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Articles by David Reutter

$5 Million Settlement in Death of Georgia Prisoner Left by Guards in Cell on Fire

by David M. Reutter


On November 16, 2023, the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to pay $5 million to the estate of Thomas Henry Giles, 31, a mentally ill prisoner who died after guards left him for hours locked inside a cell on fire at Augusta State Medical ...

Watchdog Finds “Alarming Conditions” at BOP Women’s Lockup in Florida

by David M. Reutter


When confronted with prisoner complaints, officials often produce glowing inspection reports and blame prisoners for destroying prison infrastructure. All too often, though, inept supervision is to blame for failure to maintain facilities. As many prisoners will tell you, when an inspection is looming, the prisonis ...

Report Finds Current Path of Florida Prison System “Unsustainable”

by David M. Reutter


Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) leaders have come before the state legislature repeatedly to warn that it is a system operating in crisis. In a presentation on November 15, 2023, by global consulting firm KPMG, which was selected in 2022 by the state Department of ...

$700,000 Jury Verdict for Wisconsin Prisoner Denied Due Process in Disciplinary Hearing

by David M. Reutter


On November 27, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin denied state prison officials’ motion for new trial. That left standing a jury verdict finding that prisoner Adam Young was denied procedural due process in a disciplinary action, awarding him $700,000. ...

$500,000 Settlement for Colorado Prisoner Forced to Defecate in Bucket for 12 Days

by David M. Reutter

On June 14, 2023, the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve a state prisoner’s allegation that his Eighth Amendment guarantee of freedom from cruel and unusual punishment was violated when he was restrained and isolated in a “dry cell” without running ...

$125,000 Settlement for Wisconsin Prisoner’s Claim That Guards Set Him Up For Stabbing

Eighth Circuit Says Lower Court “Tilted the Scales Too Far” for Jailers in Missouri Detainee’s Fatal Overdose

by David M. Reutter

On October 19, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed denial of qualified immunity (QI) to officials at St. Louis’ “Workhouse” jail in a suit over a detainee’s fatal overdose, finding the lower court “tilted the scales too far in the plaintiff’s ...

$10 Million Reimbursed for Vacated Washington Drug Possession Convictions

by David M. Reutter

In September 2023, just two months into a program to rebate fines and fees for vacated drug convictions, Washington state courts had paid out more than $9.4 million. That’s nearly 20% of a $50 million fund created by state lawmakers after the state Supreme Court found ...

Wyoming Supreme Court Grants Immunity to DOC in Prison COVID-19 Vaccine Mix-Up

by David M. Reutter

On October 26, 2023, the Supreme Court of Wyoming held that the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act shielded the state from liability in a lawsuit alleging a nurse negligently injected three prisoners with a COVID-19 vaccine other than the one listed on the ...

Dismissal Affirmed of Florida Prisoner’s Claim for Exposure to Human Waste

by David M. Reutter

On December 11, 2023, the Supreme Court of the U.S. declined to issue a writ of certiorari to hear a Florida prisoner’s appeal to a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, finding no constitutional violation by exposure to urine and feces ...