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PLN Cover Stories

Locked Up and Left to Die

In Texas, dying in jail is “par for the course.”

by Michael Barajas and Sophie Novack, Texas Observer

Armando Carrillo had been waiting outside the Nueces County Jail for hours when he heard sirens approaching in the middle of the night on March 5, 2018. He had visited the jail earlier ...

PrimeCare: Less Medical Care for Prisoners, Higher Expenses for Taxpayers, More Profits for Corporate Owner

by Matt Clarke

The news from Pennsylvania on April 4, 2021, had a sadly familiar ring to it: A prisoner died a preventable death in a county lockup, costing a bundle to settle, so county officials were turning to a private healthcare provider. They granted a multi-million-dollar annual contract—a million ...

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 ...

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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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