Skip navigation

Articles by Derek Gilna

Federal Judge in Louisiana Issues Sweeping Opinion Finding Numerous Eighth Amendment, ADA and RA Violations at Angola

by Derek Gilna

Louisiana State Prison (LSP) in Angola, Louisiana, was found “deliberately indifferent” to the Eighth Amendment rights of its nearly 6,400 prisoners to receive competent medical care, according to an opinion issued by a federal district court judge, which she refused to reconsider in a ruling handed down ...

Human Rights Defense Center Prevails in Censorship Lawsuit Against Napa County Jail, California

by Derek Gilna

Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), the parent company of Prison Legal News (PLN), entered into a stipulation and consent decree involving Napa County, California’s jail, on June 11, 2020, settling a federal civil action that ended what HRDC termed “a Defendants’ Mail Policy (that) is ...

California State Auditor’s Report Faults Counties for Waste and Poor Oversight of State Funds Used in “Public Safety Realignment”

by Derek Gilna

A report by the California State Auditor found that Los Angles, Alameda, and Fresno counties have failed to properly account for funds provided to them by the state of California to house prisoners transferred from state prisons to relieve overcrowding. The report is entitled, “Public Safety Realignment: ...

The Fight Over Cellphones in Prisons Rages On

by Derek Gilna

The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant shut-downs have focused attention on the need for connection between all members of society, and for many prisoners, denied in-person visits, a contraband cellphone has helped them keep in touch with family. But that didn’t stop the Mississippi Supreme Court from affirming ...

District Court Extends Armstrong Order to Five Additional California Prisons

Judge Orders Facilities Housing Disabled Prisoners
to Install Surveillance and Body Cameras

by Derek Gilna and Doug Ankney

On March 11, 2021, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in the Northern District of California ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to require its guards to wear body cameras and install ...

HRDC Settles Censorship Lawsuit with Johnson County, Kansas Jail for $50,000 and Policy Changes

Mississippi Joins Illinois and Few Other States Prioritizing Vaccination of State Prisoners to Slow Spread of COVID-19

“We talked to the guys and ladies upfront ...

COVID-19 Depletes State Prison Staffs Nationwide, Forcing Consolidation of Facilities and Increasing Risk to All

COVID-19 Continues Rampage Through Pennsylvania State Prisons

Colorado’s Governor Bows to Pressure in Denying State Prisoners Priority COVID-19 Vaccinations