When inmates enter the institution, they are thoroughly searched and their clothes and personal effects are taken from them. They are told that they may not cause trouble and no political speeches will be allowed. They may write one letter each week and attend church only on Sunday. If they violate any rules, they will immediately be put in solitary confinement without any food for 24 hours. Because of the high inmate population, there are four inmates to each of the cells, which were designed and built for one. Two inmates must sleep directly on the concrete floor. Inmates who get seriously ill have no access to medical care.
I am attorney Brandon Ray and I represent the inmates of the local prison. I would like to start out by reading to you the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America that says the government will not make any laws restricting any establishment of religion, or Prohibiting the free exercise of any religion; or the exercising of the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government about any grievances.
That being said I present to you that my clients are on an everyday basis being deprived of their right to free speech for not being allowed by the prison system to give any political speeches “the exercising of the freedom of speech or the right of the people peaceably to assemble”. Free speech that is done peaceably and that is not used to cause a disturbance is protected by the constitution even if you are in prison.
The prison system also on an everyday basis violates my client’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion “the government will not make any laws restricting any establishment of religion”. The prison system allows all the inmates to only worship on Sunday. Many different religions that my clients are members of worship on Saturdays or even...