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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by David M. Reutter

Kentucky Prison Guards Settle Sexual Harassment Suit for $1.5 Million

by David M. Reutter

A $1.5 million settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging a male sergeant at Kentucky’s Little Sandy Correctional Complex (LSCC) sexually harassed four female guards. The settlement ended an appeal that followed a $1.6 million jury award.

“We think this shows the seriousness of ...

$4.75 Million Settlement for Pennsylvania Teenager’s Withdrawal Death in Jail

by David M. Reutter

The death of a teenager is a sad event. But when it was entirely preventable, it becomes tragic.

The death of Victoria Jeanette Herr, 18, just four days after being booked into Pennsylvania’s Lebanon County Correctional Facility (LCCF), is yet another example of poor healthcare and ...

Protesters Rally Against Private Prison Contractor GEO Group

by David M. Reutter

Activists protesting President Trump’s immigration policies are also rallying against a company that profits from immigrant detention: The GEO Group. The activists have been protesting at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities as well as GEO-run detention centers.

At $471 million, GEO Group’s contract with ICE ...

New Trial on Causation Required in Illinois Jail Detainee’s Suicide

by David M. Reutter

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held on August 10, 2018 that an Illinois federal district court erred in granting judgment as a matter of law on the issue of causation in the death of Lyvita Gomes while she was incarcerated at the Lake County jail ...

Florida Prisoners Get Tablets, Lose $11.3 Million in Digital Music

by David M. Reutter

In 2011, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) entered into a contract with Access Corrections that allowed prisoners to purchase MP3 players which could be hooked up to a kiosk for music downloads. Over the six-year life of the contract, prisoners bought 30,299 players at ...

$750,000 Settlement for Family of Man Who Died in Illinois Jail

by David M. Reutter

Illinois’ Whiteside County Jail (WCJ) agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a civil rights action alleging jail officials failed to treat Walter E. Divers, Jr. for severe alcohol withdrawal, resulting in his death.

Divers, 28, was arrested for failing to pay fines or appear in court following a state criminal conviction. When he was booked into WCJ on April 15, 2016, jail staff observed that he was “clearly intoxicated.” Divers informed staff he was an alcoholic who drank daily, and that he had consumed a substantial amount of alcohol prior to his arrest. An investigation by the Illinois State Police found documents that stated on the day of his arrest, Divers had consumed a liter of vodka between 8 a.m. and noon; he also had a history of seizures.

Due to his state of intoxication, Divers was placed in solitary confinement. Later that evening or early the next morning, he began sweating and his blood pressure became elevated, the complaint alleged. He developed a fast or rapid heartbeat and experienced shaking and tremors, followed by nausea and vomiting.

The complaint argued jail staff failed to adequately monitor Divers’ condition for alcohol withdrawal or ...


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