TRUE DEMOCRACY SPRING 2001 TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRISON AUTHORITIES CRACKING DOWN ON PELTIER
AND ALL FEDERAL PRISONERS
Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary is banning the media from interviewing
Leonard Peltier. In the last week all pending interview requests from
established media networks and reporters were denied. Prison authorities
say they are facilitating too many press visits and their staff is unable to
handle the volume. However, Peltier has not done an interview for several
Secondly, Leonard Peltier and other prisoners received memos this week
from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) stating that federal prisoners'
phone calls will be restricted to 300 minutes a month, averaging to about 10
minutes a day. Already, prisoners can only call a limited amount of people
who are registered on a pre-approved list. Calls cannot exceed 15 minutes,
more than one call cannot be made in a half hour duration, and calls can
only be made during certain segments of the day. Of course, the cost
prisoners pay for the calls is exorbitant. Both phone call and visitation
privileges have been gradually eroded over the past few years, and will
likely diminish completely if the public does not fight back.
We at the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee find these two developments
to be an alarming sign that prison authorities plan to cut prisoners off
from communications with the public. This dangerous trend will make prison
staff even less accountable for prisoner abuse. Moreover, it will have a
devastating affect on the families of prisoners and on the defense networks
of political prisoners, whose voices will be largely stifled.