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Articles by Alan Prendergast

At the Federal Supermax, When Does Isolation Become Torture?

by Alan Prendergast, Westword

You see them on TV, usually around the time they are arrested. Men who have declared war on America, combatants in a conflict that never ends. They are captured on the street and at airports, in mid-stride and sometimes in mid-attack.

Some of them have ...

Hep C: The Deadliest Killer in Colorado’s Prisons is a Curable Virus

by Alan Prendergast, Westword

When Joseph Deaguero went to prison almost three years ago, he had a pretty good idea of what to expect. He had been behind bars before, for a series of assaults and domestic-violence arrests. But this time around, Deaguero, who’s currently 52 years old and serving a ...

Welcome to America

He came looking for work. A week in the Park County Jail changed everything.
Here is something Moises Carranza-Reyes wants you to know right off: He has never been charged with a crime, in this country or in his native Mexico.

Yes, he did enter the United States without an ...

Supermax Censorship Claimed by Prison Legal News

Supermax Censorship Claimed by Prison Legal News

by Alan Prendergast

The U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum outside Florence, Colorado, better known as ADX, has a deserved reputation as the highest-security supermax prison on the planet. It houses some of the most notorious prisoners in North America – from Unabomber Ted ...

Prisoner’s Coma-Inducing Latex Allergy Triggers Lawsuit, Burning Questions

A prisoner’s lawsuit against the Colorado Department of Corrections, claiming a latex allergy so severe that he’s suffered burns and respiratory problems when touched by glove-wearing guards, appeared to have been resolved in August 2012 when DOC officials testified that they no longer use latex in their facilities ...

BOP Supermax Lawsuit Claims Horrific Abuse of Mentally Ill at ADX

“A Clean Version of Hell” – that’s what a 2007 segment of 60 Minutes called the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum facility in Florence, Colorado, or ADX, home to some of the world’s most notorious murderers and terrorists. But according to a grimly detailed lawsuit filed in Denver on ...

How Victim Rights Shaped Spending, Laws and the Future of Punishment in Colorado

Newly elected as a Colorado state representative, Pete Lee hit the Capitol in January 2011 fired up with big ideas. The biggest of them all was the restorative justice bill he introduced shortly after the session began.

A concept borrowed from Native American traditions and other cultures, restorative justice offers ...

Colorado CCA Prison Uprising: New Details of Unheeded Warnings Emerge in Epic Lawsuit

Seven years ago prisoners at a private prison in southeastern Colorado went on an all-night rampage, chasing the shorthanded staff from the premises, attacking suspected snitches, setting fires and causing millions of dollars in damages. Now documents filed in a long-running legal battle confirm what many prisoners have been saying ...

Mother Questions Her Son’s “Natural” Death in Colorado CCA Prison

On October 28, 2010, a 26-year-old prisoner named Terrell Griswold was found slumped over and unresponsive in his cell at the Bent County Correctional Facility, a private prison in southeastern Colorado. The official cause of death was listed as cardiac hypertrophy, or an enlarged heart. But Lagalia Afola says the ...

Prison Sexual Abuse Survivor Speaks Out

In January 2010, Scott Howard, a 39-year-old federal prisoner, made his way briskly into a hearing room in the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building in Washington, D.C. He was neatly dressed in blazer, slacks and tie, and quite nervous about what he was about to do. He was determined ...