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Articles by David M. Reutter

Biden’s Current Prison Reform Stance Counter to His Abysmal Record

by David M. Reutter

After decades of leading the charge during the tough-on-crime era, Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is trying to fashion himself as a champion of prison reform. Since July 2019 his campaign website has included proposals to abolish the death ...

Exonerated Kentucky Man’s High Bail Prevented His Release for Six Years

by David M. Reutter

After nearly six years of languishing in jail because he could not afford a quarter-million dollar bond, a jury in Jefferson County, Kentucky acquitted Eugene “Red” Mitchell.

The jury’s September 18, 2019 acquittal of Mitchell on charges that he raped, sodomized and murdered Sheila Devine showed ...

Attorney Fees and Costs Awarded in HRDC Suit Against Juvenile Solitary Confinement

by David M. Reutter

A Florida federal district court has awarded $420,683.53 in attorney fees and costs in a class-action suit challenging the use of solitary confinement and lack of educational opportunities for juvenile offenders held at the Palm Beach County Jail.

PLN previously reported the facts and settlement in ...

$45,000 Settlement for Pennsylvania Prisoner Subjected to Excessive Force

by David M. Reutter

Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County Prison (LCP) has paid $45,000 to settle a civil rights action alleging a guard used excessive force on a prisoner.

Multiple guards approached prisoner Marquice Gatewood on December 9, 2017, and told him that he would be taken to “medical” and then to ...

Prison Mailbox Rule Applies to Civil Detainees

by David M. Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held on September 18, 2019 that the “prison mailbox rule” applies to detainees held in a civil commitment center.

The ruling resulted from an appeal by Rayvon Boatman, a detainee at the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC), which holds civilly ...

Video Documentary Reports on Florida Prisons – From the Inside

by David M. Reutter

"We finna show y’all some real shit, man, on how we live here that y’all ain’t seen.”

With that introduction, a Florida prisoner begins a video that is being proclaimed the first documentary on prison conditions produced by a prisoner. Shot on a series of contraband ...

Third Circuit: Failure to Make PLRA Findings Moots Appeal

by David M. Reutter

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a district court’s failure to make findings as to the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s (PLRA) “needs-narrowness-intrusiveness criteria” mooted all injunctive enforcement actions that occurred 90 days after the court entered a preliminary injunction.

The ruling came in an ...

Missouri Requires County Jails to House State Prisoners, Then Doesn’t Pay for Them

by David M. Reutter

The state government in Missouri owes counties more than $33 million for housing and transporting state prisoners during fiscal year 2019. Although state law places no cap on the number of prisoners sent to county jails, the legislature has also not made allowance in the state ...

Georgia: Doctors and Nurses Warn Prison Medical Care is in Jeopardy

by David M. Reutter

As previously reported in PLN, a 2017 investigation found the 1,326-bed Augusta State Medical Prison (ASMP), operated by Georgia Correctional Health Care (GCHC) under a $190 million annual contract for the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), had “a myriad of unsafe and unsanitary conditions.” State ...

Prisoners Suffer and Die as Kentucky Overcrowds County Jails

by David M. Reutter

In October 2019, the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC) announced plans to lease a privately-owned prison in Floyd County that has sat idle since 2012. State Justice Secretary John Tilley, who oversees the KDOC, hopes the prison’s 650 beds will make a “serious dent” in overcrowding ...