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Articles by Dale Chappell

“Prisoner of Weed” Released, Sets Sights on Criminal Justice Reform

by Dale Chappell

The man dubbed a POW (“prisoner of weed”) by his supporters was finally released from a Louisiana prison in February 2018 following public outcry over his harsh 13-year sentence for possession of about two joint’s worth of marijuana. He served around eight years and now wants to ...

California Prison Psychologist Blows Whistle on LGBTQ Harassment, Settles Lawsuit for Retaliation

by Dale Chappell

A prison psychologist who filed a complaint under the California Whistleblower Protection Act alleging blatant abuse by state prison guards against LGBTQ prisoners has agreed to settle her lawsuit and resign.

Dr. Lori Jespersen, who had worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) since ...

Report Shows 50 New York Prisoners Died from Inadequate Medical Care in Last Five Years

by Dale Chappell

A 2018 report by a New York State medical review board charged with reviewing prisoner deaths determined that at least 50 state prisoners had died within the past five years due to insufficient medical care. The board concluded that the deaths could have been prevented with simple ...

Washington County, School District Pay $265,000 for Holding Juveniles in Solitary

by Dale Chappell

In August 2018, King County, Washington agreed to pay $240,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by four juveniles who were placed in solitary confinement at the county’s Regional Justice Center (RJC) in Kent. The settlement includes policy changes to ensure juvenile offenders are not held in solitary ...

Connecticut DOC Settles Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawsuit for $1.3 Million

by Dale Chappell

After misdiagnosing a prisoner’s skin cancer as psoriasis for years and refusing to perform tests when treatment was not working, the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle the prisoner’s lawsuit.

While held at the Osborn Correctional Institution, state prisoner Wayne World ...

Preliminary Settlement in Class-Action HCV Suit Against Pennsylvania DOC

by Dale Chappell

A class-action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) over the lack of adequate treatment for prisoners with hepatitis C (HCV) survived a motion for summary judgment, and the parties have reached a preliminary settlement agreement.

Salvatore Chimenti, Daniel Leyva and David Maldonado filed suit in ...

Florida Prisoner’s Suit Proceeds Against Guards for Use of Force, Retaliation

by Dale Chappell

On March 14, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled that a prisoner’s lawsuit against Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) guards could move forward, denying the FDOC’s motion for summary judgment.

Christopher Sanders filed suit in federal court under 42 U.S.C. § ...

Guards Face Federal Charges for Smuggling Drugs, Cell Phones Into Idaho Prisons

by Dale Chappell

The FBI arrested seven people, including five Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) guards, for conspiring to smuggle drugs, tobacco and cell phones into state prisons.
In January 2017, an undercover FBI agent approached an IDOC contract nurse who had previously been caught smuggling contraband. The nurse put ...

Connecticut Passes Law to Protect Women, Transgender Prisoners

by Dale Chappell

In May 2018, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law SB-13, a bill that will bring fairness and dignity to women and transgender prisoners, his office said.

The bill, which received unanimous votes in both chambers of the General Assembly, specifies that women prisoners will not ...

Amid Scandal, Missouri Governor Issues Commutations and Pardons, Passes New Laws Before Resigning

by Dale Chappell

As his resignation was about to take effect late on June 1, 2018, scandal-plagued Missouri Governor Eric Greitens pardoned five convicted felons, commuted the sentences of four others and signed 77 new bills into law – including one that makes it illegal to post the same type ...