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Articles by Bill Barton

South Carolina: Lawsuit Alleges Medical Staff, Guards Negligent in Baby’s Death

by Bill Barton

Sinetra Geter Johnson discovered she was pregnant just two days before she was required to report to prison on a parole violation. In October 2012, she began serving a two-year sentence at the Camille Graham Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina. Twenty-four years old at the time ...

Missouri Sheriff Tells Judge that County Won’t Pay for Prisoners’ Food, Medical Care

by Bill Barton

In April 2019, Clay County Sheriff Paul Vescovo sued the Missouri county’s three-member commission, claiming that it slashed his operating budget by over 40 percent “in retaliation for a criminal referral made two years ago.”

That referral involved assistant county administrator Laurie Portwood, who was accused ...

Why Not Let Prisoners Vote While Incarcerated?

by Bill Barton

During an Iowa event in March 2019, U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren spoke about felon disenfranchisement, saying that while giving former felons the right to vote is the correct thing to do, extending that right to prisoners is “something that we could have more ...

Massachusetts Prisoners and Visitors Challenge Restrictive Visitation Rules

by Bill Barton 

More restrictive regulations for visits in Massachusetts prisons – originally adopted in March 2018 and later amended effective March 1, 2019 – have spurred at least five lawsuits against the state’s Department of Correction (DOC) by both prisoners and visitors. At stake is restriction of an ...