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Articles by David Reutter

Louisiana Fights Federal Court Order to Remedy “Callous and Wanton Disregard” for Angola Prisoners’ Healthcare

by David M. Reutter


On November 6, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana issued a Remedial Order (RO) to correct unconstitutional healthcare at Louisiana State Prison in Angola. In a companion opinion, the Court found the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) ...

“Are You Freaking Kidding Me?” Former BOP Warden Accuses Guards of Recruiting Prisoners for Assaults at Troubled Lockup in Illinois

by David M. Reutter


Before he retired in July 2023, Warden Thomas Bergami was sent by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Thomson, Illinois, with a mandate: Clean the place up. But Begami said he got little support for his reform efforts and was ...

$20.5 Million Settlement for Two Kentucky Prisoners Exonerated and Freed After 22 Years

by David M. Reutter


On September 7, 2023, the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government in Kentucky agreed to pay $20.5 million to settle a civil rights action alleging constitutional violations in the wrongful murder convictions and imprisonment of Jeffrey Dwayne Clark and Garr Keith Hardin.

Both now 54, they were ...

$5 Million Settlement in Death of Georgia Prisoner Left by Guards in Cell on Fire

by David M. Reutter


On November 16, 2023, the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to pay $5 million to the estate of Thomas Henry Giles, 31, a mentally ill prisoner who died after guards left him for hours locked inside a cell on fire at Augusta State Medical ...

Watchdog Finds “Alarming Conditions” at BOP Women’s Lockup in Florida

by David M. Reutter


When confronted with prisoner complaints, officials often produce glowing inspection reports and blame prisoners for destroying prison infrastructure. All too often, though, inept supervision is to blame for failure to maintain facilities. As many prisoners will tell you, when an inspection is looming, the prisonis ...

Report Finds Current Path of Florida Prison System “Unsustainable”

by David M. Reutter


Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) leaders have come before the state legislature repeatedly to warn that it is a system operating in crisis. In a presentation on November 15, 2023, by global consulting firm KPMG, which was selected in 2022 by the state Department of ...

$700,000 Jury Verdict for Wisconsin Prisoner Denied Due Process in Disciplinary Hearing

by David M. Reutter


On November 27, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin denied state prison officials’ motion for new trial. That left standing a jury verdict finding that prisoner Adam Young was denied procedural due process in a disciplinary action, awarding him $700,000. ...

$500,000 Settlement for Colorado Prisoner Forced to Defecate in Bucket for 12 Days

by David M. Reutter

On June 14, 2023, the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve a state prisoner’s allegation that his Eighth Amendment guarantee of freedom from cruel and unusual punishment was violated when he was restrained and isolated in a “dry cell” without running ...

$125,000 Settlement for Wisconsin Prisoner’s Claim That Guards Set Him Up For Stabbing

Eighth Circuit Says Lower Court “Tilted the Scales Too Far” for Jailers in Missouri Detainee’s Fatal Overdose

by David M. Reutter

On October 19, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed denial of qualified immunity (QI) to officials at St. Louis’ “Workhouse” jail in a suit over a detainee’s fatal overdose, finding the lower court “tilted the scales too far in the plaintiff’s ...