Skip navigation

Articles by David M. Reutter

Lawsuit Filed by Prisoner with Food Allergy is Dismissed

by David M. Reutter

A Michigan federal district court has dismissed a civil rights action alleging a prisoner was repeatedly and deliberately exposed to peanut butter and fish, which were known to cause serious allergic reactions. The court found the complaint failed to allege specific actions or involvement by the ...

Pennsylvania Prisoner Given Belt, Then Punished for Having It

by David M. Reutter

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania found it lacked jurisdiction in a case brought by a prisoner who was issued a belt and then later punished for possessing it. Dissenting judges called the disciplinary action taken by prison officials “Kafkaesque.”

While housed at SCI-Fayette, Albert Dantzler was ...

Tennessee Prisoner Captured After Killing Prison Employee, Escaping

by David M. Reutter

After five days of searching, authorities apprehended escaped Tennessee prisoner Curtis Ray Watson. He was then sent to the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.

Watson was serving a 15-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping, and had a 2025 release date. He was considered a ...

Florida Women’s Prison Under Scrutiny After Rape by Guard

by David M. Reutter

Anquanette Woodall’s third child was born in 2016 – during her third year of a 15-year sentence for burglary and robbery – after she was raped by Florida prison guard Travis Hinson in an area at the Gadsden Correctional Facility not covered by security cameras. ...

Are Re-Enfranchised Florida Felons More Likely to Vote Republican?

by David M. Reutter

During the recent campaign to reinstate the voting rights of 1.4 million disenfranchised Florida felons, Republicans rallied against a constitutional amendment out of fear that former prisoners would vote as Democrats. Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a top adviser, now claims they had it wrong ...

Lawsuit Alleging Denial of Warmth and Sufficient Sleep States Eighth Amendment Claim

by David M. Reutter

On August 14, 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a federal prisoner’s civil rights complaint that alleged he was confined in a cold cell with constant lighting, no bedding and only paper-like clothing.

FCI Allenwood Low prisoner Anthony Mammana appealed after ...

PLN Prevails in Censorship Suit Against Virginia Jail

by David M. Reutter

A federal district court held that Prison Legal News’ First Amendment and due process rights were violated when reading materials it sent to prisoners at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center (NRADC) in Virginia were rejected due to the jail’s mail policy.

Prior to implementation ...

Private Prison in Pennsylvania Takes Heat; Prison Board Replaced, Superintendent Retires

by David M. Reutter

On September 25, 2019, Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Council abolished its Board of Prison Inspectors (BPI) and replaced it with a Jail Oversight Board (JOB), after problems occurred at the privately operated Delaware County Prison, formerly known as the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. PLN has previously ...

Criminal Justice Leaders Reject Attorney General’s “Tough on Crime” Attitude

by David M. Reutter

After U.S. Attorney General William Barr gave a speech condemning criminal justice reforms, 70 criminal justice leaders signed a statement rejecting his narrative. The signatories included current and former prosecutors, police chiefs, judges and assistant attorneys general.

Barr’s August 12, 2019 speech was presented at the ...

Medical, Mental Health Care Lacking at Florida Jail Despite 43 Years of Court Oversight

by David M. Reutter

Despite oversight by a federal court since 1976, the Broward County Jail (BCJ) in Florida does not provide adequate medical or mental health treatment to prisoners. Since 2018, at least ten detainees have died while in the jail’s custody.

BCJ reached a new settlement agreement in ...