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NCJ Number: 52059 Find in a Library
Title: PRISONER'S RIGHT TO A PROTECTIVE TRANSFER FROM STATE TO FEDERAL PRISON
Journal: INDIANA LAW JOURNAL  Volume:50  Issue:4  Dated:(1974-1975)  Pages:143-153
Author(s): D M IWATAKI
Corporate Author: Indiana University
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES WHETHER THERE IS UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PRISONERS DENIED TRANSFER BECAUSE THEIR FAMILIES CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR HAVING THEM TRANSFERRED TO AND MAINTAINED IN FEDERAL PRISON.
Abstract: STATE PRISONERS SOMETIMES ARE PLACED IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT BECAUSE OF DANGER TO THEIR LIVES FROM OTHER PRISONERS AND NOT BECAUSE OF DISCIPLINARY REASONS. THESE PRISONERS MAY, AT THE DISCRETION OF PRISON OFFICIALS, BE TRANSFERRED TO FEDERAL PRISON IF THE PRISONERS' FAMILIES PAY THE COSTS. THE FEDERAL STATUTE ALLOWING SUCH TRANSFERS DEMANDS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES, AND SUCH COSTS WERE SHIFTED FROM THE STATES TO THE FAMILIES OF PRISONERS. THERE IS NO STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTE THAT CONFERS THE RIGHT TO TRANSFER, AND TRANSFERS GENERALLY ARE GRANTED WHEN THEY CONSTITUTE THE ONLY REASONABLE RELIEF IN A GIVEN SITUATION. A PRISONER DOES HAVE THE RIGHT TO PERSONAL SECURITY, AND AN ARGUMENT MAY BE MADE FOR TRANSFER ON THE BASIS THAT SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR PROTECTIVE REASONS CONSTITUTES CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT IN VIOLATION OF THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT. THE ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF PRISONERS WHOSE FAMILIES CANNOT PAY FOR TRANSFERS CLAIM THAT THEY ARE BEING DENIED EQUAL PROTECTION BY THE PRACTICES OF STATE PRISON AUTHORITIES. THIS CLAIM, HOWEVER, REQUIRES DETERMINING WHETHER THE CHALLENGED CLASSIFICATION, IN THIS CASE WEALTH, IS INHERENTLY SUSPECT; THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HAS NEVER DECLARED THAT WEALTH IS A SUSPECT CLASSIFICATION LIKE RACE, CREED OR COLOR. EVEN THOUGH WEALTH MAY NOT BE A SUSPECT CLASSIFICATION AS A GENERAL PRINCIPLE, THE COURT TRADITIONALLY HAS DISALLOWED DISTINCTIONS BASED UPON WEALTH IN AREAS CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. SINCE INCARCERATION IS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THE REIMBURSEMENT REQUIREMENT FOR TRANSFER MAY BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. IN THE SITUATION WHERE THE PRISONER HAS BEEN TOLD THAT HE WILL BE TRANSFERRED IF THE FAMILY WILL PAY THE COSTS, PRISON OFFICIALS HAVE FORFEITED ALL PENOLOGICAL REASONS FOR REFUSAL TO TRANSFER, AND THE SOLE RATIONALE FOR REFUSAL BECOMES COST. IN THESE CASES, THE QUESTION IS ONE OF THE LEGITIMACY OF GOVERNMENTAL INTEREST IF GOVERNMENTAL INTEREST LIES IN DENYING TRANSFER. REFERENCES AND CITED CASES ARE FOOTNOTED. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Discrimination; Equal Protection; Federal correctional facilities; Indigents; Inmate personal security; Jurisdiction; Prisoner's rights; Solitary confinement; State correctional facilities
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52059

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