speak to this fact. It should not be the order of the day.

It simply cannot be common practice to put men in the hole indefinitely for minor infractions, alleged involvement in arguments and willy nilly excuses.

It would be absolutely inhumane, as you well might know, if it was the prison policy, to arbitrarily throw young men in the hole indefinitely, locked away for 23 hours a day without any contact with their family for lengthy periods of time. And yet it is happening all across America
As above men are only allowed one 15 minute call every 30 days, cruelly denied access to his family and this serves whom? These men have sons, daughters, wife, mothers, families who need to hear from their loved one.
The families need to hear from their sons every other day, just as they were able to hear from him every other day in prison ( general population). Not allowing him to call his family , while he is in SHU, serves what purpose? what is to be gained from this? these young men need to stay connected to their family and it is not serving any purpose to deny them this, studies hold this to be true, it is a needless, senseless, cruel, harsh mental abuse on these men and their families.

These men are not allowed access to whatever meager property they have while in SHU, property which they earned and worked hard for. Fair is fair.

Please do not say, ‘but they are criminals’ or that they somehow deserve it, jewish men, women and children heard that cry when they were inhumanely treated, the blacks heard it, other segments of society heard it when they were fighting to be heard and fighting for their right. That way of thinking serves no society, to think small like that, it serves no one, least of all ourselves. We must never ever turn a blind eye to a segment of our population who are being denigrated and trodden on under the guise of they deserve it. NO THEY DON’T, they do not deserve it, no one does .

Yes they are serving their time in prison, for their crime, away from their loved ones, away from normal life as we all know it. There is nothing normal about prison life, NOTHING, nothing that even comes close to normal in prison, it is a cruel harsh, cold, steel, clanging environment and it is hell make no mistake about it, absolute and utter hell and if you think otherwise then you are not tuned in to reality.

Just as war is hell on the front line and no one should have to endure it, likewise prison is hell but to further heap on cruel and unusual punishment on men who are already paying for their crime with their lives, ripped from their community, from their family, these men are human beings. Many of them first time nonviolent offenders, the vast majority good men nonviolent who made a mistake. Give me a break. ‘Let you that is without sin cast the first stone’ we hear , we must listen.

These men are paying their debt to society for their crime, doing their time in prison. They should not furthermore be subjected to cruel, barbaric treatment. and yet it is happening NOW as you read this a young man, a first time nonviolent offender is languishing in Allenwood, PA he has already served 90 days plus in the hole, based on an alleged involvement in an argument, does the punishment fit the allegation, is it not truly barbaric to furthermore lock men in solitary and still 90 days plus and he is still there?!. The damage experts say even after 2 weeks has lasting affects on these men and yet this is what is happening. This type of treatment of young men damages the communities they come back into, study after study attest to that fact, why then is this being allowed? why are we not speaking up? how can we sit and be silent while this is happening to another man? it is inhumane, pure and simple.

This young man in Allenwood PA had an impeccable record while serving his time up to the point of this incident. He was teaching other inmates math his entire time, he took whatever class was on offer, even though the choices were dismal and few. He had to wait months to take his first class and the only offering was crochet! Yes indeed crochet for men, I thought it was some cruel joke, but no that is the type of class that is on offer in Allenwood for grown men!?!
This young man was teaching math to other men, now he sits in SHU! and this serves whom? this benefits whom? this is senseless, needless and irresponsible. This is a misuse and abuse of power to do that to any man.

This young man a first time nonviolent offender, worked hard to get his points down and did lower his points to camp status, he was actively seeking camp placement when this alleged incident occurred!
Is this what this is all about? keeping men in SHU to make money off of them? what about the case of the judge sending 4000 youngsters to juvenile detention under false pretenses while he got 1 mil. in backhand profits for those poor souls, some committed suicide, all tainted and falsely thrown in juvenile for willy nilly things. That case has been brought to justice, but we must continue to call out injustices, so long as one man is unfairly detained indefinitely and so long as wardens use SHU to cruelly try to control prison populations we must speak up. We cannot be human being s and live and breathe and share this same earth and not speak to it, any inhumanity must be spoken about, it must be aired, must be exposed, that way it does not continue to damage young men and damage our society by doing so.

