Johnnie K. v. Crist

Johnnie K. v. Crist was a civil rights action brought by juveniles confined in the New Mexico Boys’ School, located in Springer, New Mexico. The lawsuit challenged the mail censorship procedures followed at the school which allowed staff to read and censor mail sent to or from any boy confined at the facility, for any one of a number of vague ‘justifications.’ As a result of the lawsuit, defendants have instituted regulations which allow the reading of a boy’s mail only under very limited circumstances. Before the defendants may read a boy’s mail, they must have clear and convincing evidence that the mail contains escape plans, other plans to commit a delinquent act or crime, is in code, contains obscene material, or constitutes a delinquent act or crime in or of itself.