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Articles by Derek Gilna

Sixth Circuit Upholds Denial of Interviews with Lucasville Prison Riot Participants

by Derek Gilna

The April 1993 riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville resulted in the deaths of one guard and nine prisoners. Journalists have long tried to interview some of the prisoners involved in that uprising, including Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Keith LaMar – both now on ...

Wisconsin’s Troubled Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls to Close in 2021, New Governor Says

by Derek Gilna

 The Wisconsin Department of Corrections youth facilities at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, located in rural Wisconsin north of Madison, will both close in 2021, Governor Tony Evers said in a January 2019 speech, ratifying a recommendation by previous Governor Scott Walker, ...

Federal Court Enters Nationwide Injunction Banning Separation of Immigrant Families

by Derek Gilna

A June 26, 2018, nationwide injunction by Southern District of California federal district judge Dana M. Sabraw, which ordered the Trump administration to cease separation of immigrant families, effectively ending the “zero tolerance” policy, continues in force while the federal government scrambles to organize an orderly mechanism ...

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 ...