Prison administrations have been given much deference as to the limitations of prisoners’ rights. Still, even though the courts have shown regard to the prison administration, they have also recognized that there are two important interests at play: those of the prison administration and that of the prisoners’ constitutional rights. Because there are two important interests at play when an issue arises as to a prison’s regulation and its effect on a prisoner’s constitutional right, the courts turn to the Turner standard to determine the regulation’s constitutionality. Recently, the Ninth Circuit used this standard in Nordstrom v. Ryan to determine whether an Arizona Department of Corrections (“ADOC”) prison official reading an inmate’s outgoing legal correspondence to his attorney was a violation of both his First Amendment and Sixth Amendment rights. The court found that both of the prisoner’s constitutional rights were in fact violated.
Nordstrom v. Ryan: Inmate’s Legal Correspondence Between His or Her Attorney is Still Constitutionally Protected, 48 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 99