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Articles by Casey Bastian

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules ‘Incarceration Fees’ May Not Be Collected After Charges Are Dismissed

by Casey J. Bastian

On October 28, 2021, the Supreme Court of Kentucky unanimously ruled that when criminal charges are dismissed, a detainee then released is not required to pay costs associated with incarceration under Kentucky law.

The decision reversed lower state court rulings and found that under Kentucky Revised ...

Illinois Inspector General Finds Prisoner Labor Used to Benefit DOC Employees

by Casey J. Bastian

In a report released on October 24, 2021, the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General (OIG) found that state prisoners had been improperly used to wash cars, shine shoes, give haircuts and sell wood or plants for the benefit of a fund that finances parties, ...

Four BOP Employees, Eight Prisoners Indicted in Widening NYC Federal Jail Smuggling Scandal

By Casey J. Bastian

On March 18, 2022, a federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) guard was indicted in federal court in New York City on charges he smuggled a loaded gun into the now-shuttered Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan. The guard, Greg McKinzie, 35, is the fourth MCC employee ...

Transgender Women in Illinois DOC Secure Injunction with Special Monitor

by Casey J. Bastian

Transgender women imprisoned in the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) notched another victory in their legal battle for gender dysphoria treatment on December 13, 2021, when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois agreed to appoint a Special Monitor to ensure the state ...

How Corrupt is Too Corrupt for Atlanta Federal Prison?

by Casey J. Bastian
The U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in southeast Atlanta, a federal complex that has been at the center of multiple scandals and allegations of corruption over the last decade, was “nearly vacant” at the end of August 2021, when press reports said that all but 134 of some ...

Indiana Supreme Court Denies Relief to Prisoner Whose Commissary Account Was Garnished

by Casey J. Bastian

On May 19, 2021, the Court of Appeals of Indiana refused to dismiss a lower court’s ruling against a state prisoner whose prison account was garnished by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to satisfy a restitution sanction of over $8,000 for injuries a guard sustained ...

Federal Judge Springs Former PLN Editor from “Iron Man” Pretrial Detention Cell

by Casey J. Bastian

Saying the unduly harsh confinement conditions he’d endured for nearly two years—without ever being convicted of a crime—likely violate the Fourteenth Amendment, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on November 23, 2021, granted a request for injunctive relief made by former PLN ...

New Illinois Law Allows Early Release for a Few Eligible Offenders

by Casey J. Bastian

In August 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) signed House Bill 3665 into law, allowing for the early release of certain prisoners housed in the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) who are either medically incapacitated or terminally ill.

Under the law, the definition of “medically incapacitated” ...

Too Many In-Custody Deaths of BOP Prisoners are Unnecessary and Preventable

by Casey J. Bastian

William Figueria was imprisoned at Butner, a federal facility in North Carolina. Figueria was 63-years-old, and was serving a 30-month sentence for Distribution of Cocaine Base. On April 20, 2020, Figueria died as a result of his significant underlying medical conditions which included chronic hepatitis C, ...

California Supreme Court: Prisoners Cannot Legally Possess Cannabis

by Casey Bastian

On November 8, 2016, California voters went to the polls to consider whether the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, known as Proposition 64 (Prop64), should be approved. Prop64 was easily passed with voters clearly supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana. Medicinal use in ...