Two-Year Ban on Visits to Inmates with Two Substance-Abuse Violations Upheld

Overton v. Bazzetta, 123 S. Ct. 2162 (2003)

The Supreme Court upheld a Michigan prison regulation that prisoners with two substance abuse violations could not receive any visitors except attorneys and members of the clergy for two years.  In a unanimous decision, the Court noted drug smuggling and drug use in prison are intractable problems and asserted withdrawing visitation privileges is a proper and even necessary management technique to induce compliance with the rules governing inmate behavior.  The Court did add it might reach a different conclusion if the ban was for a much longer period of time, treated as a de facto permanent ban, or applied in an arbitrary manner to a particular inmate...

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1