My name is Stevie J. Stevenson. I am a California state prisoner. The title of this is “CDC Finally Gets its Chance at Taking the Lawbooks Away from Prisoners.”
In 1966, over 100 inmates filed a civil lawsuit, uh, against CDC for not having lawbooks in the system. The name of the case was called Gilmore vs. Lynch, 319 Fed. Supp at page 105. The outcome of the lawsuit ended with an injunction that allowed inmates in CDC to have law books to learn about the law. Uh, whether it was to help them on a direct appeal, a writ of habeas Corpus, or to fight prison conditions. This injunction was in place for 30 years from 1966 until 1996.
In 1996, a case called Lewis vs. Casey 518 U.S. 343 1996 came out. In that case, the United States Supreme court led by Justice Rehnquist, uh, decided that inmates were not allowed, uh, law libraries. In doing so, CDC stopped the order of law books. However, due to the Gilmore injunction, the case, um, that started in 1996, they couldn’t take the law books away.
Long story short is, in 2010, the Department of Corrections convinced the attorneys, who were the lawyers over the injunction to keep law books at CDC, convinced them that they were going to put the law books in their Title 15. So, what CDC did was they regulated the law book, which were published by Westlaw. Once they did that, the prison law office signed off the long-time injunction. Once the injunction was no more, and CDC- CDC had total control of the law book, in 2010, without receiving any approval for what is called the Administrative Procedure Act, or through the Office of Administrative Law, CDC changed the law books, ridded them, uh, and gave a whole new system under [inaudible].
And how this has affected many men, women, and juveniles incarcerated; they don’t have the N E V system to learn the law. For the past three or four years, this California legislator has worked very hard to make new laws, to pass new laws, and what has happened is without the law books, they don’t understand how to use those law books, and everything like that. So, if they’re passing new laws, then CDC has taken away the law books that teaches people how to learn the law.
Thank you very much.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.