AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities
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A Wyoming prisoner,
as chairman of the Wyoming Prisoners' Association and an official of the
Wyoming chapter of the Citizens United for Rehabilitation, published a
combined newsletter for these organizations, reporting on legal issues
of interest to prisoners. He shipped 693 copies of the newsletter together
in one box addressed to the Wyoming State Penitentiary. Inside the box,
each newsletter was addressed to an individual prisoner. The warden refused
to deliver the newsletters to prisoners, while he would deliver newsletters
which were individually addressed and sent. A federal appeals court
upheld as constitutional the rule in question, which prohibited all bulk
mailings, regardless of content. The policy was reasonably related to prison
security, and unsolicited bulk mailings could increase tensions and result
in disruptive behavior. The policy did not violate the plaintiff's First
Amendment rights. Parkhurst v. Lampert, #10-8078, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis
6567 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
Only individual persons may file federal lawsuits as "paupers"; prisoners' association could not file its federal civil rights suit in this manner to avoid paying filing fees and other court costs or have free legal counsel appointed. Rowland v. California Men's Colony, Unit II Men's Advisory Council, 113 S.Ct. 716 (1993).
Correctional officials can place reasonable restrictions on inmates associations (prisoner's union) regarding meetings, bulk mail privileges, grievances, etc. Jones v. N.C. Prisoners' Labor Union, Inc., 433 U.S. 119, 97 S.Ct. 2532 (1977).
Prisoner association prevented from filing class action suit. Ethnic Awareness Org. v. Gagnon, 568 F. Sup. 1186 (E.D. Wis. 1983).
Inmate association could not file class action lawsuit. Ethnic Awareness Org. v. Gagnon, 568 F.Supp. 1186 (E.D. Wis. 1983).
Appeals court upholds prison officials' decision to bar meetings of group formed to bring lawsuits challenging conditions. Preast v. Cox, 628 F.2d 292 (4th Cir. 1980).
California Supreme Court rules that prison inmates do not have the right to hold union meetings. In re Brandt, 157 Cal.Rptr. 894 (Cal. 1979).
Oregon Appeals Court reverses findings of disruptive behavior; no evidence that inmate took part in work stoppage. Calhoun v. Oregon State Penitentiary, 597 P.2d 1250 (Ore. App. 1979).
Prison ban on inmate union meetings upheld. In re Price, 158 Cal.Rptr. 873 (Cal. 1979).
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