State Prison Sends Inmate Journalist to the Hole

FREE PRESS — Mike Rhodes reports in that "Boston Woodard, a prisoner/journalist who is a frequent contributor to
Indybay, has been put in solitary confinement in retaliation for an
article he wrote about conditions at Solano State Prison."

Woodard, in a
letter sent from Solano, stated “I was placed in Administrative
Segregation [‘The Hole’] on July 9, 2009. I was NOT given any
disciplinary action and there are NO charges/violations leveled against
me. The official ‘lock-up order’ (CDC-114-D) states I was being removed
from the general population because I am a ‘security problem’ and pose
a ‘threat’ to the safety and security of this institution, because of
my writing.”

In June, Indybay published Rogue Prison Staff:
Breaking all the Rules
, in which Boston described in detail the threats
and intimidation taking place at Solano – the filing of false
disciplinary charges, mail tampering, verbal threats, etc. After
reading that article, representatives from the California Department of
Corrections (CDC) held what Woodard described as a Kangaroo Court.
According to Woodard, “CSP-Solano’s warden John W. Haviland told me
that I am being transferred to another prison (possibly Folsom) because
of my journalistic activities. They even put that in writing.”

On Monday, August 3 David Newdorf, Woodard’s legal counsel, filed a
lawsuit against warden John W. Haviland and those responsible for the
violation of his client's free speech and civil rights. The lawsuit
states that “State prisoner Robert ‘Boston’ Woodard, a jailhouse
journalist, was placed in administrative segregation (‘ad seg’), denied
visitation and telephone calls, and separated from his property
(including typewriter and legal papers), because California jail
officials did not like what he wrote about their prison for an outside
audience. Officials also retaliated against him when he filed
grievances complaining about the harassment and retaliation by
correctional officers for his writing.”

The lawsuit demands
Woodard’s immediate release from “The Hole” and “for court orders
granting immediate, interim and permanent injunctive relief preventing
the retaliatory transfer of Woodard from occurring.” It is now believed
that the warden is trying to transfer Woodard to the remote High Desert
State Prison (220 miles north of Sacramento) as further punishment and
retaliation for his writing.

In addition to publishing
articles about prison conditions on Indybay, Woodard writes for the
Community Alliance newspaper in Fresno California. The Alliance has
established a Legal Defense Fund to pay for Woodard’s defense.
Contributions can be sent to the Community Alliance, PO Box 5077,
Fresno Ca 93755. Note that the contribution is for the Boston Woodard
Legal Defense Fund.


3 thoughts on “State Prison Sends Inmate Journalist to the Hole

  1. This is typical of prison violation of incarcerated citizens rights as US citizens. Yes they are US citizens even though they have committed an act that got them incarcerated. Freedom of speech and the right to share communication of thought and beliefs is one of the most fundamental elements of our Constitution even when incarcerated. I may not agree with you but I”ll fight to the death for your’s and mine right to free speech.
    Rogue guards who would torture and kill to maintain their reign of fear and protect illegal trade in drugs or cell phones need to be brought into the light of public awareness.
    Many times the only one to do so is a jailhouse attorney no matter what his crime an individual can have journalistic talent.
    We tend to overlook the person and see only an act to access them by. If we were judged by one mistake or indiscretion we made in our lifetime no one would ever progress.

  2. Thanks for posting this information. This is a travesty. While recently telling a doctor friend of mine about my son’s prison health care she said, “Sadly, no amount of medical care can alleviate the inhumane conditions of incarceration inflicted by the prison system of our country; conditions which neither serve any purpose nor save any money. It is ironic that we have so much more in common with backwards, repressive countries than with the rest of the developed world.” Our prison authorities are out of control and need to be exposed.

  3. I am an attorney representimg in inmate at CSP Solano for wrongful retaliatio resulting in a number of false 115 reports, his placement in the hole, as well as confiscation of property, including musical property that he is no longer even permitted access to (which hje owned and was good enough to donate). He has further been denied medical/dental care. ANY ideas of other such suits to give me ideas of claims and/or other simiar stories of other inmates suffereing similar injustices.

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