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Articles by Chad Marks

$100,000 Withheld from Washington Jail for Failure to Fully Implement Ban on Juvenile Solitary Confinement

by Chad Marks

The King County jail system in Washington State was slated to receive $100,000 in March 2019, but the payment was put on hold following reports that jail officials were not fully complying with a ban on placing juvenile offenders in solitary confinement.

The payment was premised on ...

Cook County Commissioners Approve $1.5 Million Settlement for Jail Beating

by Chad Marks

Irene Nash, suffering from bipolar disorder, found herself on the wrong side of the law when she returned to her former childhood home. She entered the house and drank a bottle of wine. It was not long before the homeowners arrived, discovered her in the house and ...

Ninth Circuit Rejects Lawsuit by California Prisoners Over Exposure to Valley Fever

by Chad Marks

On February 1, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of lawsuits filed by current and former California prisoners who alleged that state prison officials had violated their Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment by exposing them to a known heightened risk ...

Tennessee Prisoners File Lawsuit Challenging Video Visitation Policy at County Jail

by Chad Marks

In April 2014, then-Sheriff James “J.J.” Jones implemented a video visitation system at the Knox County, Tennessee jail through a contract with Securus Technologies. The video system coincided with the elimination of in-person visits between prisoners and their family members.

Remote video visitation costs $5.99 per half-hour. ...

UK Using Facial Recognition Technology on Prison Visitors ... is the U.S. Next?

by Chad Marks

After more than 23,000 packages containing drugs and cell phones were seized in UK prisons in 2018 – compared to just 4,000 the year before – officials with Her Majesty’s Prison Service decided to use new facial recognition and document-scanning technology on visitors at three prisons – ...

Pennsylvania County Pays $1.1 Million to Former Prisoner Beaten by Guards

by Chad Marks

Patrick J. Haight, 53, was being held at the Erie County Prison in Pennsylvania on a $500 bond for driving under the influence when he was viciously beaten by guards.

On May 10, 2017, Haight injured his toe and was taken to the infirmary for treatment. ...

Washington: Prisoners’ Complaints Lead to Changes in DOC’s Drug Testing Policy

by Chad Marks

After two unidentified prisoners complained that they were being punished based on faulty drug test results, the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) made changes to its testing policies.

One prisoner was subjected to a drug test in September 2018. He had been admitted to the prison in ...

Maine: Prosecutorial Misconduct in False Rape Case Results in $2.1 Million in Damages

by Chad Marks

Vladek Filler found himself on the wrong side of former Hancock County District Attorney Mary Kellett. In 2007, Filler’s wife, Ligia Filler, made allegations that her husband sexually assaulted her. Kellett ignored exculpatory evidence in her overzealousness to prosecute Filler for rape and sexual assault. After ...

New York Sheriff Loses Lawsuit, Must Report Serious Prisoner Incidents to State Agency

by Chad Marks

A sheriff in Western New York, on the losing end of a lawsuit filed by four citizens, must report serious prisoner incidents to the New York State Commission of Correction.

Sheriff Timothy B. Howard oversees the Erie County Holding Center, one of the five worst jails in ...

California: Court of Appeal Holds Possession of Marijuana in Prison Still a Felony Despite Proposition 64

by Chad Marks

Nisaiah J. Perry was serving time in a California state prison when he was charged with possession of marijuana under Penal Code Section 4573.6. He was eventually sentenced to two years for committing that offense, to run consecutive to his existing sentence.

Perry moved the court to ...