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Articles by David Reutter

$900,000 Settlement Reached With Ohio Jail in Detainee’s Fatal Seizure

by David M. Reutter

In October 2023, an attorney representing the estate of an Ohio pretrial jail detainee who suffered a fatal seizure after her June 2018 incarceration said the parties had reached a $900,000 settlement agreement.

The announcement by R. Craig McLaughlin of Elk & Elk Co., LTD in ...

Commissary and Food Service Privatization Strands Florida Prisoners in ‘Food Desert’

by David M. Reutter

Much has been made of the “food desert” where America’s poorest citizens live: inner-city ghettos and rural backwaters where no grocery store is found, forcing impoverished residents—most lacking a car—to shop for food in high-priced and poorly-stocked gas stations and convenience stores.

But prisons also house ...

Virginia Settles Suit Over Prisoner’s Death from Untreated Hepatitis C for $700,000

by David M. Reutter

On April 5, 2023, a settlement was reached between the estate of a Virginia prisoner who died from untreated Hepatitis C and his physician with the state Department of Corrections (DOC). The agreement, which provided a $700,000 payout, followed a ruling by the U.S. Court of ...

$3 Million Settlement for Illinois Pretrial Detainee’s Opioid Withdrawal Death

by David M. Reutter

A $3 million settlement in the 2020 withdrawal death of Illinois pretrial detainee Elissa A. Lindhorst at the Madison County Jail was fully executed on May 10, 2023.

Lindhorst, 28, was another casualty of the opioid epidemic that has caught so many law enforcement and jail ...

Second Circuit Says New York Prisons Must Answer for Denying Court-Ordered Rehab

by David M. Reutter

On July 4, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed denial of qualified immunity (QI) to New York state prison officials who refused a prisoner’s judicially ordered enrollment in the state’s Shock Incarceration Program.

For a controlled substance offense, Michael Matzell was ...

Ninth Circuit Revives Challenge by Federal Prisoner in Arizona to BOP’s 300-Minute Monthly Phone Cap

by David M. Reutter

On July 3, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policy that caps a prisoner’s phone calls at a total of 300 minutes per month.

The suit was ...

Resistance to Bail Reform Powered By Untruthful Scaremongering

by David M. Reutter

A July 10, 2023, report by Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) showed that measures of public safety after cash bail reform reflected “decreases or negligible increases in crime or re-arrest rates.” The report revealed that the type of pretrial reform did not matter, the results were the ...

Fifth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity to Louisiana Prison Chief for Prolonging Prisoner’s Detention with Sex Offender Misclassification

by David M. Reutter

On July 17, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed denial of qualified immunity (QI) to Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) Secretary James LeBlanc in a prisoner’s claim alleging his misclassification as a sex offender illegally extended his sentence ...

Restorative Justice Program Boosts South Carolina Prison and Public Safety

by David M. Reutter

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Amy L. Solomon, Director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Director Nancy La Vigne visited South Carolina’s Turbeville Correctional Institution (TCI) in June 2023 to inspect the Community Opportunity Restoration Enhancement (CORE) ...

Fifth Circuit: Texas Jail Guard’s Use of Taser on Compliant Detainee Unconstitutional

by David M. Reutter

On July 24, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concluded that “precedents conclusively establish that the use of a taser on a non-threatening and cooperative subject is an unconstitutionally excessive use of force.” The Court, therefore, reversed summary judgment for a Texas ...