The increasing popularity of the writ of habeas corpus, coupled with the inability of many prison inmates to effectively draft their own habeas petitions, has resulted in the emergence of a group of knowledgeable inmate practitioners willing to assist their fellow inmates in the preparation of habeas petitions and other legal papers. To counter the administrative and disciplinary problems posed by these "jailhouse lawyers," several state prison systems have adopted regulations prohibiting all inter-inmate assistance. Focusing upon the recent case of Johnson v. Avery, wherein the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the validity of the Tennessee no-assistance rule, this note examines the statutory and constitutional problems presented by these prohibitory regulations.

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