12. Upon arriving at maximum security, plaintiff was stripped of his clothes and left naked for a period of approximately nine hours. There was no light in his cell. Bedding for the steel shelf that served as a bed was supplied at night and removed in the morning. (N.T. 21, 22).
13. For the first three days of his confinement, plaintiff was fed a regular noon meal and a reduced diet for breakfast and supper. (Exhibit B). Plaintiff received no exercise privileges and no shower privileges. (N.T. 24, 54, 55).
14. Plaintiff was not permitted any reading material other than a bible. He was not allowed visitors, he could not work and was not permitted to converse with other prisoners and he had no commissary privileges. (N.T. 25, 26).
15. Plaintiff was confined in maximum security from June 23, 1966 to July 1, 1966, but he was never advised when he would be released. (N.T. 26).
16. On July 1, 1966 (Exhibit D) plaintiff was brought before the Disciplinary Board, presided over by Mr. Wolfe. He was then released from maximum security. (N.T. 26, 52).
17. Upon release from maximum security, plaintiff was transferred from his job in the weave shop to the position of block runner. (N.T. 26, 27).
18. The position in the weave shop is one earned through good performance. (N.T. 89).
19. Plaintiff instituted the instant action on August 2, 1966 after having been released from maximum security. (N.T. 29).
20. After being released from maximum security and until the time of his transfer from Graterford, plaintiff experienced a number of difficulties with Mr. Wolfe relating to his receipt of legal materials in the mail. (N.T. 72-74).
21. On January 9, 1967, plaintiff attempted to serve Interrogatories upon Superintendent Rundle, the latter having answered plaintiff's complaint against the named defendants. Mr. Rundle refused to accept the Interrogatories. (N.T. 31).
22. Plaintiff was not permitted to serve the Interrogatories upon the defendants, and mailed them instead on the same day, January 9, 1967. (Exhibit C) (N.T. 32).
23. On January 16, 1967, pursuant to the express request of Mr. Wolfe, a reclassification summary and reclassification transfer petition were prepared. The reclassification was designated as being "demotional" and transfer was requested to the State Correctional Institution at Philadelphia. The security reclassification selected was maximum. (Exhibit D) (N.T. 34, 35).
24. On February 2, 1967 plaintiff was again committed to solitary confinement without any notice or explanation of the reason therefor. (N.T. 36, 37, 39).
25. On February 3, 1967, plaintiff was transferred to the State Correctional Institution for Philadelphia and segregated from the general prison population. He was not advised of the reason for his transfer or told when he could expect to be released from segregation. (N.T. 37, 86, 94).
26. Prisoners so segregated do not have the same privileges accorded other prisoners on other cell blocks and experience significant restrictions on their liberties. (N.T. 37, 38, 92, 93).
27. Plaintiff was released after seven days of segregation on February 9, 1967 upon review of his record and a vote by the staff at the State Correctional Institution, Philadelphia. (Defendant Exhibit 2) (N.T. 87).
28. The vote in favor of releasing plaintiff to the prison population was six to one, the one dissenting vote being based upon the fact that plaintiff had been received in a demotional punitive status. (N.T. 90).
29. Plaintiff was subsequently assigned to the kitchen and later entered the barber training program while at the State Correctional Institution, Philadelphia. (N.T. 74).
30. Plaintiff was released on parole on April 18, 1969. (N.T. 81).
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The first issue which must be resolved is whether the federal courts can and should intervene in matters of penal administration or must defer to the discretionary authority of prison officials. Historically, the courts have been hesitant to intervene in the internal operation of state penal facilities. Childs v. Pegelow, 321 F.2d 487, 489 (4th Cir. 1963); Roberts v. Pegelow, 313 F.2d 548, 551 (4th Cir. 1963); Sewell v. Pegelow, 291 F.2d 196, 197 (4th Cir. 1961). Because prison officials have expertise in the maintenance and proper functioning of correctional institutions, it has been argued that they should be permitted wide discretion in promulgating rules to regulate the behavior of the inmates. McCloskey v. Maryland, 337 F.2d 72, 74 (4th Cir. 1964). This is in accord with theories of criminal punishment which hold that incarceration involves a consequent loss or limitation of rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens of a free society.
According to the historical view the courts may not inquire into the discretionary authority of penal officials unless the inmate's "exercise of a constitutional right is denied without semblance of justification arising out of the necessity to preserve order and discipline within the prison . . ." 337 F.2d at 74. See also Sewell v. Pegelow, 291 F.2d 196 (4th Cir. 1961).
Despite the historical reluctance of the courts to intervene in matters of prison administration, recent cases support the proposition that federal courts may inquire into the restriction of an inmate's constitutional rights by prison officials.
"There is no doubt that discipline and administration of state detention facilities are state functions. They are subject to federal authority only where paramount federal constitutional or statutory rights supervene. It is clear, however, that in instances where state regulations applicable to inmates of prison facilities conflict with such rights, the regulations may be invalidated." Johnson v. Avery, 393 U.S. 483, 486, 89 S. Ct. 747, 749, 21 L. Ed. 2d 718 (1969). See also McDonough v. Director of Patuxent, 429 F.2d 1189 (4th Cir. 1970).
The courts have been sensitive to certain complaints and have intervened in cases involving alleged infringement of inmates' rights to freedom of religion,
freedom of speech and association,
and freedom from racial segregation.
Such intervention has been grounded upon the argument that unless prison officials can show a compelling need to restrict a convict's constitutional rights, then denial of these basic rights is invalid. Landman v. Royster, 333 F. Supp. 621, 624 (E.D. Va. 1971). Judicial intervention is not barred, therefore, where the exercise of administrative authority involves a deprivation of constitutional rights. See, e.g., Jordan v. Fitzharris, 257 F. Supp. 674 (N.D. Cal. 1966).
It is now well settled that prisoners retain their constitutional right to due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. See Landman v. Royster, 333 F. Supp. 621 (E.D. Va. 1971); Jackson v. Godwin, 400 F.2d 529 (5th Cir. 1968); Knuckles v. Prasse, 302 F. Supp. 1036 (E.D. Pa. 1969).
In the past prison administrators have justified the restriction or withdrawal of certain benefits during incarceration according to the so-called right-privilege distinction. According to this rationale, the withdrawal of a particular privilege does not constitute "punishment." Instead, the withdrawal or denial falls within the ambit of "maintenance of control" and "disciplinary discretion," areas traditionally thought to be within the exclusive control of prison officials. "Presumably the consequence of labeling a deprivation a matter of control is that it may be imposed without procedural preliminaries." Landman v. Royster, 333 F. Supp. at 645. We reject this distinction. Maintenance of control and security may not be used to justify the deprivation of basic human rights unless in pursuance of valid objectives and provided that the rudiments of due process are first observed.
In adopting this view, we are in full accord with Judge Merhige's able and comprehensive opinion in Landman v. Royster.
"Deprivations of benefits of various sorts may be used so long as they are related to some * * * [valid penal] objective and substantial deprivations are administered with due process. 'Security' or 'rehabilitation' are not shibboleths to justify any treatment." 333 F. Supp. at 645.