This young man started in medium security. For a long time despite the fact that he had lowered his points to camp status, (he was eligible to have been been moved many many months earlier), prison authorities continued to hold him in medium, ignoring their own policies and systems set in place to ensure fair play. He was finally successful in getting from medium security to low security at Allenwood. However it was a long arduous drawn out process (was he worth more in medium security than low?) in which his counselor, in charge of such matters, kept including;-
1. a case that had been long dismissed
2. had his immigration status incorrect (he is a citizen of US) and kept including the incorrect immigration status on his paperwork, despite the fact that he had pointed it out to her time and time again.

He had straightened out these 2 matters over and over again, managing to acquire the correct paper work from central office. All of the necessary paperwork had and has been given to his counselor to show that:-

1. the said case had been dismissed and should not be on his file in relation to his points

2. that his immigrations status has been cleared. It was cleared almost one and a half years ago

The paperwork came from their own headquarters for goodness sake, he has copies, his family have copies, just as the counselor has.

In relation to this latest alleged incident, his one and only I must point out during his entire time of incarceration as a first time non-violent offender, once again these issues have come up again.

This is either gross incompetence or plain deceptive practices that surely cannot go unchecked. This is unfair and unjust , this young man is a first time nonviolent offender accused of being in an argument by another inmate. He says that he was not involved whatsoever, yet he has been denied due process.

He was in the process of trying to get from low security facility to camp facility when this incident occurred! Is that what this is all about ? one must pose that important question. One counselor a Mr. Russell hissed into this young mans face that “no inmate should ever get to camp” (even if they earn their points through good behaviour??!! is that not cruel and sadistic) and Mr. Russell made it quite clear that he hated inmates! - is that not cruel, cruel beyond words.
If that is so and if that is what this is all about, that families cannot hear from their son and children cannot hear from their Dads, all because prison authorities somehow want to keep young men- first time non violent offenders in SHU indefinitely, to get more money for them? is that it? then that is an abomination, a cruel and barbaric cancer that is in Allenwood and elsewhere.

This must be investigated and not allowed to continue . Anyone engaging in such a policy, holding men indefinitely in SHU, not allowing them contact with their families, not giving them due process. Holding him for some alleged incident is engaging in something that is truly cruel and barbaric.

Does Allenwood get more money for these young men from the Federal Government/State etc. or other when they are in low security rather than camp? do the prisons get more money for that young man when he is in the hole rather than in general population? is he worth more to them in the hole, no matter how unfair the reason to put him in SHU or how contrived the reason? is that what this is all about? who is overseeing this?

I may be wrong but all of these questions must be asked as there is no other reasonable logical explanation to keep that young man and thousands like him, in SHU indefinitely.

There has been no charge to date and the evidence is spurious - a letter written by another inmate- as to why a nonviolent first time offender is sitting in SHU for 90 days now, at great cost, I might add, when he should be in a camp closer to home, closer to his family, calling his young son regularly, taking courses, teaching math to other inmates and preparing to get out and reintegrate back into society.

He is/was serving his time, bravely, let him be to serve his time, just as he was, taking classes, teaching, in general population, calling his family, in contact with his son, working towards getting out. Why is he still being held 90 days later in SHU? and still no charges!

This young man had 2 judicial recommendations that he stay close to his family and both have been ignored. Is that commonplace, to directly ignore judges recommendations and give it no consideration? Surely it is better and the prisons own guidelines and many scholarly papers written on the subject clearly state that closer ties to ones family, ones community all help to reduce recidivism rates. Why then is he so far away from his family, not allowed to call, it is all but impossible for his family to get there, it is cost prohibitive, the time, the huge distance makes it almost impossible.

If a man has earned the points and lowered his points through his efforts and is a first time nonviolent offender surely the prison should honor their end of the agreement and ensure that he gets to camp, that he gets what he earned. This has been laid down as fair, that he gets that through good behavior, but they are not even following their own guidelines, choosing monetary gain over fairness and humanity instead?

