complaint but the charging party must support it by more than inference or conjecture.'
At their so-called 'religious meetings' although the words 'Brotherly Love' were written on the blackboard, they were actually meetings devoted to the doctrine of 'hate'. There were open references to those supervising the meetings as 'monsters of inferior intelligence' and there were discussions and references to Armagedon in 1970 when the White race would be exterminated. When they were permitted to meet in the Chapel, half of the meeting was devoted to ridicule and disparaging remarks concerning the Christian and Jewish faiths, and all the things in the Chapel 'including what the Catholics call the Stations of the Church (sic) that lined both walls and the alter'.
They were subsequently assigned a meeting room and a regular time for meeting was designated. At these meetings there were references to the white man as 'devil' and 'skunk'. Although the supervision of the meetings of the various religious groups consisted of spot checks, it became necessary because of the manner in which the Muslim meetings were conducted to assign institutional employees for continuous supervision, thus depleting the available force for other duties. When the meetings were supervised the attendance declined until on February 1, 1963 five attended and although the time and place of a weekly meeting has been routinely announced in the same manner as for other groups, no one has attended. At their meetings certain members constituted a guard known as the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) who were trained similar to a military group, that supervised the meetings and guarded the entrance. The literature such as 'Mr. Muhammad speaks' which was found on prisoners at various times (e.g. Respondent's Exhibits Nos. 3, 4 and 5) was of an inflammatory nature.
There were complaints from other Negroes (who were abiding by regulations) that the Muslim group was attempting to recruit more members and was pressuring and threatening and doing a lot of name calling. In one instance at least, an assault and a stabbing occurred as the result of members of the Muslim group attempting to get another person to join their faith. The various occurrences fully confirmed the previous experience of the authorities that proselyting constituted a custody hazard and regulations prohibiting it are fully justified. When it became necessary to take disciplinary action against one of their group, the entire group in at least one instance approached the control center of the institution and demanded the release from administrative segregation of that prisoner. There would also be group interference with officers attempting to preserve order where one of their group was involved, and conduct generally in the nature of insubordination.
The penitentiary at Lewisburg is a maximum security institution but I find that by a wise and judicious administration of reasonable regulations enforced in connection with the maintenance of a reasonable discipline, the dangers and hazards presented have been kept at a minimum. That such hazards and potential dangers are present, however, is borne out not only by the experiences in this institution but by that known to the authorities in other institutions.
That this group has presented a disciplinary problem not only here but in other penal institutions is excellently stated by the Second Circuit in Sostre v. McGinnis, 334 F.2d 906 (1964).
As far as the particular complaints of the petitioner in the instant proceeding are concerned, I find that there is no merit in the allegation that he has been denied ministry by a person of his own faith. The decisive answer is that no request has ever been made for the admission to the institution of an accredited representative of the group. With reference to 'literature', there is no evidence that any request has been refused, or indeed any such request made, for any legitimate Islamic material.
The refusal to admit the inflammatory material requested by Desmond was fully justified.
Desmond included in his list of persons for approved correspondence a Mr. Walcott (at his home town minister) and Mr. Muhammad. As to Mr. Walcott, he was informed of the petitioner's request and the usual inquiry was made whether he wished to correspond and no reply was received from him. Therefore there was no basis for his approval. As to Mr. Muhammad, it is the policy of the institution not to permit a prisoner to correspond with the head of his religious group and Mr. Muhammad claims to be the head of the 'Nation of Islam' movement. This, however, applies to all religious groups and is predicated upon the proposition that all contacts from the prison to people on the outside must indicate that it is of a constructive nature, that the head of an organization basically is responsible for the administration of the organization, that the correspondence should be to people 'assigned by the heads of the organization down far enough to resolve it, and then from this direction go up. * * * To maintain good wholesome ties in the community, working toward ultimate release planning.' (Transcript of Hearing, Pages 73 and 74). This would appear to be a reasonable regulation, but there is a further reason as far as Mr. Muhammad is concerned, namely, that he is an ex-convict, having served time in two federal institutions (Transcript of Hearing, Page 83).
Certainly with the administration of a large prison population committed to a limited personnel, the responsible prison authorities must be vested with discretion in the admission of persons to the institution and in the persons approved for correspondence. It cannot be dictated by the prisoners and as to the present issue, is reasonable, justifiable and definitely not arbitrary or capricious.
I find that Desmond has been accorded every right to which he was entitled consistent with the proper administration of the institution by the authorities.
Order will be entered denying the petition.