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NCJ Number: 51003 Find in a Library
Title: PRISONERS' RIGHTS
Journal: AMERICAN CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW  Volume:16  Issue:1  Dated:(SUMMER 1978)  Pages:97-107
Author(s): D FOWLER
Corporate Author: American Bar Assoc
Criminal Justice Section
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20005-1009
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: QUESTIONS POSED TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DURING THE 1977-1978 TERM ARE DISCUSSED, WITH ATTENTION TO TRANSFER CASES AND INTERNAL PRISON ADMINISTRATION.
Abstract: MOST OF THE PRISON TRANSFER CASES QUESTION WHETHER THE INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS ACT APPLIES TO FEDERAL WRITS OF HABEAS CORPUS AS PROSEQUENDUM. THE ACT IS A CONGRESSIONALLY ADOPTED AGREEMENT AMONG THE STATES TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORDERLY DISPOSITION OF CHARGES OUTSTANDING IN ONE JURISDICTION AGAINST A PERSON WHO IS SERVING A SENTENCE IN ANOTHER. SEVERAL CASES BEFORE THE COURT THIS TERM CONCERN WHETHER THE ACT APPLIES TO WRITS OF HABEAS CORPUS ISSUED BY FEDERAL COURTS AS WELL AS TO FEDERALLY ISSUED DETAINERS. IN U.S. V. MAURO (1978), THE COURT HELD THAT THE ACT DOES NOT APPLY WHEN THE GOVERNMENT USES ONLY A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS TO TRANSFER A PRISONER; IT IS APPLICABLE WHEN THE GOVERNMENT LODGES A DETAINER AND THEN USES A WRIT TO EFFECTUATE THE TRANSFER. TWO CASES CHALLENGING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ALLEGEDLY PUNITIVE TRANFERS OF PRISONERS FROM ONE PENAL INSTITUTION TO ANOTHER IN THE SAME JURISDICTION ALSO FALL INTO THE PRISON TRANSFER CATEGORY. DURING 1976, THE SUPREME COURT CONSIDERED MEACHUM V. FANO AND MONTANYE V. HAYMES WHICH ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED PUNITIVE TRANSFERS OF PRISONERS. IN BOTH THE COURT HELD THAT, ABSENT A RIGHT FOUNDED IN STATE LAW, A PRISONER'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS ARE NOT VIOLATED BY SUCH TRANSFERS, WHATEVER THE REASON. THE COURT CONSIDERED THE TRANSFER PROBLEM DURING THE 1977-1978 TERM IN VITEK V. MILLER. VITEK INVOLVED THE RIGHT TO A HEARING BEFORE TRANSFER FROM A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL. THE COURT FOUND A RIGHT NOT TO BE TRANSFERED WITHOUT CAUSE UNDER THE NEBRASKA COMMITMENT STATUTE, WHICH FALLS WITHIN THE EXCEPTION OUTLINED IN MEACHUM AND MONTANYE. IN THE AREA OF INTERNAL PRISON ADMINISTRATION, THE ISSUES PRESENTED BEFORE THE COURT INVOLVED PRISONERS' RIGHTS UNDER THE FIRST AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS. THE COURT DECLINED TO REVIEW RAINES V. WRIGHT WHICH PRESENTED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A PRISONER IN THE KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY COULD KEEP HIS BEARD IN VIOLATION OF PRISON REGULATIONS. AS OF MAY 1978, THE COURT HAD NOT GRANTED CERTIORARI IN TWO PRISONERS' CIVIL RIGHTS CASES--HUTTO V. FINNEY AND GREENBLATT V. KING--WHICH CONCERNED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE ELEVENTH AMENDMENT BARS AWARDS OF FEES AGAINST THE STATES UNDER THE CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY'S FEES AWARD ACT. IN DENYING CERTIORARI IN HAYES V. WALKER, THE COURT APPEARED TO UNDERSCORE ITS COMMITMENT TO THE EXTENSION OF DUE PROCESS PROTECTIONS TO PRISONERS AS ENUMERATED IN WOLF V. MCDONNELL (1974). THE COURT ALSO AFFIRMED AN APPEALS COURT RULING IN CARTER V. MILLER (1978), THAT A CITY ORDINANCE PROHIBITING PERSONS CONVICTED OF ENUMERATED CRIMES FROM OBTAINING A PUBLIC CHAUFFEUR'S LICENSE BUT WHICH MADE REVOCATION OF AN EXISTING LICENSE DISCRETIONARY, VIOLATED THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT. REFERENCES ARE FOOTNOTED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Corrections management; Inmate transfers; Judicial review; Prisoner's rights; US Supreme Court
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