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Articles by David Reutter

Maryland Juvenile Justice Official Resigns Over Past Abuse Allegations

Just seven months after he was hired as director over Maryland’s juvenile detention facilities, Chris Perkins, 38, resigned his $76,000 a year position when a Montana judge unsealed a report that found Perkins had abused children at a Montana boot camp.

The 21-page report detailed treatment of juveniles while Perkins ...

$64,900 Award in Arkansas Excessive Force Claim; Warden Held Not Liable

by David M. Reutter

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a judgment against the warden of Arkansas’ Cummins Unit, finding he did not have sufficient knowledge that the guards under his supervision were inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on prisoners.

The appeal, by Warden M.D. Reed, was filed ...

Authorities Listen in on Attorney-Client Calls at Jails in FL, CA and TX

by David Reutter & Matt Clarke

In December 2007, it was reported that an investigator at Florida’s Charlotte County Jail was caught listening to telephone conversations between a prisoner and his attorney. As a result, the investigator, Kenneth Hill, was reprimanded and placed on road patrol.

Hill was investigating charges ...

United Kingdom Creates Foreigner Only Prisons

In mid-2007, the United Kingdom (UK) designated two detention facilities to be occupied solely by foreign national prisoners. If the plan is successful, the government intends to expand the practice beyond the Bullwood Hall and Canterbury prisons.

The move comes as the proportion of foreign prisoners to English prisoners continues ...

Arkansas Law Discloses Legislators’ Business Ties to State

Of concern to taxpayers should be the private business interests of their legislators. An Arkansas law enacted in 2007 requires disclosure of those interests when a lawmaker or his or her spouse owns at least 10 percent of a business that contracts with the state. Under the law, Act 567 ...

Once Again, Former Florida DOC Secretary Faces Liability in Prisoner Beating; Case Settled for $400,000

by David M. Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the former warden of the Florida State Prison (FSP) was not entitled to qualified immunity in a civil rights suit brought by a prisoner who alleged his beating by guards was not an isolated incident, but that ...

Out-going Kentucky Governor Issues 101 Pardons, Commutations

In December 2007, during his last hours in office, out-going Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher made state history by issuing 101 sentence commutations or pardons. While some of those acts of executive clemency appear to be meritorious, others smack of cronyism.

One of Fletcher’s commutations converted Jeffrey Devan Leonard’s death sentence ...

Georgia Sheriff, Judges, Other Officials Face Misconduct, Criminal Charges

In November 2007 a federal grand jury issued an indictment charging Clinch County, Georgia Sheriff Winston C. Peterson, 62, with perjury, using forced prisoner labor and extorting former jail prisoners.

Peterson’s indictment marked the second time in the past year that a Georgia Sheriff was charged while in office. Berrien ...

Grand Jury Report, Four Nebraska Jail Guards Indicted in Prisoner’s Death

by David M. Reutter

Finding there was probable cause that four guards at Nebraska’s Omaha Police Detention Unit (OPDU) failed to render medical care to a prisoner which contributed to his death, a Douglas County grand jury indicted the guards on charges of official misconduct – a Class II misdemeanor. ...

Nevada Prisoner Health Care So Atrocious, Prisoners Volunteer for Execution to Avoid Suffering

by David M. Reutter

“It is my opinion that the medical care provided at Ely State Prison amounts to the grossest possible medical malpractice, and the most shocking and callous disregard for human life and human suffering, that I have ever encountered in the medical profession in my thirty-five years ...