Treatment Unit (STU) cell, where he remained until June 24, 1960, when he was placed back in a control cell for the maximum period of fifteen days as a result of the complaint he sent the Commissioners on June 23, 1960 as heretofore related.
An STU cell is a special cell in which a number of restrictions are imposed on the inmate. For example, and STU inmate is fed in his cell, so that his food is usually cold, he is not permitted to work except on the range, and he is not allowed movies, television, rehabilitation program, Saturday visits, etc.
When he was released from the control cell at the Jail on July 8, 1960, petitioner was immediately placed back in an STU cell, where he remained until January 9, 1961 some six months' time.
He was then placed in the transient section of the Jail, which involves a number of restrictions, such as no money allowance, no movies or television, no free letter privileges, less exercise, no holiday plays, fewer canteen privileges, no rehabilitation program, no Saturday visits, etc.
Thus for more than two years petitioner has never been allowed to return to the general inmate population of either Lorton or the Jail.
Despite the power of prison authorities to make proper rules and regulations for the government of prisoners, and to maintain discipline in the prison population, a prisoner may not be unreasonably punished for the infraction of a rule.
A punishment out of proportion to the violation may bring it within the bar against unreasonable punishments.
In considering the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the punishment for infraction of a prison rule, it is not inappropriate to look into the background of the prisoner in the institution. In the judgment of his prison classification officer petitioner has an emotional disturbance and psychiatric treatment is indicated. He has a heart murmur and suffers from bronchitis. During his more than three years in prison only three disciplinary reports have been issued against him. One was for a fight with an inmate which is not involved in this case. Of the two others, one relates to the recreation field episode of May 25, 1960, and the other to his complaint to the District Commissioners of June 23, 1960, all as hereinbefore set forth.
The court also takes into account on the question of whether petitioner's punishment was unreasonable the following: his solitary confinement; his subsequent solitary confinement for the maximum period for exercising a right to which he was clearly entitled; his detention for six months in a special treatment cell; his exclusion for more than two years from the general prison population; the denial to him of the usual recreational and rehabilitative facilities of prison life; the denial to him of the exercise of his religion while allowing such exercise freely to inmates of other religions; his transfer from Lorton to the Jail because of his faith and for the purpose of suppressing and breaking up the Muslim religion in the prison.
The court concludes that the punishment petitioner received is not reasonably related to his infraction of the mentioned prison rule but is in fact unreasonable.
In the light of all the circumstances the petitioner should be returned to Lorton and to the general prison population, subject, of course, to the prison rules and regulations,
and he is not to be discriminated against because of his religion.
This memorandum is to serve as the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the court.
The attorney for petition is to submit a proposed order in accordance with the views expressed in this memorandum.