absolutely no justification, economic or security-related, substantial or specious, for closing the Clinic.
I am acutely aware of the salutary doctrine that a federal court will not inject itself into the operation of a state prison or scrutinize decisions made by prison supervisors under ordinary circumstances. That doctrine gives way, however, when the constitutional rights of prisoners are either threatened or invaded. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 404-06, 40 L. Ed. 2d 224, 94 S. Ct. 1800 (1974). Moreover, I need not consider at length the impact of Bounds' caveat that a variety of means might be employed by prison administrators to achieve meaningful access. 430 U.S. at 830-32. I conclude that " in fact inmates are disadvantaged by being foreclosed from obtaining assistance from the clinic," Bryan v. Werner, 516 F.2d at 237, and thus that none of the suggested alternatives is sufficient. I further conclude that the programs planned by prison administrators for providing Graterford inmates with legal assistance, taken together, would not come close to providing a "constitutionally acceptable method to assure meaningful access to the courts." Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. at 830.
Finally, those Graterford inmates who are indigent have "indisputable" rights to be "provided at state expense with paper and pen to draft legal documents," id. at 824-25. These rights have been violated. Moreover, because "the State must, as a matter of equal protection, provide indigent prisoners with the basic tools of an adequate defense or appeal, when those tools are available for a price to other prisoners," Britt v. North Carolina, 404 U.S. 226, 227, 30 L. Ed. 2d 400, 92 S. Ct. 431 (1971), the failure to make available writing materials and implements to indigent prisoners violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the right of access to the courts. As a result, no justification offered by defendants could alter this conclusion of constitutional deprivation.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties in this case.
2. Because plaintiffs Wade and Vorhauer have given legal advice and provided legal representation to inmates in Blocks A, B, C, D and E, they have standing to assert the constitutional rights of adequate access to the courts of the inmates in those other Blocks. They also have standing to assert the constitutional rights of indigent inmates, who are among those to whom they have provided legal services.
3. The phasing out of the Clinic has denied plaintiffs Diaz and Madronal and other Graterford inmates housed in Blocks A, B, C, D and E of their constitutional rights of adequate access to the courts. The planned closing of the Clinic in toto would deny plaintiffs and other inmates housed in Blocks A, B, C, D and E of their constitutional rights of adequate access to the courts.
4. The defendants have failed to provide any justification sufficient to warrant the violations of the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and of others of adequate access to the courts.
5. The failure of Graterford officials to provide writing materials to indigent inmates for use in the preparation of legal materials violates their constitutional rights of adequate access to the courts and of equal protection under the laws.
6. By depriving plaintiffs and others of their constitutional rights by acts done in their official capacity, defendants' actions are in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
7. The likelihood of plaintiffs prevailing on final hearing is great.
8. Plaintiffs are entitled to immediate preliminary injunctive relief.
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