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Articles by David Reutter

Eleventh Circuit Holds Failure to Prove Physical Injury Accompanies Emotional Injury is Affirmative Defense

By David M. Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that 42 U.S.C. 1997e’s prohibition against a prisoner bringing a federal civil action for emotional injury without a prior showing of physical injury is an affirmative defense.

Before the Court was the appeal of Florida prisoner Lawrence W. ...

No Right to Destruction of Juvenile Records in Virginia

By David M. Reutter

The Virginia Supreme Court has held that there is no vested right under state law to have juvenile records destroyed. The Court, however, found that an expert’s testimony was inadmissible because that testimony was based upon an improper finding that the conduct charged in the juvenile ...

Washington DOC Agrees to Change Sexual Abuse Policies

by David M. Reutter

The Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) has agreed to change its policies that relate to preventing, reporting and investigating sexual abuse of prisoners by staff members. The changes resulted from a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by five female prisoners who claimed they were sexually ...

The Incredible Honey Bun Behind Bars

by David M. Reutter

Things that are seemingly inconsequential to people outside of prison can quickly become something of great importance when made available to prisoners. The honey bun is one such item, which has taken on its own lore and become a beloved sticky-sweet staple among prisoners.

Why are ...

In-Prison Filmmaker Prepares Next Release

by David M. Reutter

Compact video cameras smuggled into prison have allowed New Jersey prisoner Omar Broadway to become an amateur documentarian of life behind bars. His first video, taken inside a New Jersey state facility in 2004, has been turned into a full-length feature, and he plans to use ...

Pennsylvania DOC Agrees to Comply with Clean Air Act at Four Prisons

by David M. Reutter

A settlement agreement to remedy violations of the federal Clean Air Act at four Pennsylvania state prisons was announced on January 4, 2011. The settlement between the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice covers violations ...

Georgia: Child Support Contempt Findings Create Debtor’s Prisons

by David M. Reutter

The Great Recession has put millions of Americans out of work, which has caused more people than usual to become delinquent on their child support obligations and other debts. Many courts, especially those in Georgia and South Carolina, have reacted to child support delinquencies by finding ...

States Scramble to Find Lethal Injection Drugs

by David M. Reutter

“From this day forward I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.”
—Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, Callins v. Collins, 501 U.S. 1141 (1994)

The only American producer of sodium thiopental has abandoned the market for that drug due to protests and export bans ...

Wexford Enters Into Confidential Settlement in New Mexico Prisoner’s Death

by David M. Reutter

Pennsylvania-based Wexford Health Services, which bills itself as “the nation’s leading innovative correctional health care company,” entered into a confidential settlement with the estate of a New Mexico prisoner who died due to deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.

When prisoner Michael Crespin arrived at ...

Savings from North Carolina Prisoner Slave Labor Result in Additional Prison Beds

by David M. Reutter

Touting its 140-year history of using prisoner slave labor, the North Carolina Department of Correction (NDOC) announced in January 2011 that it will save taxpayers $27 million when building more than 2,700 new prison beds with prisoner labor.

The North Carolina legislature has allocated funds since ...