Procunier v. Martinez 416 U.S. 396 (1974)

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PROCUNIER v. MARTINEZ 416 U.S. 396 (1974)

Speaking through Justice lewis f. powell, the Supreme Court invalidated California prison regulations censoring inmates' correspondence and prohibiting attorney-client interviews conducted by law students and legal paraprofessionals. The censorship provisions had permitted prison officials to ban correspondence in which inmates "unduly complain," "magnify grievances," or expressed "inflammatory political, racial, religious or other views or beliefs." These vague standards, the Court held, violated the first amendment rights of prisoners and those with whom they corresponded. The prohibition on the use of law students and paralegals was held to be an unjustified restriction on prisoners' access to the courts.

Michael E. Parrish