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Pro Se - PLSNY
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Pro Se

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Pro Se is a newsletter published bi-monthly by Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York for incarcerated individuals in New York State prisons. Pro Se provides information and analysis on recent developments in the law. Pro Se advises people in prison of changes in the law, provides practice pieces to assist them in complying with statutory and regulatory requirements, and explains technical aspects of various laws affecting prisoners. Pro Se is sent free of charge to individuals incarcerated in New York State who request to be placed on our mailing list.

Pro Se accepts individual subscription requests. With a subscription, a copy of Pro Se will be delivered directly to you bi-monthly. To subscribe, send a subscription request with your name and address (DIN number, and facility if you are incarerated)  to Pro Se, 114 Prospect Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Pro Se also appreciates hearing your comments, questions or suggestions about the contents of Pro Se. Please send your comments to: Pro Se, 41 State Street, Suite M112, Albany, NY 12207.

Please do not send requests for legal representation to Pro Se. Requests for legal representation and all other problems should be sent to the PLS office that handles the prison in which the individuals is are incarcerated. Please check our Contact Page for office addresses and the facilities they serve.

PLS is grateful for the past support from the New York Bar Foundation which has provided grants in support of our client education efforts, including the printing and distribution of Pro Se, our bi-monthly newsletter for incarcerated Newe Yorkers.  

Pro Se Issues by Year

2015

Volume 25 Issue 5

Court Finds Top DOCCS Execs Liable for Unlawful Imposition of PRS  Solitary Confinement: An Update, Second Circuit Clarifies 8th Amendment Standard Relating to Sexual Abuse by Guards; Right to Special Education Under the IDEA for Disabled Prisoners Under 22 Years Old.

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Volume 25 Issue 4

Court Awards $90,000 for 6 1/2 Months of Unlawful Confinement and Parole Supervision,  Don't Throw Out the Baby With the Bathwater: Incentive Programs Work,  Court Holds Board of Parole in Contempt,  Parole Denial Reversed; Board Focused Exclusively on Seriousness of Crime, New Plattsburgh Office Address

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Volume 25 Issue 3

State Found Liable For Confining Clamant Beyond SHU Expiration Date The SARA Leads to the Creation of Non-Conforming RTF's,  Pro Se Practice: A Prisoner's Right to Visit with His or Her Children, Pro Se Victories!

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Volume 25 Issue 2

Class Certified in Case Seeking Damages for Unlawful Imposition of Post-Release Supervision Pardon Me, Can You Commute My Sentence, Pro Se Victories, Court Upholds Finding of Deviation from Accepted Standards of Medical Practice, Court Rules Use of Jumpsuit in lewd Conduct Program Does Not Violate Constitution.

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Volume 25 Issue 1

Discretionary Denials of 440 Motions Can Be Reviewed by Court of Appeals,  DOCCS Issues New Disciplinary Guidelines,  PRO SE Victories, Tier III Hearing Rights,  For Article 10 Purposes,  The Diagnosis of APD is Not a Mental Abnormality

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2014

Volume 24 Issue 6

PLS Settles Challenge to Juvenile SHU Confinement,  PREA and Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies,  Pro Se Victories, Parole Denial Annulled: Determination So Irrational as to Border on Impropriety

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Volume 24 Issue 5

Court Rules that in Prison, a Cell Phone is Dangerous Contraband

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Volume 24 Issue 4

How Solitary Confinement Thwarts Brain Developement in Youths, Rights at Tier III Hearings, Pro Victories!

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Volume 24 Issue 3

3rd Department Rules in Favor of Parole Board on Amendments to Executive Law.

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Volume 24 Issue 2

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT TAKES CENTER STAGE FROM NEW YORK TO WASHINGTON AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

 

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Volume 24 Issue 1

State Court Holds Prisoner Entitled to Damages for Time Spent in Prison as a Result of DOCCS-Imposed Post-Release Supervision,  Also Inside... Enrolling in Medicaid, Prisoner Recovers for Excessive Imprisonment; DOCCS Conduct Not Privileged, 2nd Circuit Holds Dismissal of Article 78 Does Not Collaterally Estop Section 1983 Action, Pro Se Practice: Protecting Your Right to Appeal.

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2013

Volume 23 Issue 6

Court Strikes Rule Prohibiting DOCCS Staff from Associating with Prisoners and Parolees

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Volume 23 Issue 5

Transgender Prisoners and the Law; Parole Denial Reversed: Court Finds BOP Failed to Apply Written Guidelines; Third Department Rules that Revised Executive Law 259-c(4) is Not Retroactive;  Court Finds that Denial of Request for Temporary Release Violated Statute.