The system was set up so that men can lower their points through good behaviour, so that men have a goal, a purpose, something to work towards and this benefits everyone, studies show this to be true. Not to honor that on the prisons part, is truly unjust, it has been proven to create all sorts of problems. Prisons must hold up their end of the bargain if men lower their point status and are due some small return, they must get the small small benefits that come back from that, it is the only way to keep things in order and to be just and fair. It is the right thing to do.

As above, these young men are not allowed phone calls to their family, only one 15 minute phone call once every 30 days. The strain on family members not being able to speak with them is immeasurable. The strain of knowing that that young man is in SHU indefinitely is an added enormous senseless burden, another torture to endure in this whole horrid nasty situation.

The family suffers enormously when their sons or husbands etc. are in prison, to begin with, it is already a heartbreaking, heart-rendering time. SHU adds another dimension to that suffering that cannot be put into words, unless, you know what it is to lie awake at night thinking about your son locked away and being damaged by being placed in the hole indefinitely.
Thinking about him being in the hole indefinitely is a burden beyond description. Thinking that he is in a cell for 23 hours a day, locked in a cage, a first time nonviolent offender, only getting out for 1 hr. a day, it is truly barbaric and it is all for what? what are prison authorities hoping to gain, what is there to gain from such actions? Some spurious charges, hearsay, a letter given in by another inmate. Is putting a man in the hole indefinitely. Is this not the most barbaric of solutions that you can possibly imagine? It is unconscionable to subject any man to that harsh punishment It serves no purpose, it is mental torture and that is all, it serves no other function.

The platitudinous mantra that these men's cases are “under investigation” is a well worn hollow cop-out. 90 days plus after the alleged incident and the case is still “under investigation”. There is absolutely no sense of fairness, justice or due process. If prison authorities have a case, can they please present it and desist from the mental torture - keeping young men indefinitely in S.H.U, that they engage in.
Trying to justify any mans presence in S.H.U. for 90 days while the case in “under investigation” is simply defending the indefensible.

To be a good leader you must be fair, to do a good job you must not cross the line into another dimension and locking away nonviolent first time offenders indefinitely because they were in a fight or accused of having been in an altercation or accused of having been involved, is crossing the line. How is that fair? how is that just? The punishment is much too severe, too harsh and serves no purpose.
Young men serving 90 days in solitary, yet, he has not been charged with anything, 90 days in the hole and counting, isn’t that enough?
I call on the wardens of these prisons, on their sense of justice and fair play, I call on their humanity to say that yes it is more than enough and to release these men back into general population in prison to serve out the remainder of his time.
That is my call, to please release these young men from SHU and allow them to continue taking classes, teaching his fellow inmates math, serving out the remainder of his time in general population, closer to home and able to call his family on a regular basis. This young man was taken out of a 10 week class which he was 7 weeks into to be put in the hole! why?

I call for all of these things for these poor men. They are serving their time bravely, enduring prison to start with and then to have to endure all of this injustice.

This is an abuse and misuse of SHU. SHU was not set up to mentally torture young men, it was not set up to be abused in this manner. Holding men indefinitely in SHU is an abuse and misuse of SHU. Shame on those who participate in it, it is a black mark on all those who misuse their power in such a way - holding men indefinitely without charge in the hole is barbaric and must stop.

Will you touch this, will you speak to the inhumanity, who out there will sit up and add their voice to the plea. I am not asking for men to be released from prison just to be released from this prison within a prison, from SHU, the hole, which serves no purpose. Yes this issue is political, all politicians will not touch it, they do not want to get in trouble with constituents, but someone who is not political and who cares for humanity and the dignity and well-being of all peoples surely there are many out there who will speak to the cruelty of such practices.
Who will dare to speak up for all those poor young men locked away? enduring this . Many of them for nonviolent first time offenses being damaged by this insane prison system of our. It is cruel, it is unnecessary, please see 'Unlocking America' for all of the scholarly facts in relation to the above. I wish that my words were much more scholarly but they are filled with care and concern and compassion for all men locked away in SHU, needlessly, indefinitely.

Please do something for these men, please do not ignore the pain and suffering of these men, they are fellow citizens of ours, your neighbors, your neighbours sons and daughters, not faceless big baddies, they are human for God sake, nonviolent offenders.

