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Articles by Benjamin Tschirhart

Texas Commission on Jail Standards Finds Unacceptable Conditions in Nueces County Jail

by Benjamin Tschirhart

They knew it was coming: The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) mandates a yearly inspection of all jail facilities in the state. The goal is to support local governments in maintaining “safe, secure and suitable local jail facilities.”

This is especially important, considering most jail detainees ...

ACH Settles After Federal Jury Awards $8.5 Million in Suit Over Missouri Detainee’s Death

by Benjamin Tschirhart

In August 2022, private jail medical provider Advanced Correctional Healthcare (ACH) settled with the estate of a Missouri pretrial detainee who died of lung cancer after being refused medical attention for months. The agreement, which was for an undisclosed sum, came a few months after a jury ...

Federal Government Pays $300,000 for Endangering Diabetic Prisoner With ‘Dramatically’ Subpar Care

by Benjamin Tschirhart

On May 25, 2022, a former federal prisoner agreed to accept $300,000 to settle claims he was subjected to unconstitutionally bad treatment for severe Type 1 diabetes while incarcerated by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

From 2004 to 2018, Seifullah Chapman was held in several BOP ...

Maine Caps Price of Phone Calls in State Prisons and Jails

by Benjamin Tschirhart

On April 15, 2022, Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) approved H.P. 853, a new law capping the cost of calls in state prisons and county jails. Effective October 1, 2022, calls may not exceed the federal rate of twelve cents per minute in prisons and twenty-one cents ...

Sentencing Reports Show Longer Sentences, Few Compassionate Releases

by Benjamin Tschirhart and Casey J. Bastian

On July 20, 2022, the nonprofit Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) reported a spike in the share of state prisoners serving long sentences, with 57% now locked up for ten years or more. As a result, the average length of time served has ...

Parole Board Members Miss Work, Leaving Nebraska Prisoners Locked Up

by Benjamin Tschirhart

Each year, thousands of Nebraska prisoners go before the state Parole Board, hoping to return to their lives and their families. But when board members don’t show up for work, people often stay in prison instead of going home.

That’s because the board needs at least three ...

SCOTUS Kills Condemned Ohio Prisoner’s Effort to Secure Evidence of Mental Impairment to Bolster Habeas Petition

by Ben Tschirhart

On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held that cases involving medical transport orders for prisoners seeking evidence of mental impairment to bolster a habeas corpus petition are now among those immediately appealable and do not have to await final judgment.

The Court customarily doesn’t rule ...

$2.45 Million Paid by Wellpath and Macomb County, Michigan, After Detainee’s Withdrawal Death in Jail

by Ben Tschirhart

On March 31, 2022, an agreement was entered by Michigan’s Macomb County paying $1.15 million to the estate of David Stojcevski, 32, a detainee who died from drug withdrawal while in custody in the county jail. Separately, the jail’s privately contracted healthcare provider, Correct Care Solutions (CCS) ...

SCOTUS Kneecaps Condemned Prisoners Claiming Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

by Ben Tschirhart

Ten years ago, in Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1 (2012), the U.S. Supreme Court confronted a dilemma posed by Congress’ passage of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996. That law subjects to procedural default any federal habeas corpus claims not already ...

CoreCivic Workers Unionize and Go On Strike at Arizona Prison

by Ben Tschirhart

Some 20 newly unionized workers and their supporters manned a picket line at CoreCivic’s Central Arizona Florence Correctional Complex (CAFCC) on August 12, 2022, after pay negotiations broke down over a company offer the union representative called “insulting.”

Despite alleged attempts by CoreCivic to thwart their vote, ...