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Articles by Anthony Accurso

Connecticut Lawmakers Refuse to Address Corrections Issues During Pandemic

On September 29, 2020, two prison reform advocacy groups held ...

More Than 40 Immigrants Have Died in ICE Custody

COVID-19 Pandemic Leads to Founding of Congressional BOP Reform Caucus

House Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.) announced the formation of the BOP Reform ...

Minnesota Prison Guard Fired for Excessive Force After Brawl Linked to Floyd Protests

The death of George Floyd after being pinned to ...

Woman Sues Mississippi Parole Board for Discrimination and Retaliation

Now 60, Krecic was 27, high on drugs and on the run from a Florida burglary warrant with boyfriend Tracy Allen Hansen when the couple’s car was pulled over by Mississippi Trooper David Bruce Ladner on April 10, 1987. Hansen shot Ladner in the neck and back and fled in his patrol car, leaving him to be found by another motorist, who took the trooper to a hospital where he died two days later.

The couple was captured and charged with his murder. Hansen was convicted and executed in 2002. Based on an empty holster found under the passenger seat of his car, authorities argued that Krecic had passed him the gun. At Krecic’s 1988 trial, another prisoner detained with her — who claimed to have heard this from Krecic — testified that she had not only passed the handgun to Hansen but ...

$11 Million Settlement in Illinois for Three Men Freed From Prison in Wrongful Convictions

Demarcus Hanson, 8, was fatally shot while sleeping at the home of his grandmother just before 3 a.m. on April 14, 2002. Alex Dowthard, Hanson’s uncle, was likely the intended target. During the investigation, Dowthard admitted to shooting at Tyjuan Anderson, Lumont Johnson, and Anthony Ross earlier that evening outside the M+M Market in Rockford. After initially denying being present when Hanson was shot, Dowthard later changed his story and claimed he saw Anderson, Johnson, and Ross exit a vehicle near his mother’s home and then heard shots fired toward the home.

Lataurean Brown transported Dowthard from the M+M Market to his mother’s home, where Dowthard ditched the gun he used at the market. Though he initially told police they left the home without witnessing the shooting and then visited Brown’s cousin Rickedda Young, Brown later changed his story and claimed he witnessed the three men fire shots at the house.

Without any physical evidence tying Anderson, ...

New York Governor Cuomo Creates Prison Nursing Home During Pandemic

In June 2020, 96 elderly male prisoners were transferred to the Adirondack Correctional Facility in the mountainous North Country of New York State. Three years ago, the facility was converted to house teenagers prosecuted as adults, but the young prisoners were all transferred out to create a place to house vulnerable prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the North Country area has seen some of the lowest rates of infection in the state, at least one of the elderly prisoners was confirmed to have the virus shortly after arriving despite (being at that time) asymptomatic.

There are two places that have seen higher than average rates of infections and deaths compared to the general population: prisons and nursing homes. At the Adirondack facility, Cuomo has merged the worst of both worlds to create an extremely dangerous situation. Not only are these men at increased risk for severe symptoms of the virus due to their age, but their conditions of confinement ...

California Judge Reconsiders Six Months’ Jail for Cookie Theft at Rehab Program

He was ‘‘acclimated in groups, he was talking openly about issues that he had and how they affected his life,” said his public defender, Dana Drusinsky. “He’s a really endearing person, so [the treatment facilitators] were all proud of him.”

Then he stole a cookie.

In November 2019, Fields and other from Harbor Light were preparing food packages for charity. According to the local CBS affiliate, Fields “ate a leftover cookie without permission” and “Harbor Lights asked him to leave the program afterward.”

Fields was offered a deal: He could resume treatment if he agreed to restart the program, including the 30-day blackout period. Not wanting to lose contact with his mother, he refused the deal he saw as punishment.

The circuit court then sentenced him to six months in jail. “The treatment program is justifying it by saying that he stole and he needed to be reprimanded,” said Drusinsky. ‘The way the drug court ...

How to Fail at Running a Prison During a Pandemic

A firsthand account from FCI Seagoville in Texas, one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic

by Anthony W. Accurso

[Editor’s note: As of July 22, the Bureau of Prisons website reported 1,220 prisoners had tested positive for coronavirus at Seagoville, the highest number at any BOP prison. ...

New Initiatives from Philadelphia, Koch Industries, Work to Get Ex-Offenders Jobs

Last January, Koch Industries, through the Charles Koch Institute, announced a partnership with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) to develop the Getting Talent Back to Work Initiative, a program that educates businesses on the benefits of hiring ex-offenders.

“We have to figure out how ...