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Articles by David Reutter

Florida DOC and Keefe Gouge Prisoners on Commissary Sales

by David M. Reutter

While the economic downturn has caused the price of goods and commodities to decrease in the free world, the cost of items in Florida’s prison canteens has skyrocketed under a new contract.

Florida law requires that items sold in prison canteens “shall be priced comparatively with ...

Aramark Discontinues, Loses Prison Food Service Contracts

by David M. Reutter

The corporate philosophy of cutting corners to enhance profits is catching up with Aramark Correctional Services, causing the company to lose prison and jail food service contracts and putting other contracts in jeopardy. Aramark has discontinued its contract with Florida’s entire prison system, while the company ...

$145,000 Settlement in Iowa Prisoner’s Self-Mutilation Mental Health Claim

by David M. Reutter

The Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) paid $144,523.20 to settle a civil rights action that claimed prison officials sat idly watching a mentally ill prisoner physically maim herself.

In 1976 at the age of 13, Shane Elizabeth Eggen was placed in state custody by her parents, ...

Military Psychologist Implicated in Abusive Interrogations

by David M. Reutter

A lawsuit against the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP) accuses retired Army Col. Larry C. James of professional and ethical violations stemming from his former role as chief psychologist at the U.S. military prisons in Abu Ghraib, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The ...

Using Chemical Agents on Mentally Ill Prisoners Unconstitutional

by David M. Reutter

As the mentally ill become more prevalent within the nation’s prison population, guards and prison administrators face a dilemma when confronted with such a prisoner who is not conforming to prison rules. While it said it was “a hard case,” a Florida federal district court nonetheless ...

Third Circuit Upholds Pennsylvania DOC Policy Requiring Control Number for Legal Mail

by David M. Reutter

Finding that no legitimate penological interest existed to support a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) policy that requires a PDOC-issued control number on correspondence for it to qualify as legal mail, a U.S. District Court issued an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the policy. However, that ruling ...

U.S. Supreme Court Recedes from Saucier’s Mandatory Provisions for Determining Qualified Immunity Claims

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Supreme Court has retreated from a mandatory procedural practice for resolving government officials’ qualified immunity claims, leaving it to the discretion of lower courts as to which prong of the test to apply as required by the facts of the case.

At issue was ...

Violence on the Rise in Arizona Prisons

by David M. Reutter

The level of violence in Arizona prisons is increasing – at least that is the conclusion to be drawn from recent reports. In 2008 alone there were four homicides in the state’s prison system, and with 12 death investigations still pending that number could rise. Arizona ...

Florida’s Private Prisons Still Lack Meaningful Oversight

by David M. Reutter

Florida’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) has issued a report that finds that oversight of the state’s private prisons has strengthened under the Department of Management Services (DMS) but significant weakness still abounds.

The Florida Legislature authorized private prisons in 1989. When ...

15 Guards Charged with Assaulting Maryland Prisoners

by David M. Reutter

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office has charged 15 former prison guards with assaulting prisoners. The charges come nearly a year after the guards were fired from the North Branch Correctional Institution and Roxbury Correctional Institution; another eight guards were not charged due to lack of evidence. ...