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Articles by David Reutter

Prison Food and Commissary Services: A Recipe for Disaster

by David M. Reutter

Food plays an integral role in our lives. It not only provides the nutrition necessary to sustain our existence, it feeds the sense of community we all crave. Social bonds are made as we break bread with those who sit and dine with us at the ...

Virginia Parole Board Changes “Three-Strikes” Interpretation

by David M. Reutter

Virginia’s parole board is changing a policy under which the state’s “three-strikes” law was used to deny parole to 262 prisoners who previously had never been incarcerated before their current charges. The change came on the heels of an investigative report by the Virginian-Pilot, which found ...

Tennessee Judge Ends Sentence Reductions for Prisoners Who Agree to Sterilization; Receives Reprimand

by David Reutter

A Tennessee state court judge has reversed course on a controversial sentence reduction program following an uproar from civil rights and prisoners’ rights advocates. He later received a public letter of reprimand from the Board of Judicial Conduct.

White County General Sessions Judge Sam E. Benningfield, Jr ...

Retaliatory “Rough Ride” by Prison Guards States Eighth Amendment Claim

by David Reutter

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Virginia state prisoner had stated a claim for violation of his constitutional rights when guards gave him a “rough ride” in a prison van in retaliation for filing grievances and lawsuits.

Paul C. Thompson was placed in handcuffs ...

Numerous Deaths, Sealed Settlements in North Carolina Jails

by David M. Reutter

After two North Carolina prisoners died in county jails, lawsuits filed by their families resulted in settlements. Under state law, the details of those agreements should have been public record; in fact, in the absence of accepted standards for jail health care or strong regulatory oversight ...

Guards Sentenced for Beating Prisoners at Kentucky Jail

by David M. Reutter

Three Kentucky River Regional Jail guards have been sentenced to federal prison terms for beating prisoners in two separate incidents – including one where a prisoner died.

In 2013, guards Damon Wayne Hickman and William C. Howell entered the cell of Larry Trent, 54, to remove ...

Coast Guard's Detention Based on Ethnicity Violates Fourth Amendment

by David M. Reutter

 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that removal proceedings against an alien must be terminated because Coast Guard officers committed an egregious Fourth Amendment violation, plus violated an immigration regulation when they seized him based on his Latin ethnicity alone.

Louis E. Sanchez, 45, entered ...

Judge Threatens Arizona Officials with Contempt Over Inadequate Prisoner Medical Care

by David M. Reutter

On October 10, 2017, a federal district court in Arizona issued an order requiring officials with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of a 2014 court-enforced settlement agreement. U.S. Magistrate Judge David K. Duncan also ...

2 Georgia officers forced out over racist Facebook posts targeting black motorists

By David Reutter

Two white Georgia law enforcement officers were forced out of their positions after racist and sexist remarks they exchanged on Facebook were uncovered.

            The officers were McIntosh County Sheriff deputies when the comments were exchanged. One joke referee to "colored people" and the other used the ...

Reason for Missing Deadline Did Not Reach Level of Excusable Neglect

by David Reutter

The First Circuit Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff’s failure to oppose the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a timely fashion could not be considered excusable neglect.

Patrick Skrabec was arrested in December 2012 for threatening to commit a crime and disturbing a school assembly ...