433 F.2d 958 (5th Cir. 1970), 29831, Williams v. United States Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Prison

Docket Nº29831.
Citation433 F.2d 958
Party NameHaywood WILLIAMS, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant, v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BUREAU OF PRISON, and Olin G. Blackwell, Warden, Atlanta Federal Prison, Respondents-Appellees.
Case DateOctober 26, 1970
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 958

433 F.2d 958 (5th Cir. 1970)

Haywood WILLIAMS, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BUREAU OF PRISON, and Olin G. Blackwell, Warden, Atlanta Federal Prison, Respondents-Appellees.

No. 29831.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

October 26, 1970

Page 959

Haywood Williams, Jr., pro se.

John W. Stokes, Jr., U.S. Atty., Allen I. Hirsch, Asst. U.S. Atty., Atlanta, Ga., for respondents-appellees.

Before THORNBERRY, MORGAN and CLARK, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Appellant, an inmate of the United States Penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia, filed his petition in the district court complaining of certain prison regulations. The court below, treating the petition as one for habeas corpus, denied relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. We affirm in part and vacate and remand in part. 1

Appellant, bringing this action on behalf of himself and all other prisoners similarly situated, claims that the prison prohibition against the inmate use of typewriters in the drafting of their pro se petitions is a denial of free access to the courts. We find no merit in this contention, having specifically rejected it in Durham v. Blackwell, 5th Cir. 1969, 409 F.2d 838.

Appellant further argues that the Atlanta Penitentiary's policy which forbids inmate assistance in the preparation of pro se motions and writs, 'except in unusual cases, and then only with special written authorization,' 2 is violative of the Supreme Court's mandate set forth in Johnson v. Avery, 1969, 393 U.S. 483, 89 S.Ct. 747, 21 L.Ed.2d 718.

Johnson v. Avery, supra, held that a prison regulation prohibiting inmate assistance in the drafting of pro se legal papers constituted a deprivation of due process of law, where no 'reasonable alternative' was available to furnish legal advice. That court noted that the existence of programs wherein legal aid is provided to prisoners by law students 'indicates that techniques are available to provide alternatives.'

Appellant alleges that the legal services which Emory University Law School renders to the prisoners at the Atlanta Penitentiary is not a 'reasonable alternative' to inmate assistance since the law school is overwhelmed with cases, and therefore it is unable to act

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upon some prisoners' requests for as long as eighteen months.

We believe that an eighteenmonth delay is an...

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