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PLN Cover Stories

Deaths and Violence Mount at Overcrowded Alabama Prisons While Parole Rate Hits New Low

by Kevin Bliss and Jo Ellen Nott

On February 5, 2022, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a nine-year sentence had been handed down to the last of four Alabama prison guards convicted of beating state prisoners they suspected of smuggling contraband at Elmore Correctional Facility (ECF).

Three days ...

Wellpath Founder and CEO Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges

A lesson in why privatized prison health care is the wrong answer

by David M. Reutter

On Friday, January 18, 2022, three days before sentencing in a pay-to-play bribery and corruption scandal involving health care at the city jail in Norfolk, Virginia, attorneys for disgraced former sheriff Bob McCabe filed ...

Living and Dying on Rikers Island: The Latest Installment

by Kevin Bliss 

When 55-year-old William Brown, a pretrial detainee from Brooklyn, suffered a medical emergency and died on December 15, 2021, it was the 16th death recorded for the year of someone incarcerated at Rikers Island, the sprawling and troubled New York City jail complex. Former Mayor Bill ...

Criminal Sheriffs

How Unchecked Power and No Oversight Gives Rise to Abuses

by Anthony W. Accurso

On December 15, 2000, Derwin Brown was returning from a party when he was gunned down. He was holding flowers he had purchased for his wife, Phyllis, when assailants opened fire, striking him at least 10 ...

Environmental Indifference

How exposure to radon in prisons may be functioning  as a form of mass capital punishment

by Anthony Moffa

I can’t breathe.

–Eric Garner, George Floyd, and atleast seventy others

 

The thought of radioactive gas in the night air in the place you lay your head is the stuff ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed for Murder of Oregon DOC Director, But State Wants Him Back In Prison

by Mark Wilson

"The State can no longer afford to manufacture a case built on lies and half-truths,” wrote Patrick and Kevin Francke in their letter to a federal judge in support of the man wrongfully convicted of killing their brother.

After serving 28 years in prison, Frank E. Gable, ...

PREA: Tackling the Nightmare of Prison Rape

by David M. Reutter

Movies and television often dramatize prison for entertainment purposes, and just as often the dramatizations are unrealistic. One aspect of prison life that cannot be overly dramatized—and is a reality for many of the imprisoned—is the prospect of being raped. For decades now, PLN has chronicled ...

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Paul Wright on Political Misfits Speaking About the Staffing Crisis at Rikers Island

Paul Wright joined the February 23, 2022 show to talk about the crisis at New York's Rikers Island jail that houses thousands of people awaiting trial in New York City. Last month, news broke that over 2,800 guards were conspiring to skip work for so-called “sick leave” at any given time. On some days, as many as 35 percent of guards called in sick, claiming diarrhea or just not bothering to call in at all. This is a crime called time and attendance fraud, and it resulted in the city paying out millions of dollars in overtime for other guards to cover the missed shifts. In the meantime, prisoners missed more than 7,000 medical appointments because there was nobody to escort them.


 

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