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Articles by Dale Chappell

Rhode Island’s Civil Death Law Bars Prisoners from Filing Lawsuits in State Court

by Dale Chappell

Most people have heard about the death penalty. But how many have heard of someone being declared “civilly dead” and stripped of their civil rights after receiving a life sentence, even if they are eligible for parole?

Welcome to Rhode Island, where the concept of “civil death” ...

Government Wants Federal Prisoner’s $250,000 Settlement to Pay Restitution

by Dale Chappell

A federal prisoner who won a $250,000 settlement against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), following an injury that required surgery and a month-long hospital stay, is fighting government lawyers who want that money to go toward restitution.

Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, 67, slipped and fell at ...

Missing Property and Overtime Abuse in Illinois Prisons Cost Taxpayers Millions

by Dale Chappell

An audit released on September 18, 2019 found, among other issues, that missing property and abuse of overtime in Illinois’ prison system cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

The two-year audit reported that prison staff were taking paid leave time but then coming in to work ...

Arizona Court Equates Prison Gang Dropouts with Confidential Informants to Require Redaction of STG Files

by Dale Chappell

The Arizona Court of Appeals held on September 25, 2019 that the possibility of information about gang members who had dropped out or were not in “good standing” falling into the wrong hands leaned in favor of redacting records released to a defendant’s attorney, overturning a trial ...

Federal Judge Allows 'Nationwide' Class-Action Lawsuit Against GEO Over Alleged Forced Labor on Prisoners

by Dale Chappell

A federal judge has granted class-action status in a federal lawsuit filed against GEO Group, alleging the private, for-profit company forced immigration detainees to work in order to avoid punishment.
The ruling by Judge Jesus G. Bernal of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of ...

Man Held in Jail Almost Three Months for Possession of ... Honey

by Dale Chappell

A man sat in jail for nearly three months while the police tried twice at different labs to prove that jars of honey he had in his possession contained liquid methamphetamine. And even when they discovered it was in fact honey, they wouldn’t let him go.

Leon ...

New York Stops Testing Probationers for Marijuana Use

by Dale Chappell

The New York City Council voted in April 2019 to stop testing probationers for marijuana use. The move was a step toward reducing re-incarceration of probationers and parolees, and may be a foreshadowing of the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

There are currently 4.5 million ...

Pennsylvania and Utah Expunge Criminal Cases to Help People Get Jobs, Find Housing

by Dale Chappell

Nearly 30 million criminal arrest and conviction records – those of anyone ever apprehended for a low-level crime in Pennsylvania – will automatically be expunged under a new law passed in June 2019 designed to help combat discrimination in employment, housing and education.

Under a change to ...

Local Taxpayers Face Higher Taxes, Crime Rates Due to Death Penalty Trials

by Dale Chappell

Taxpayers in Texas counties where death penalty cases are held get hit with a double whammy: Not only do they face higher property taxes to pay for the trials, they also have to deal with increased crime rates after public safety spending is reduced to offset those ...

Allegheny County Settles Three Lawsuits Over Medical Care at County Jail

by Dale Chappell

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania has settled a lawsuit over lack of adequate care by Corizon Health, the medical contractor at the county’s jail, for failing to feed a prisoner, which led him to go into cardiac arrest, according to court records.

The prisoner, Christopher Wallace, was arrested on ...