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Articles by David Reutter

Eighth Circuit: Arkansas Detainee Suffering Fatal Seizure Might Have Been Faking or Might Have Gotten Better

by David M. Reutter

In a maddening decision issued on January 31, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the denial of qualified immunity (QI) to four guards from Arkansas’s Benton County Detention Center (BCDC), in a lawsuit accusing them of deliberate indifference to the serious ...

Suit Proceeds Against CoreCivic by Guard Strip-Searched at Georgia Prison

by David Reutter


On March 13, 2023, the federal court for the Southern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a guard for private prison giant CoreCivic, alleging she was unconstitutionally strip-searched at Wheeler Correctional Facility (WCF).

“Though Defendants attempt to parse the definition ...

Unable to Post Bail, Detainee Starves to Death in Arkansas Jail

by David M. Reutter

A lawsuit filed in federal court for the Western District of Arkansas on January 13, 2023, makes a stunning claim: That a man was left to starve to death in jail because he couldn’t afford bail.

Larry Eugene Price, Jr.,50, was suffering an acute mental health ...

$155 Million Settlement for 10,000 California Prison Guard Supervisors in Wage Lawsuit

by David Reutter

A California Superior Court on December 9, 2022, preliminarily approved a $155 million settlement for about 10,000 current and retired supervising state prison guards in a long-running lawsuit alleging the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) failed to pay supervisors for time worked pre- and post-shift. ...

NaphCare: More Proof That Privatized Healthcare Deals Death and Misery to the Incarcerated to Enhance Profits

by David M. Reutter

A settlement approved by the federal court for the Eastern District of California on January 16, 2024, recalls an all-­too familiar jail story. A wheelchair-­bound detainee named Gregory Cantu was denied anti-­seizure medication after arriving at Kings County Jail in Hanford on a probation violation. Despite ...

HRDC Awarded Over $130,000 in Legal Costs and Fees for Defendant’s “Bad Faith” in Maine Records Lawsuit

by David M. Reutter

On January 16, 2024, Maine’s Superior Court for Kennebec County ordered state officials to pay $130,600.02 in attorney fees and legal costs to PLN’s publisher, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), after making a rare finding that the officials exercised bad faith in repeatedly denying the ...

Seventh Circuit Again Rejects Challenge to Three-Book Limit at Cook County Jail by Now-Dead Detainee

David M. Reutter

On April 6, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of a suit filed by a pretrial detainee challenging the contraband policy at the Cook County Jail (CCJ) in Chicago, after guards took and destroyed approximately 30 of his books.

The lawsuit ...

Sixth Circuit Refuses Michigan Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claim Despite Guard’s Conviction for Battery

by David M. Reutter

On August 16, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a Michigan prisoner’s lawsuit with an outrageous-­sounding opinion that a guard “may have violated a prison use-­of-­force policy or committed a state-­law tort,” yet that “does not necessarily” mean there ...

Parole and Probation Accused of Driving Prison Growth

David M. Reutter

One alternative to incarceration that criminal justice reformers clamor for is probation or parole. A May 2023 report by Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) counted nearly 3.7 million people in the U.S. under some form of community supervision, nearly twice the number held in prisons and jails. The ...

$1.75 Million Settlement Reached in Washington Jail Suicide

by David M. Reutter

The Washington city of Lynnwood agreed on September 20, 2023, to pay $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit alleging guards at the Lynnwood Municipal Jail were negligent in the suicide death of Tirhas Tesfatsion two years before. An investigation after her death found “significant” lapses between ...