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Articles by David Reutter

$120,000 Paid to Muslim Detainees for Discrimination by Maryland Jail

by David M. Reutter

On March 31, 2023, the federal court for the District of Maryland granted dismissal to a suit by a former detainee at the Prince George’s County lockup, after he and co-Plaintiffs accepted a settlement resolving their claims that the county Department of Corrections (DOC) operated under ...

HRDC Granted Injunction to End Censorship in Arkansas Jail

by David M. Reutter

On March 31, 2023, the federal court for the Western District of Arkansas concluded that a “postcard-only” policy at the Baxter County Correctional Center (BCCC) constituted a de facto blanket ban on publications, in violation of the First Amendment rights of the Human Rights Defense Center ...

$50,002 Jury Award to Illinois Prisoner Retaliated Against for Daughter’s Facebook Posts

by David M. Reutter

On March 30, 2023, a jury sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois awarded $50,002 in damages to state prisoner Larry ‘Rocky’ Harris on his claim that prison officials punished and transferred him to a less desirable lockup because of what ...

As e-Messaging Takes Off in U.S. Prisons, Complaints Over Service and Costs Multiply

by David M. Reutter

Historically, prisoners have been largely left out of the technology wave changing the way the rest of the world communicates and does business. It wasn’t until March 2009 that the first phones for prisoner use were installed by the Texas Department Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Before then, ...

Nevada Pays $75,000 for Religious Discrimination Claims of Prisoners in Episcopal and The Way Faith Groups

by David M. Reutter

On March 6, 2023, the Nevada Department of Corrections (DOC) reached an agreement with a group of state prisoners to settle claims that a change in chapel schedule substantially burdened the exercise of their religion, in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the federal ...

Challenge Survives to Maryland County’s Cash Bond Program

by David M. Reutter

Finding that changes in pretrial release procedures of Prince George’s County “may or may not be ameliorative,” the federal court for the District of Maryland on June 7, 2023, refused to dismiss a complaint filed by a group of pretrial detainees who claim the county’s bond ...

Former Prisoner Uses “Look Back” Window to Sue for Sexual Abuse at Shuttered New York Prison

by David M. Reutter

“For decades, women incarcerated in New York state prisons have been raped, assaulted, sexually abused, harassed, and verbally degraded” by male guards, as officials “turned a blind eye to the sexual misconduct.” That explosive allegation was made in a lawsuit filed on November 29, 2022, seeking ...

Missouri Legalizes Marijuana and Expunges Criminal Records

by David M. Reutter

By June 8, 2023, misdemeanor criminal records of those previously convicted in Missouri of a nonviolent marijuana-related offense were scheduled to be expunged. Felony expungement is set to follow by December 8, 2023. Though some counties have dragged their feet, the process is underway to implement ...

Washington State Initiative to Expand Jail Ballot Access Faces Local Pushback

by David M. Reutter

As of January 23, 2023, only $250,000 had been tapped of a $2.5 million allocation made by the Washington legislature in 2022 for grants to counties to ease ballot access for those in jail.

Many people in jail are eligible to vote because they are being ...

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Stripped of Jail Commissary Control After $500,000 in Inventory Goes Missing

by David M. Reutter

Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Council took control of the county jail commissary on March 28, 2023, after a watchdog found over $500,000 worth of items were missing. The investigation also found that monies from the canteen fund were misappropriated by the Sheriff’s Office, which has been operating ...