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Articles by David Reutter

New York Prisons Avoid Budget Axe

by David M. Reutter

With the State of New York having 5,000 empty prison beds and a large budget deficit, it would seem the logical decision would be to save taxpayer dollars by closing some prisons. That, however, is not the choice of New York’s elected officials.

Rather than shut ...

$13 Million Settlement in DC Mass Arrest of Protestors

by David M. Reutter

The District of Columbia agreed to pay $13,302,500 to settle a class-action lawsuit related to the illegal arrest of 680 people. Those people were arrested on April 15, 2000 in connection with the protest against the Prison Industrial Complex during the International Monetary Fund-World Bank demonstrations. ...

Settlement Allows North Carolina Prisoners to Receive Compensation for Writings

by David M. Reutter

North Carolina’s Department of Corrections (NCDOC) has entered into a settlement agreement that allows prisoners to prepare for publication and receive compensation for manuscripts so long as the prisoner “authorizes a family member to handle all issues and correspondence related to the business aspect of publishing ...

Ex-Cons Face Tougher Job Market in Great Recession

by David M. Reutter

Those who have the black mark of a felony conviction face prejudice in the job market even when the economic picture is rosy. In these times of the Great Recession, that black mark has the ex-con jobless rate six times higher than those without a felony ...

Former President of Florida Sheriff’s Association Enters Plea in Kickback Scheme

In February 2010, former Okaloosa County, Florida Sheriff Charlie Morris pleaded no contest to state racketeering and money laundering charges related to an employee bonus kickback scheme that netted him thousands of dollars.

To enter the plea, Morris was transported from federal prison where he was serving a 71-month sentence ...

Pennsylvania Prisoner Awarded $185,000 in Civil Rights Claim; Harassment Continues

by David M. Reutter

A Pennsylvania federal jury has awarded $185,000 to a prisoner in a civil rights action alleging conspiracy, retaliation, obstruction of access to the courts and defamation of character.

Pennsylvania state prisoner Andre Jacobs prosecuted the lawsuit pro se. His complaint involved events that occurred at SCI-Western ...

Washington Prisoners Need Not Show Prima Facie Case Upon Challenging Prison Discipline

by David M. Reutter

On February 4, 2010, the Washington State Supreme Court held that prisoners challenging prison disciplinary decisions do not have to make a prima facie case of prejudice to obtain review in a personal restraint petition. However, they still must show that the disciplinary hearing was so ...

Georgia Ends Contact Visits for Death Row Prisoners

by David M. Reutter

Three non-execution deaths on Georgia’s death row in as many months, including two suicides, resulted in a focus on conditions for condemned prisoners at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison. The response by prison officials was to end all contact visits with family and loved ones. ...

Successful Appellate Ruling Invalidating Statute Creates Prevailing Party for Attorney Fee Award

by David M. Reutter

The Washington State Supreme Court has held that a litigant who successfully gets an appellate court to vacate a prison disciplinary infraction and declare a statute unconstitutional is a prevailing party under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, entitling him to attorney fees. The Court further held that ...

Sexual Abuse of Youths at Tennessee Juvenile Facility Widespread

by David M. Reutter

A February 2010 news report by The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper, revealed that juvenile offenders are regularly sexually abused at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center.

The investigation followed a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) study that found Woodland Hills had one of the highest rates ...