Just as civil rights was a cause that many stood for, fought for, causes for blacks, for women, for children, for gay and lesbians, all segments of our society must be given some protections or things go badly awry, society deteriorates.

These men have no voice and no one speaks for them, just as black people had no voice back then. Concerned citizens who saw an injustice where injustice existed spoke loudly and clearly for black people so too these young men have no voice, they too must have someone to advocate for them.

Who will take up the banner and fight for these men, we need compassionate lawyers, good journalists to investigate, the best there is to get to the bottom and to keep going, people with a backbone, people who can call an inhumanity an inhumanity no matter the backlash. Many white people were ostracized for speaking up for black rights, they were shunned in their own communities by their own neighbours, who were not as well developed in their compassion for their fellow man, these brave people standing up for the rights of others.

We all must seek justice for our fellow man, all men, black, white, g/l, women, men.
NO one segment of our population should have to endure cruel and unusual punishment. for whatever perceived false reason. This is not about 'oh they deserve what they got', because they committed a crime, but you forget they are in prison, it is hell, in the first place, they are serving their time, they are in prison. That is enough, to add further needless punishment, to go beyond their hellish prison sentence that is cruel and unnecessary and sadistic and barbaric and cannot be acceptable in this country or any other country.

Many people said that they got what they deserved about the black struggle, or the famine in Ireland(it was Gods will) or about the holocaust or any other crime against humanity. No it was not Gods will or what they deserved or just the way business is done, it was wrong, plain wrong, inhumane. It was mans inhumanity against man, plain and simple and refusing to take a stand when called to do so, when it faces you and stares into your soul and you know it to be cruel, you must speak up, you must we all must.
Not to do so is not being our full selves, it is holding back on fulfilling our humanity to its fullest, helping another when they are being mistreated is our first call as humans.

We all must do something, write a letter, call, keep calling, keep trying, for humanity sake we must.

Holding men indefinitely in 'the hole' is inhumane and I will call a spade a spade, just as someone should have said back then when it was happening, that gassing men, women and children is a crime against humanity. Just because no one spoke up did not make it right then and it doesn't make it right now. In the name of all that is good and holy send this compassionate plea to fifty prison wardens, fifty congressman, fifty politicians, your senators, your state reps, governors, all across this country, the president, the vice-president, all prison rights organizations, should be hearing that 'we the people' cannot stand by and not speak up that holding young men INDEFINITELY in the hole is cruel and unusual punishment and must stop. It must not be commonplace to do so and it must stop now.

Thank you

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over 6 years ago

I am in the middle of an ADA violations case in Fed Court of Kansas against the Cowley County D.O.C.. I have to do this Pro-se because of the good ald boy routine here in Kansas. Next stop. Summary Judgment. I'm ready. Wish I could find someone with guts to help. Even a lawstudent would help some.

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almost 6 years ago

I am using some case for assighment for colege class. Thanks for information

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almost 7 years ago

You do know that you have inmates that didn't do the crime, but they are being put thru hell because the law just wan't to close the case. I do have a husband in prison that didn't do what he was charged with. He's been in there for 12 yers and we've been fighting every since then to get him out.

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over 7 years ago

the local county jail in onslow county nc is extremely over crouded and they refuse medical attention to those who are in need of certian types of life saving meds.their jail is extremely dirty and unsanitary,it is also so over crowded that they have as many as 60 people sleeping in a 24 man cell block .they also refuse all inmates their right to recreation time out doors.everyone in this jail is constantly getting sick the floors are never washed with any sanitary clenser.when you step onto the very floor you are forced to sleep on you feet get a nasty gray film on them that you have to use a putty knife to scrape it off when you are finally released.my friend who has been held unlawfuly for 11 months has only one leg and he must use cleansing wipes to keep the wounds where the leg was cut off they have been refusing him the nessary germ removal clenser so he is contantly getting infected and they have forced him to sleep on the concrete floor for the last 9 months and will even give him any of the proper medical attention that he is required to have due to his injuries and his extremely week heart his name in raymond wells (aka billyray wells)every cell block in that bcounty jail is over crowded with atleast dubble the legal capacity.the fire code is clearly being broken and the head sherriff of onslow county has actualy to our family thatnot even the federal government can stop him from running the jail of his the way he wants to run it .he told my aunt that he owns that jail and the men and women inside it and nobody can do anything about it.he has a personal rule that says all criminals should be put to death.one gentalman who had exposed a drug trade ring in his jail and got many of his jailors removed and charged with bringing in and selling drugs in his jail was actualy exacuted in his home while sitting on his couch and there was never anyone charged with that mans exacution.that gntalmans name was john d smallwood.also a few years earlier one of his sheriffs wasout on a hunting trip with his wife and he suposibly accidnetaly shot his wife directly in the face and killed her .sherriff ed brown told the media that it was found to be an accidental discharge of a firearm which resulted in the womans death.it just happend to be ed browns best friend and a gentalman who he hired himself onto the force.after that one press interview the man was never charged with anything and the case was closed before her body even was buried in the ground.ed brown covers up many crimes that his deputies commit.it is time that someone acts against this man and starts a federal investigation against him.i will be following the tabloids and if i do not hear anything about this man i will take further steps as to go myself to the federal govrnment and bring a formal case against that sherriff myself.

