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PLN's suit over ban of article on white supremecist guards in WA DOC

The Progressive, Jan. 1, 2000.
PLN's suit over ban of article on white supremecist guards in WA DOC - The Progressive 2000

The Progressive

February 1, 2000

Prisons Gag Journalists.

Journalists in Washington State can't reach people behind bars. Last spring, the Department of Corrections (DOC) objected to an investigative story entitled "White Guard, Black Guard" by Jennifer Vogel, which ran in the March 11 issue of the Seattle Weekly and the May issue of Prison Legal News. The article alleged that the Washington prison system employs white supremacists, including Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, and that these employees subject minority prisoners and staff to harassment and threats.

The Seattle Weekly and Prison Legal News issues containing the story were censored in all Washington prisons "on the orders of Eldon Vail, the deputy assistant director of the Washington DOC," according to Prison Legal News.

In August, Prison Legal News, Vogel, and the Seattle Weekly sued the state of Washington. In late December, a federal judge dismissed the suit. But the plaintiffs may appeal the ruling.

For more information, contact Prison Legal News, 2400 NW 80th Street, PMB 148, Seattle, WA 98117, or check out the web site at Or contact the Seattle Weekly at (206) 623-0500, or check out the paper's web site at Or contact author Jennifer Vogel at (206) 323-7101.

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