Feb. 1, a federal judge reviewing how Florida handles restoration of felons’ voting rights ruled it unconstitutional, because the process gives the Florida Executive Clemency Board sweeping, unregulated power to decide whether to re-enfranchise former felons. Tallahassee-based district judge Mark E. Walker decided that violates applicants’ First Amendment rights of free speech and association and…

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By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued a stinging opinion in which it firmly rebukes the retaliatory actions of the Douglas County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office. Derrick Bailey, an African-American police officer with 17 years of law-enforcement experience, was hired by the City of Douglasville Police Department in…

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  By Jean Trounstine and Christopher Zoukis It shouldn’t be surprising to hear federal prisoner and prisoner rights advocate Christopher Zoukis, who has written four books and produced countless articles for outlets such as the New York Daily News, Prison Legal News, and the Huffington Post, is under fire once again for his writing activities.…

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By Christopher Zoukis The federal government’s attempt to restrict a former prisoner’s First Amendment right to free speech has been reversed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Darren Chaker was convicted of a white collar crime related to a bankruptcy filing and sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. As part of his three…

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By Christopher Zoukis The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a prisoner’s verbal grievance made to prison staff was protected speech under the First Amendment, and gave rise to a civil action when the prisoner faced retaliation for making a verbal complaint. Charles Mack, incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania,…

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When Americans think of prison censorship, images of prison guards throwing away letters come to mind. So too do images of books and publications like Prison Legal News being rejected for being a “threat to the good order, orderly operation, and security of the institution,” which covers about any number of theoretical penological objectives. And…

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By Christopher Zoukis On October 21, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law the Revictimization Relief Act (HB 2533/SB 508), which enabled victims of crime to petition a judge to censor Pennsylvania state prisoners, if the prisoner’s words cause or will theoretically cause “mental anguish” to a crime victim, regardless of who committed the…

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