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Articles by Derek Gilna

Prison Policy Institute Study Says Juvenile Justice System Problems Mirror Adult Issues

by Derek Gilna

The Prison Policy Institute (PPI) in 2018 published a study of the juvenile justice system, which concluded that it “mirrors” many of the same problems of the adult criminal justice system.
This study is important in that the average daily population of juvenile detainees averages 53,000, many ...

Illinois Ends Medical Co-Pays for Prisoners, 
But DOC Healthcare Criticized

by Derek Gilna

In June 2018, Illinois lawmakers voted to end the practice of charging $5.00 co-payments to state prisoners for each medical visit – a disproportionate fee, since prison wages in the state range from $0.09 to $0.89 per hour. The move came shortly before the release of a ...

Vera Institute Announces Increase in Federal 
Funding to House Former Prisoners

by Derek Gilna

On August 30, 2018, the Vera Institute of Justice announced an expansion of federal assistance to provide housing for prisoners who are reentering society. The “Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative,” a program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), seeks to ...

New Mexico DOC Guards Receive $2.5 Million Settlement for Sexual Harassment

by Derek Gilna

Six female prison guards employed by the New Mexico Corrections Department (DOC) at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility (CNMCF) in Los Lunas entered into a $2.5 million settlement with the department in late January 2018, though the terms of the agreement were not made public until ...

Audit Criticizes Milwaukee County Jail’s Contracted Medical Services

by Derek Gilna

In August 2018, a comprehensive audit report revealed that the private healthcare provider at Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County Jail and House of Correction (HOC) was not in compliance with the terms of a court-ordered consent decree requiring specific staffing levels for medical personnel. The time period under review ...

Colorado County Pays $800,000 for Latest Excessive Force Settlement

by Derek Gilna

Philippa Grace McCully, a 21-year-old college student and cancer survivor arrested in 2014 for erratic driving that she blamed on a reaction to various prescription psychiatric drugs, was taken to a jail in El Paso, Colorado for processing.

There, the 100-pound, 5-foot-tall woman was slammed to the ...

Seventh Circuit: Illinois Prisoner Entitled to Retrial After Appointment of Counsel Denied

by Derek Gilna

On August 20, 2018, the Seventh Circuit granted a new trial to a prisoner whose multiple motions for appointment of counsel were denied in a federal lawsuit against guards employed by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Fredrick Walker, incarcerated at the maximum-security Pontiac Correctional Center, claimed that ...

Seventh Circuit Remands Lawsuit Over Book Confiscation at Cook County Jail

by Derek Gilna

In an August 23, 2018 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed in part and remanded a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a former Cook County, Illinois prisoner who alleged jail officials had confiscated books and magazines sent to him ...

Lawsuits Filed Over South Dakota Replacing Prison Law Libraries with Tablets

by Derek Gilna

Two federal lawsuits were filed by South Dakota prisoners in May and June 2018 against the state Department of Corrections (DOC) over the introduction of tablet computers to replace prison law libraries and paralegals and attorneys who assist prisoners. Billed as a cost-saving measure, the tablets are ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates ADA Summary Judgment Against Cook County Sheriff

by Derek Gilna

On July 30, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a partial summary judgment order issued by a district court that found the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois liable for various violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

After holding an evidentiary ...