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Articles by Chad Marks

Beating of Michigan Jail Prisoner Results in $36.6 Million Verdict,$12.9 Million Settlement

by Chad Marks

In 2010, William Jennings was booked into Michigan’s Genesee County Jail on a DUI charge. According to surveillance video footage, within hours he was brutally beaten by sheriff’s deputies – slammed to the floor, his head smashed against a metal bench, and punched and kicked. 

After ...

Wisconsin Pays Largest Civil Rights Settlement in State’s History –$18.9 Million – for Juvenile Offender’s Suicide Attempt

by Chad Marks and Derek Gilna

Sydni Briggs was 16 years old in July 2015 when she was remanded to a Wisconsin state youth prison for breaking into a store and stealing alcohol. She found herself alone in a cell at the Copper Lake School for Girls on November 9, ...

Securus Files Suit Alleging FDOC Improperly Entered into Prison Phone Contract

by Chad Marks

In a lawsuit filed on January 29, 2019, Securus Technologies, Inc., one of the nation’s two largest prison telecom companies, accused the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) of ignoring provisions of the Florida Constitution when exercising budgeting and appropriation powers, and doing so at the expense of ...

Minnesota Lawmakers Look at Prison Reforms

by Chad Marks

Lawmakers in Minnesota are considering a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the state’s prison population. Data from August 2018 indicate that the adult prison population was 9,849, and some legislators have expressed concerns about racial disparities in the prison system. 

According to recent statistics ... Operators Arrested, Face Extradition to California

by Chad Marks

Four people have been charged with extortion, money laundering and identity theft by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

In May 2018, Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee and David Usdan, allegedly the operators of and, found themselves on the wrong side of the law ...

New York Criminal Defense Attorney Charged with Federal Crimes

by Chad Marks

Scott Brettschneider, 61, a criminal defense attorney from Queens, New York known by many as “Mighty Whitey,” was arrested on March 26, 2018 in connection with accusations that he falsified documents to get one of his clients an early release from prison. He and three ...

Grandmother Arrested and Mocked by Federal Agents Awarded $55,000 Settlement

by Chad Marks

Guadalupe Robles Plascencia became a naturalized U.S. citizen in May 1998, and San Bernardino, California has been her home for nearly 40 years. It’s where she raised her five children. It also is the place where she and one of her daughters opened their own business – ...

Federal Court Certifies Class in Ohio County Jail Debit Card Case

by Chad Marks

On November 16, 2018, a federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio granted a motion for class certification in a case where jail staff were accused of issuing unsolicited fee-laden debit cards to prisoners upon their release.

Amber Humphrey was arrested in September 2017. At the ...

Federal Judge Orders Prison Doctor to Face Deliberate Indifference Claims

by Chad Marks

A federal judge in Indiana ruled on June 12, 2018 that prison doctor Paul Talbot must answer a complaint filed by state prisoner Billy J. Lemond.

Lemond was incarcerated at the Pendleton Correctional Facility when he required back surgery. On August 24, 2015, he underwent decompressive laminectomy ...

Report Outlines Eight Ways to Shorten Excessive Prison Sentences

by Chad Marks

The United States is home to five percent of the world’s population and around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Our incarceration rate is 19 percent higher than Turkmenistan’s, 36 percent higher than Cuba’s and 57 percent higher than Russia’s. There is no other democracy that has ...