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over 7 years ago

I would like to inform you that Porter county jail in indiana has violated many rights of the inmates, including myself. Inmates are NEVER allowed outside for recreation, Inmates Catch MRSA (including myslef), scabies, and other illnesses due to unsanitary conditions, They cram 4 people to a 2 man cell and let people sleep on the floor, they deny acess to most medications, guards (who do not have a medical liscense) pass out medications, and guards are neglegent to the inmates. I know criminals are supposed to have a hard time, but i beleive many human rights were violated there. The most important thing by far is the lack of food, the jail system is STARVING the inmates, i lost 25 percent of my body weight in a matter of 2 months. Inmates receive an average of 1500 calories a day. I Was starving. i wasn't even guilty of the crime i was accused of and i spent 4 months in there. I know i won't go back but somebody has to speak up for the inmates in porter county jail. I know my rights were violated and I dont think anybody deserved that sort of punishment. everybody deserves at least one hour of fresh air a week.( They do not use the venilation system) and enough food to prevent starvation. Criminals are people too and people who have not even been convicted of a crime are suffering in porter county jail Some are actually innocent too. Nobody deserves that treatment.

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almost 7 years ago

M y fiance is in Ionia county jail in Michigan he was put in a 23 hour lockdown cell for getting into an altercation with another inmate he has been there for almost a month and the other inmate has received no punishment at all. Honestly its discrimination. And to those who believe inmates shouldn't have any rights well have you ever made a mistake because thats what a lot of inmates are there for and are being treated unfairly for making a mistake. Yeah they might have done something worse than you or I or maybe they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dont hate on people that you dont know, PLEASE. Inmates put up with a lot of crap from guards and other inmates even if thet are only in jail for having a drink or trying to get to the birth of their child. You think their rights should be taken away for that well then you are just plain cold!!!!!

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over 1 year ago


I have a question...is there a legal limit to prison lockdowns? my friend is currently incarcerated and they got a new warden two months ago- they have been on lockdown 5 outta 2 days out of every week ; since she became warden. prior to her, this prison did not go on lockdown for 6 months at times; clearly issue changed when she came about. is this legal ? are there limits to how often they can impose lockdowns? cuz seems like this is crossing into torture rather than just punishment. thanks

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about 2 years ago

I am writing in regards to a situation that happened at Broad River Correctional Institution this incident happened on April 4th 2016 in the morning where 6 of our children and I say 6 of our children because it's six of us parents that have went to law firms to file complaints against the state which I am Number 6 4evermen which is at Todd Rutherford office to are at Robert goings office this incident happened where 6 of our boys were attacked 30 other inmates from another area attacked with weapons sex and so forth my son was stabbed six times they were brutally attacked by 30 inmates which was let into their area I can see if it was one or two but 30 how can you have 30 inmates that is in the area that they're not supposed to be in on top of that the CEOs lock them into this area and watched as the boys were brutally beaten and crying out for help I am so afraid and scared as well as other parents that we don't want to get a phone call in the middle of the night the tragic incident because the state failed to do what they were supposed to do the investigation is still ongoing over a month still this incident was not reported to the media which something like this normally hits media fast their prison institution is holding all information and breakfast closed I don't understand why something like this or how something like this could happen please please please help us we don't want to wake up to something tragic brothers are children somebody else's child they're already doing their time can they do their time and peace where there is no corrupt in the system I know it's no perfect system but if you have guards and see all that are being paid to do this type of stuff it needs to be stopped immediately it needs to go higher than the prison officials so we are reaching out to you as our representative to help us in this matter please concerned parent concerned friend concerned member trying to reach out to officials for help thank you sincerely Charlene Bethel

