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Articles by David M. Reutter

Audit Determines Georgia’s State Prisons More Cost Effective than Private Prisons

by David M. Reutter

A legislative audit, released in December 2018, concluded that it costs Georgia about 10 percent more to house comparable prisoners in private prisons than in state-run facilities. The audit, completed as part of a study on criminal justice reforms, found that it costs $44.56 per ...

Over $488,000 Awarded to Former Michigan Prison Warden in Retaliation Suit

by David M. Reutter

A federal district court awarded $488,111.78 to Jeffrey P. Larson, formerly a warden with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). He alleged that he was subjected to retaliation for defending and supporting the promotion of his administrative assistant, Larriann Ludwick.

Larson was asked to “right the ...

Michigan: $9,750 in Damages and Costs in Prison Ramadan Violation Suit

by David M. Reutter 

A Michigan federal district court awarded costs in a case that alleged prison officials violated the religious rights of four Michigan prisoners during their observance of Ramadan – a holy month for Muslims.

The case went to trial and the jury awarded each plaintiff $150 in ...

GEO Group Under Pressure from Shareholders on Human Rights Policy

by David M. Reutter and Kevin Bliss

An activist investor organization has forced Boca Raton, Florida-based GEO Group, which operates or manages almost 75,000 for-profit detention facility beds across the U.S., to adopt a shareholder resolution requiring the company to issue a report on implementation of its human rights policy. ...

Will Trump grant more pardons and clemency as campaign season heats up?

by David M. Reutter

The president has unfettered discretion under the U.S. Constitution to grant pardons and clemency to persons convicted of federal crimes. President Trump has used this power to grant mercy to people to whom he feels have been treated “unfairly” by the judicial system.

Trump’s first commutation ...

$185,000 Settlement in Beating of Florida Jail Prisoner; Guard Convicted

by David M. Reutter

Florida’s Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) has paid $185,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging a jailer assaulted a pretrial detainee.

Audra West was booked into the North Broward Detention Facility on April 2, 2014 for disorderly intoxication, trespass and resisting arrest without violence. While sitting in ...

$1.1 Million Settlement for Michigan Parole Officer in Sexual Harassment Suit

by David M. Reutter

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit alleging parole officer Shannon Woods was subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment for complaining about the harassment.

Her suit alleged that immediately after being hired as a ...

Tennessee Jail Sexual Assault Lawsuit can Proceed, Federal Court Rules

by David M. Reutter

A Tennessee federal district court has held the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Esco Jarnagin can be held liable for the sexual assault of a pretrial detainee. The ruling was based on long-standing deficient conditions at the Hamblen County Jail (HCJ).

The Tennessee Corrections Institute ...

$30,000 Settlement for Pennsylvania Pretrial Detainee Subjected to Excessive Force

by David M. Reutter

A $30,000 settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging that guards at the Clinton County Correctional Facility (CCCF) in McElhattan, Pennsylvania used excessive force on a pretrial detainee. The suit also claimed that medical staff failed to treat him for his injuries.

Joel R. Snider was ...

Mumia Abu-Jamal to Receive New Appellate Hearing

by David M. Reutter

“In order for the criminal justice system to stand, justice must be completely just,” Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker wrote in an order granting former death row prisoner and PLN columnist Mumia Abu-Jamal an opportunity to appeal his 1981 conviction for killing ...