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Volume 23 Issue 4

Did DOCCS Exec Make Reasonable Efforts to Excise Plaintiffs' Unlawfully Imposed Post Release Supervision or to Organize a Re-Sentencing Process?;  Important Immigration Information;  Court Upholds Condition Barring Petitioner From Contact With Wife;  Claimant's Right to Discovery About the Background of Another Prisoner.

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Volume 23 Issue 3

Court Finds Amendment of Parole Statute Requires Parole to Make New Rules;  Court of Appeals Rules That Predicate Sentencing is a Collateral Consequence;  Court of Appeals Affirms Order Awarding Incarcerated Father Visits With Child; Statements Made to the Case Review Team Are Admissible at Civil Commitment Trials

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Volume 23 Issue 2

Using Juvenile's Age as a Mitigating Factor, Court Finds Tier III Sanction Excessive New York's Aging Prison Population No Damages for Continuation of Level III Status at Southport After Reversal of Hearing

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Volume 23 Issue 1

Court Reverses Termination of Incarcerated Father's Parental Rights. NYSBA Calls For Restrictions on Long Term Solitary Confinement,  2nd Circuit Fails to Reach Merits of Challenge to HO's Handwriting Comparison.

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2012

Volume 22 Issue 6

Court Fines DOCCS Defandants $9,600 for Contempt.

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Volume 22 Issue 5

New York Civil Liberties Union Issues Report on New York's Use of "Extreme Isolation"

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Volume 22 Issue 4

Testimony of Karen Murtagh, Executive Director of PLS, Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human...

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Volume 22 Issue 3

Prisoner Wins Summary Judgment in Civil Rights Case Where Hearing Officer and Director of Inmate Discipline Ignored "Some Evidence";  DOCCS Creates Incentive Program for Prisoners in Ad Seg;  New Rules for Visitation and Suspension of Visitation; Court Orders Drug Conviction Sealed.

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Volume 22 Issue 2

Court Denies DOCCS Officials Qualified Immunity for Imposing PRS Amendments to Parole Law Strengthen Focus on Rehabilitation HO’s Failure to...

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Volume 22 Issue 1

Failure to Apply New Criteria Results in Reversal of Parole Denial NYS Bar Association Sponsors Panel Discussion on Solitary Confinement...

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2011

Volume 21 Issue 6

State Law Barring Adoptions by Felons Found to be Unconstitutional A Message from the Executive Director – Karen L. Murtagh...

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Volume 21 Issue 5

Court Imposes Sanctions on State for failing to Comply with Discovery Order A Message from the Executive Director – Karen...

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Volume 21 Issue 4

Federal Court Finds Several SOMTA Provisions to be Unconstitutional A Message from the Executive Director – Karen L. Murtagh Mental...

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Volume 21 Issue 3

Supreme Court Affirms Order Requiring Reduction in California Prison Population A Message from the Executive Director – Karen Murtagh-Monks DOCS...

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Volume 21 Issue 2

Budget Merges DOCS and the Division of Parole A Message From the Executive Director, Karen Murtagh-Monks Right to Be Present...

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Volume 21 Issue 1

Urinalysis Directive Revised to Accommodate Inmates Who Suffer From Shy Bladder Disorder A Message from the Executive Director – Karen...

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2010

Volume 20 Issue 6

DOCS Reviewing Jail Time for “Double Dipping” A Message from the Executive Director – Karen Murtagh-Monks DOCS to Propose Harsher...

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Volume 20 Issue 5

Court Awards $20,000 Due to the Miscalculation of Release Date A Message from the Executive Director – Karen Murtagh-Monks Magistrate...

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Volume 20 Issue 4

New York to End “Prisoner Gerrymandering” A Message from the Executive Director – Karen Murtagh-Monks State Appellate Court Dismisses Damages...

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Volume 20 Issue 3

Developments in the Law of Post-Release Supervision A Message from the Executive Director, Karen Murtagh-Monks U.S. Supreme Court Finds Attorney...

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Volume 20 Issue 2

Court of Appeals Holds Imposition of Post-Release Supervision After Release from Incarceration Violates Double Jeopardy A Message from the Executive...

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Volume 20 Issue 1

Dangerous Contraband A Message from the Executive Director – Karen Murtagh-Monks Court of Appeals Accepts Cases Raising Issues Related to...

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2009

Volume 19 Issue 4

New Law Mandates Additional Oversight of Prison Healthcare A Message from the Executive Director – Karen Murtagh-Monks Governor Signs Anti-Shackling...

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Volume 19 Issue 3

B Felony Re-sentencing for State Prisoners A Message from the Executive Director – Karen L. Murtagh-Monks Democracy Behind Bars Ex-Offender...

