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Articles by David Reutter

Privatized Prison Medical Care in Mississippi Still Problematic

by David M. Reutter

Anyone looking for evidence that privatized prison health care is a complete failure need look no further than Mississippi. In 2001, the per capita death rate for Mississippi prisoners was around the national average. By 2006, however, the state’s prison death rate was the second highest ...

$250,000 Awarded to Former New York Prisoner Wrongly Convicted by Falsified Evidence

by David M. Reutter

A New York Court of Claims has awarded $250,000 to a former prisoner based on her claims of malicious prosecution and negligent supervision, after finding a State Police investigator had fabricated fingerprint evidence in her case.

The claimant, Shirley Kinge, was convicted in November 1990 of ...

1 in Every 31 Adults Under Some Form of Correctional Restraint

by David M. Reutter

A 2008 report by the Pew Center on the States reported that for the first time that 1 in every 100 adults in the United States was confined behind bars.

In a March 2009 report, the Pew Center found that when you combine those behind bars ...

Georgia Attorneys Abandoning Indigent Defendants

by David M. Reutter

For almost 50 years, following the Supreme Court’s 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, criminal defendants have had a constitutional right to legal representation. However, Georgia lawmakers have decided that as a result of the state’s budget shortfall and cuts to public defender services, the right ...

Florida to Allow Exportation of Prisoners to Other States

by David M. Reutter

Florida lawmakers have handed a victory to the private prison industry by passing a bill (SB 1722) that allows Florida prisoners to be exported to out-of-state facilities, which are mostly privately-operated. When Governor Charlie Crist signed the bill into law in June 2009, Florida joined 15 ...

Ohio Prison Guards Party, Federal Stimulus Funds Save Their Jobs

by David M. Reutter

Only weeks before ordering $640 million in spending cuts, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland paid more than 800 employees of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DORC) to attend a “Year End Review” celebration at the state fairgrounds. A few months later, the federal stimulus package ...

$21 Million Jury Award for Illinois Wrongful Conviction

by David M. Reutter

In June 2009, an Illinois federal jury awarded $21 million to a former prisoner who served 11-1/2 years for a murder he didn’t commit. The basis of the claim was that Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara, a gang crimes specialist, had framed Juan Johnson for a ...

Wisconsin Courts Sealing Cases

by David M. Reutter

A basic principle of the American court system is that the public has a right to know what happens in the nation’s courtrooms. In Wisconsin, however, that principle has been compromised to protect certain parties in court proceedings, including at least one prison guard.

In 2006, ...

Human Rights Watch Report Calls to Reform PLRA

by David M. Reutter

“The PLRA has had a devastating effect on the ability of incarcerated persons to protect their health and safety and vindicate other fundmanetal rights,” concludes a June 2009 report titled No Equal Justice: The Prison Litigation Reform Act [PLRA] in the United States. The report was ...

Florida Prison Guards Fired, Suspended for Shocking Children with Stun Guns

by David M. Reutter

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) has fired three guards, demoted a warden and disciplined other employees following an investigation into dozens of children being shocked with stun guns during “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” on April 23, 2009. Apparently, some FDOC employees ...