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Articles by Chuck Sharman

After 49 Years in Prison for a Murder in Which He Didn’t Pull the Trigger, Former Black Liberation Army Member Sundiata Acoli Wins Parole

On May 10, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed a state parole board decision and granted release to Sundiata Acoli, whose involvement with a radical group that advocated overthrow of the U.S. government was repeatedly cited to keep him incarcerated for nearly a half century. In doing so, the ...

Immigrants in California CoreCivic Detention Center File Complaints Over Staff Mistreatment, Sexual Misconduct

By Chuck Sharman

Four men held for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by private prison firm CoreCivic at its Otay-Mesa Detention Center in San Diego filed complaints after a staff member allegedly ogled them on March 22, 2022. That was less than two weeks after another group of 12 ...

Three Whistleblower Claims Filed Over Leaked Video of LA Deputy Kneeling on Detainee’s Head, Sheriff Forced to Walk Back Threats Against Reporter

By Chuck Sharman

On April 26, 2022, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva walked back comments made at a press conference hours earlier, when he suggested a journalist was under investigation for covering a leaked video showing one of his deputies kneeling on a restrained detainee’s head.

“All parties to ...

Antiviral Pills to Fight COVID-19 Sitting Unused in Pharmacies, But Prisoners Go Wanting

By Chuck Sharman

Roughly one-third of the U.S. supply of Paxlovid, an antiviral pill to fight COVID-19, were still sitting unused on April 26, 2022, according to the New York Times. But few if any of those 630,000 doses were destined for prisons, despite seeming “tailor-made” for use there, ...

Guard Accused of Organizing Prisoner “Sex Shows” at Tennessee Jail

By Chuck Sharman

A former jailer was fired and the sheriff is now being sued after two women detained at the Grainger County Jail complained they were forced to stage “sex shows” at the Tennessee lockup on more than 30 occasions over a two-month period beginning in February 2021.

According ...

CFPB Report: ‘Criminal Justice Financial Ecosystem Exploits Families at Every Stage’: Finds ‘Products and Services Rife with Burdensome Fees and Lack of Choice’

by Chuck Sharman

A report released on January 31, 2022, by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shows the financial burden that falls disproportionately on poor families as a result of interaction with the private companies in the criminal justice system.

CFPB was created in the wake of the ...

Private Prison Firm Revenues Soar on “Tailwind” of Immigrant Detainees

by Chuck Sharman

In a filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 5, 2022, Florida-based GEO Group—the nation’s largest private prison operator—laid bare its strategy to keep federal dollars flowing into the company’s coffers, despite a Presidential Executive Order that bars the U.S. Department of Justice ...

$325,000 Paid by Colorado County to Jail Detainee Brutalized by Guards Equipped with Controversial Training

by Chuck Sharman

On October 28, 2021, a Colorado man dismissed his suit against Weld County after agreeing to accept a $325,000 settlement for injuries allegedly inflicted on him by guards at the county jail, where he was held as a pre-trial detainee. The settlement also includes an agreement by ...

$1 Million Paid by Santa Clara County to Estate of Alzheimer’s Patient Killed When He Wandered onto Interstate Highway after Release from County Jail

By Chuck Sharman

A $1 million settlement was signed on April 14, 2018, by attorneys for Santa Clara County, California, to settle a wrongful death claim made by the surviving heir of an Alzheimer’s patient who was killed when he wandered onto an Interstate highway after being released alone from ...

$15,000 Settlement by Santa Clara County for Jail Prisoner Brutalized by Guards

By Chuck Sharman

Attorneys for Santa Clara County, California, signed an agreement on November 4, 2019, to settle claims by a prisoner at the County jail that he was brutalized by guards in a January 2015 incident. The settlement pays $15,000 to a representative for the prisoner, Scott Michael Conway, ...