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4th Circuit to consider whether inmates have right to visitation

(AP)  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to consider whether prisoners have a constitutional right to visitation.

A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit was to hear oral arguments in a South Carolina case March 19.

Jerome Williams’ visitation privileges were suspended for two years based on the suspicion that a visitor passed contraband to him.

No contraband was found, and Williams was not charged with a disciplinary violation. The warden of Evans Correctional Institution imposed the suspension anyway.

Williams claims the suspension violated his associational and due process rights as well as the constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. A judge rejected his complaint without holding a trial, and Williams appealed. He wants the complaint reinstated.

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