Wolff v. McDonnell
1. Facts ( Summary and timeline)
5. Dissenting Opinions
Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U. S. 539 (1974)
? Respondents (McDonnell), prisoners in Nebraska brought a lawsuit under civil rights statute 42 USC §1983 for money damages and injunctive relief (where the court orders one party to do or not do something, as opposed to awarding money) challenging several rules and regulations of a Nebraska prison.
? Nebraska had a statute that allowed a prison to take away inmates good time credits and to confine them in a "disciplinary cell" in cases where the inmate is engaged in "flagrant or serious misconduct."
? The only procedures in the Nebraska statute for discipline sated that an inmate be consulted regarding the charges of misconduct in connection with the forfeiture or withholding of good time credits.
o Specifically, the following procedures were in place at the prison at issue. If an inmate if written up for a prison violation:
? Chief correction supervisor reviews write up
? Inmate is called to a conference with Chief and charging party
? Following conference, conduct report is sent to prison Adjustment Committee (committee designed to hear misconduct charges)
? If inmate denies charges, he may ask questions of party writing up
? Adjustment Committee can ask additional questions
? Punishment imposed
? The inmates also challenged the prison's handling of their mail from attorneys. The prison regulation under challenge provided that: "all incoming and outgoing mail will be read and inspected," and there was no exception for attorney-prisoner mail.
? Finally, the inmates challenged the adequacy of a "legal advisor" that the Warden appoints to assist with legal issues the inmates may have. The regulation states "a legal advisor has been appointed by the Warden for ...
criminal justice case brief for wolff v mcdonnell