Its been 6weeks and the administrators talk to us like we are being interigated for call checking on our love ones. One parent told me her son had not bathed for 8 days and had his underwear full up with blood. Another inmate said he could not feel half of his face (brain injury)... I spoke with Warden of the facility they were transferred from and he said the inmates could have visit even under investigation and he would call the prison himself! When I called the housing prison behind the warden, the assistant warden was upset with me about speaking to him about it... She then told me that its the head Warden prerogative if he chose not to allow them visitation and that they aren't even suppose to get calls! I almost regrettable contacting headquarters because of what the might deprive them of next... The situation is so bad that they placed them not in the prison but in the woods of some place they had not opened in over 20 years outside of the prison! I can go on but it kills me to know that the system can get away with this type of incident and no one advocate for not just my son but all these young men locked in solitude! And all they can say is that the investigation has no time limit even if it takes years... Years in 23 hour lock up shackled to a wall and let out 1 hour of a day... Wow! where is the help in SC!?

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about 7 years ago

i think that they should have rights to an extent but still made to do the time i can't wait till i become a police officer cause then maybe things want be so wound up in this fuckin place

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about 7 years ago

i think that they should have rights to an extent but still made to do the time i can't wait till i become a police officer cause then maybe things want be so wound up in this fuckin place

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about 7 years ago

I personally feel that why should prisoners have any rights? If you do the crime then you do the time. What about the victims in the crimes that these prisoners committed. What rights did they have? If you wanted rights then I guess you should have followed the laws!!

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7 months ago


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almost 3 years ago

I need help there is only so much I can do. My son is currently an inmate at ECI Eastern shore correctional institute. The CO'S are telling the inmates it is tax time and takes there stuff. They even been harassing my son and his cell buddy. If there is anything that can be done please contact me and I can send you a copy of his letter. My son been their now for almost 3 years and I haven't been able to visit him their rules are you can drive 3 hours and they will turn you away once they turn you away I will have to contact the warden to see if I can visit my child

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about 3 years ago

Where do we start and what do we do? My nephew who lost his mother and father at age 7 and was raised by my parents now in late 80's was pulled over in his truck and told he needed a permit to haul scrap metal. He was not hauling scrap metal, it was used fencing my mother had given him for his property and it was rolled neatly in bundles with the fence post in the bed of his truck and tied down. By the time it was done, six police officers were involved, they pepper sprayed a 19 year old friend who was riding with him, tazor gunned my nephew in the back and in the stomach while his hands were in the air and slammed his head into the truck and arrested him. The other young man had called his dad who was near by and who showed up. The father of the boy said he audio taped the incident while they would not allow him out of his care. He claimed they used excessive force, my nephew was not resisting and that they were abusive to him and they did not identify themselves, warn him before using a tazor gun, or read him his rights. Since then we have not been able to speak to my nephew, no one is allowed to visit him, they will not accept any money on his account, he is not going to be allowed to attend his own hearing in person and he is in medical lock down, we do not know his condition or why he is in medical lock down. We have never had to be involved in anything like this before, we are in shock and fearful for his safety. Can anyone give me some advice on where to start, I am afraid of retaliation towards my nephew inside the jail if I do not proceed with caution or do it right.

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over 2 years ago

Can someone tell me if a legal Wife has any rights regarding her Husband's criminal case legal situation? Does she have any rights regarding his Attorneys, the Courts etc.? Can she request Attorney's etc. on her Husband's behalf? My husband has developed some mental health issues and isn't always able to converse with the legal system, as he needs to. I can't find any information on this subject. We're in PA. Thankyou

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almost 3 years ago

Is it legal to keep a prisoner in the hole when they have done nothing wrong just because they have a family member that works there ?

