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Walker v. New Jersey Dep't of Corrections

August 3, 2007

EDWARD WALKER, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a Final Agency Decision of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 6, 2007

Before Judges Graves and Lihotz.

In this pro se prisoner appeal, Edward Walker, an inmate at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC) in Avenel, challenges a decision by Grace Rogers, Administrator of ADTC, to modify the facility's inmate possession list. Walker is serving a thirty-year sentence with a fifteen-year mandatory minimum term for two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of sexual assault. To sentence a defendant to ADTC, a judge must find that the defendant's offending conduct "was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior," and the defendant "is amenable to sex offender treatment." N.J.S.A. 2C:47-3. Walker contends the Department of Corrections's (DOC) decision to amend the possessions list constitutes an infringement of his constitutional rights. We disagree and affirm.

On appeal, Walker presents the following arguments:

POINT I

STATE'S FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COURT ORDER TO SETTLE RECORD ENTITLES APPELLANT TO SPOLIATION INFERENCE AGAINST RESPONDENT.

POINT II

POSSESSIONS LIST BAN ON HARDCOVER BOOKS, COMPACT DISKS, CD PLAYERS, AND RETENTION OF STORAGE CONTAINERS FOR LEGAL MATERIALS VIOLATES THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

A. HARDCOVER BOOK BAN IS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTION ON FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

1. THERE IS NO REASONABLE VALID, RATIONAL CONNECTION BETWEEN BANNING HARDCOVER BOOKS AND ANY LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENTAL INTEREST.

2. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF EXERCISING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.

3. THE STATE HAS FAILED TO DOCUMENT ANY ADVERSE IMPACT FROM ACCOMMODATING POSSESSION OF HARDCOVER BOOKS.

4. "ABSENCE OF READY ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS" PRECLUDED BY STATE FAILURE TO ARTICULATE BASIS FOR ITS BAN.

5. CONCLUSION.

B. BANS ON AUDIO CDS AND AUDIO CD PLAYERS VIOLATE INMATES' RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION.

1. BAN ON AUDIO CDS AND AUDIO CD PLAYERS IS NOT REASONABLY RELATED TO VALID PENOLOGICAL INTEREST.

2. THERE ARE NO READY ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF EXERCISING THESE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

3. PERMITTING RETENTION OF CDS AND CD PLAYERS WOULD HAVE NO SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE INSTITUTION.

4. PRESENCE OF READY ALTERNATIVES TO ADVANCE STATE INTEREST DEMONSTRATES STATE BAN ON ...


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