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Volume 19 Issue 2

2009-2010 State budget Advances Criminal Justice Agenda A Message from the Executive Director – Karen L. Murtagh-Monks DOCS Allowed to...

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Volume 19 Issue 1

Court of Appeals reverses Decision in People ex rel. Gill v. Greene A Message from the Executive Director – Karen...

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2008

Volume 18 Issue 4

PRS Re-Sentencing Cases Advance, Raise Questions A Message from Karen Murtagh-Monks, Executive Director Gill Case Goes to Court of Appeals...

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Volume 18 Issue 3

Governor Signs PRS Legislation A Message from the Executive Director – Karen L. Murtagh-Monks DOCS Adopts Comprehensive Court Notification Plan...

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Volume 18 Issue 2

‘Earley’ Case Roils Sentencing Waters: Court of Appeals Holds DOCS May Not Impose Post Release Supervision Where Sentencing Court Silent;...

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Volume 18 Issue 1

“Boot the SHU” Bill Becomes Law in New York Message From the Executive Director Post Release Supervision New York’s Highest...

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Volume 18 Issue Special Edition

New Developments Regarding Post-Release Supervision DOCS and Parole File Class Action; State Passes New Legislation

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2007

Volume 17 Issue 4

Sentence Reform Commission Calls for Determinate Sentences; Puts Off Further Drug Law Reform Discussion A Letter from Susan Johnson, Executive...

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Volume 17 Issue 3

Hints of Change at Parole A Message from Susan Johnson, Executive Director New Law Reinstates Inmates to Medicaid Immediately Upon...

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Volume 17 Issue 2

Landmark Settlement Decreases SHU Time, Increases Treatment of Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness Deaths in the Family Justice At Last:...

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Volume 17 Issue 1

Governor Cuts Calling Costs Governor Signs Civil Commitment Bill Pro Se Keeps Growing Supreme Court Eases Limits on Prison Suits...

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2006

Volume 16 Issue 4

“Boot the SHU” Bill Gains Momentum, Despite Governor’s Veto Court of Appeals Rejects Pataki Effort to Civilly Commit Sex Offenders...

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Volume 16 Issue 3

Supreme Court, Second Circuit, and DOCS Weigh In on Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Second Circuit Reaffirms “Special Circumstances” Doctrine: Holds...

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Volume 16 Issue 2

Appellate Division Affirms Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders A Message from Susan Johnson, Executive Director The Need for External Prison...

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Volume 16 Issue 1

Governor in All-Out Push for Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders Governor Also Moves Ahead on DNA Testing Some Very Bad...

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Volume 16 Issue Special Edition

Dismantling Parole: A Special Edition of “Pro Se” Parole Release of Kathy Boudin Court Decisions Give Parole Board Wide Discretion Study...

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2005

Volume 15 Issue 4

Court Finds DOCS’ Telephone Rates May Be Unconstitutional Please Deposit All Your Money Rockefeller Drug Reform Update: New Law Permits...

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Volume 15 Issue 3

Supreme Court Upholds Law Protecting Inmates’ Religious Freedom Restrictions and Rhetoric Intensify Around Sex Offenders Rockefeller Drug Reform Has Limited...

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Volume 15 Issue 2

State and New York City Agree to Settle Class Action Litigation Challenging Under-Reporting of Jail Time A Message from Tom...

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Volume 15 Issue 1

Second Circuit Holds Appointment of Counsel Sufficient to Satisfy Constitutional Requirement of Access to Court for Inmates A Message from...

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2004

Volume 14 Issue 3

Second Circuit Issues: Seven Landmark Decisions in Favor of Prisoners Inadequate Notice is a Clearly Established Constitutional Violation A Reasonable...

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Volume 14 Issue 2

New York High Court Reverses 20-Year Precedent; Holds Inmates Entitled to Credit for Out-of-State Jail Time A Message from Tom...

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Volume 14 Issue 1

Correctional Association report Paints Grim Picture of SHU, Recommends Changes A Message from Tom Terrizzi, Executive Director of PLS Albany...

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2003

Volume 13 Issue 4

Supreme Court Affirms Strict Limits on Prison Visitation DOCS Institutes New Rate Structure for Phone-Home Program But Retains Criticized Commissions...

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Volume 13 Issue 3

State Supreme Court Orders Parole Board to Give Fair Consideration to Positive Institutional Adjustment New Laws to Provide for Earlier...

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Volume 13 Issue 2

New York High Court Expands DOCS’ Liability for Inmate Assaults Mixed Messages: Comments from the PLS Executive Director First Amendment:...

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2002

Volume 13 Issue 1

Supreme Court: Prisoners Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies in All Cases Before Filing in Federal Court – New Hurdle for Inmate Litigants...

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