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almost 3 years ago

Hello, my name is Antonio. I had a question about what you should do if your rights have been violated by Correction. Please, contact me as soon as you can. Thank you

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5 days ago

A Solution to the State Budget and Prison Overcrowding

First Solution:
Mandatory Guidelines for Parole. Set Mandatory guidelines for parole and if the inmate meets his/her guidelines he/she makes parole. Guidelines must be obtainable and posted in every prison for the inmates to work for their chance at parole. The guidelines should include, Education (if they have none) Treatment for whatever problems or addictions they have. Plus, they should have to do a set amount of time before their parole date is achieved. They must come up for parole on time. NOT 4 to 6 months late. If they do not meet the guidelines set, then they are set off 1 year and try to meet the guidelines set. And they are set off ONE YEAR ONLY at a time until they meet the set guidelines or until they EOS (End of Sentence) their sentence.
A lot of inmates will not even try to meet the guidelines. They will EOS their sentences. But those who try are going to be the ones who are trying to change their lives. This alone will reduce the prison population by thousands and keep it at a lower level.

Second Solution
Do away with Life Without Parole and/or put a Cap on a Life Sentence.
Life Without Parole is costing way too much. The money could be used more in better places. However, if you put a Cap on a life sentence, it could reduce the cost by half possibly. Let’s say a life sentence is 25 years. If a person has a life sentence and they go up for parole in 10 years and have met the above set guidelines for parole, then they will make parole. Therefore, if they have not met the guidelines then they are set off 1 year at a time until they either meet the guidelines or until they have done 25 years and EOS their sentence. Now if Life Without Parole is still a sentence then when an inmate does 25 years without ever going up for parole then he/she has EOS’d their sentence and has done Life Without Parole. This too will reduce the prison population by several thousand and keep it that way.

Third Solution
Abolish the Death Penalty. The cost alone is enough to consider getting rid of it. Second there are too many people being found to be innocent of their crimes that have been on death row for years. (Anthony Hinton is a recent example of someone who was on death row for 30 years for a crime he did not commit.) The cost is over several million dollars a year per inmate on death row, and we have almost 200 inmates on death row in the State of Alabama. Not all of that money is from the DOC budget, but a good portion is. The death penalty is not being applied fairly either and should not be allowed to continue. Then there is too much controversy over the drugs used in executions. For all these reasons and others, the Death Penalty should be abolished.

These three solutions alone would reduce the prison population by almost half and keep it that way for years to come as long as the Parole Board is doing its job and paroling those who meet the posted guidelines on time every time. The problem with prison overcrowding now rest entirely on the parole board. They do not do their jobs. They are 4 to 8 months behind on their jobs and if anyone else in the world was that far behind in their jobs they would not have a job. Check the numbers and you will see that this will reduce ADOC’s budget by about half. Also, it might be possible to close a couple of the older prisons that have been condemned and move the officers from them prisons to other prisons and help in the staffing.
DO NOT take my word for this. Check the numbers and it will show that the above is true and correct and the only solution that will work. Later prison reforms can be implemented and that will help KEEP the prison overcrowding down. All the money saved by doing the above can be used for education, treatment and other rehabilitation programs that will help those getting out to stay out. The Alabama Department of Corrections used to be called “The Department of Offender & Rehabilitation”. It’s time to get back to rehabilitation!!!
If this had been done years ago we wouldn’t be in the current problem we are in now with the State Budget. All this can be checked. The numbers will tell the truth to this solution and the savings will benefit the entire State. There will no longer be a need to take from the educational trust fund or to close our state parks or DMV offices. EVERYONE wins with this being done. Get a Parole Board that will do their Job and get this State in working order again.

If the First 2 Solutions are not done prison overcrowding will NEVER be resolved.

Now I have a question to be answered.
Who do you want to get out of prison? Those who work to change their lives or those who have been warehoused for 10 or 20 years?
If you believe those who have a chance to work for change then send the above proposal to the Governor and your State Representative and State Senator and demand they do the above. Instead of raising your Taxes!!
Most of the above are going to get out. I want the ones who are going to be productive members of society.