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Articles by Casey Bastian

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 ...

Seventh Circuit: Chicago Police Department’s 30-Day Claim-or-Forfeit Policy for Arrestee Property Is Constitutionally Adequate

by Casey J. Bastian

On April 18, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a writ of certiorari to hear a challenge that the abandoned property policy of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) violates the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. See: Conyers v. City of Chi., 142 ...

Federal Prisoners Finally Receiving Benefits 42 Months After First Step Act Became Law

by Casey J. Bastian

On June 18, 2022, almost three-and-a-half years after former President Donald J. Trump (R) signed the First Step Act (FSA) into law in December 2018, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced that sentence recalculations under the law had been completed for about 8,600 — or ...

“Unconscionable and Unacceptable” Conditions in Georgia DOC With 57 Prisoners Murdered in Two Years

by Casey Bastian

In August 2022, during their federal civil rights trial for running down and fatally shooting an unarmed jogger, Ahmed Arbury, in Brunswick in February 2020, attorneys for father and son defendants Greg and Travis McMichael offered their guilty pleas on one condition: That the federal judge overseeing ...

Third Circuit: Federal Prisoner Exposed to Risk of Assault Cannot Collect Damages if One Didn’t Occur

by Casey J. Bastian

On March 1, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a federal prisoner’s lawsuit, finding that even though a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) staffer put him at risk of assault, damages were not warranted because the “risk never materialized.” ...

$90,000 Paid to Settle Lawsuit Over Recorded Attorney-Client Calls at Wisconsin Jail

by Casey J. Bastian

On March 21, 2021, an agreement was reached between Wisconsin’s Portage County and a class of plaintiffs consisting of current and former detainees at the county jail to settle claims that their privileged communication with their attorneys was unlawfully intercepted. Under the settlement, Defendants and their ...

Eighth Circuit Pulls BOP’s Hand Out of Prisoner’s Pocket Accumulated Prison Wages Not “Substantial Resources” Under Mandatory Victim Restitution Act

by Casey J. Bastian

In a decision published on January 10, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that accumulated prison wages constitute neither “substantial resources” nor a “material change” to a prisoner’s resources that would allow the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to confiscate them ...

BOP Guard Terminated for Making Prisoner Do His Work, Union Blames Staff Shortages

by Casey Bastian

As of March 31, 2022, nearly one-third of guard positions were vacant in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), leaving the remaining guards’ duties “augmented” with additional prisoner supervision. Cooks, nurses, teachers, counselors, and case managers have also had prisoner security added to their workloads.

The union ...

U.S. Marshals Service Inspectors Find D.C. Central Jail Not Meeting Federal Detention Standards

by Casey J. Bastian

For decades, prisoners held by the D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) have complained of inhumane conditions and mistreatment. Criticism of the 45-year-old main jail facility has also come from lawyers and judges, as well as detainees and their visitors. Yet it took a “flurry of complaints” ...

BOP Prisoners on Extended Home Confinement Not Headed Back to Prison When COVID-19 Emergency Ends

by Casey J. Bastian

Imagine having a chance to get out of prison early, doing the right thing with the opportunity and working towards your ultimate freedom, only to have it taken back. That was the situation faced by several thousand people released to home confinement by the federal Bureau ...