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Articles by David Reutter

Alternative Prisoner Phone Service Company Files Unsuccessful Suit

by David M. Reutter

A company that offers a lower-cost alternative to the monopolistic practices of the nation’s largest prison and jail telephone service providers filed a federal lawsuit alleging violation of the Federal Communications Act.

The suit was filed by Millicorp, a Florida-based company that offers alternative phone services ...

Appalling Prison and Jail Food Leaves Prisoners Hungry for Justice

by David M. Reutter, Gary Hunter & Brandon Sample

Prison food. The very words conjure images of unidentifiable mystery meat, chili-mac, watery oatmeal and creamed chipped beef – the latter being commonly, though not very appetizingly, known as “shit on a shingle” in jailhouse parlance.

Before someone goes to prison ...

Food Problems Contribute to Riot at Kentucky Prison

by David M. Reutter

A major riot at Kentucky’s Northpoint Training Center on August 21, 2009 resulted in 16 injuries and the destruction of several buildings critical to the prison’s operation. The riot was the second serious incident at the facility in as many years, and both involved food-related issues. ...

Parole Denials Based Upon Assumptions; Tough Policies Threaten Public Safety at Great Cost

by David M. Reutter

“Inaccurate assumptions about the impact of longer prison stays on reoffense rates generally, and about the future behavior of people who committed assaultive and sex offenses in particular, have led us to routinely continue the incarceration of thousands of parole-eligible prisoners who would not have returned ...

Retired New York Supreme Court Justice Sentenced to Prison for Sex Trafficking

by David M. Reutter

Retired New York Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills, 74, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for a felony charge of transporting prostitutes across state lines (a violation of the Mann Act). He began serving his sentence on October 1, 2009.

Tills’ long ...

Indiana DOC Changes Sexually Explicit Publication Policy Due to Class-Action Suit

by David M. Reutter

The ACLU of Indiana has reached a private settlement agreement with the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) in a class-action lawsuit that challenged a policy prohibiting prisoners from receiving sexually explicit materials or publications containing “graphic nudity.”

At issue was IDOC Administrative Procedure No. 02-01-103. The ...

Virginia DOC K-9 “Training” Results in Animal Cruelty Charges

by David M. Reutter

The training of a dog as a law enforcement K-9 unit requires hours of dedication and bonding between the animal and its handler. It appears that guards with the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) believed in using a “hands on” approach when it came to the ...

Indian Country Gets Stimulus Money ... to Build More Jails

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has brought stimulus money to Indian reservations – awarding $224 million to build and renovate tribal jails. The funding comes after years of unsuccessful lobbying efforts by Native American leaders.

The Justice ...

Florida County Jail Discontinues Medical Co-Pay Policy

by David M. Reutter

Saying it was “not even worth it” to collect an $8 medical co-payment from prisoners seeking medical care, Florida’s Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats has abolished the practice at his jail. In these tough economic times that have squeezed budgets, it is surprising Coats would forfeit ...

Indiana Indemnification Statute Not Retroactive; Prisoner’s Estate Unable to Collect $56.5 Million Judgment

by David M. Reutter

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a 2003 Indiana statute that requires indemnification of government employees under certain circumstances has prospective application only.

Before the Court was an appeal by the Estate of Christopher Moreland, which had filed a motion for a writ ...