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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Derek Gilna

Transgender Prisoner’s Lawsuit Sparks BOP Policy Change

A lawsuit filed by a tranmasssgender federal prisoner in Massachusetts has resulted in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) making appropriate medical care available “to [prisoners] who believe they are the wrong gender,” according to a May 31, 2011 memo issued to all BOP wardens. Previous BOP policy limited treatment of ...

GAO Report Examines Contraband Cell Phone Use in BOP Facilities

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

A September 2011 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which reviewed the use of cell phones by federal prisoners, recommended various options to reduce the recent spike in such contraband devices. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), “a number ...

Misconduct at U.S. Army Lab Taints Hundreds of Military Prosecutions

Pentagon investigators are looking into allegations that an analyst at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL) botched hundreds of DNA tests, casting doubt about lab results in hundreds of prosecutions. An accused soldier who was forced to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct that were allegedly verified by ...

U.S. Sentencing Commission Calls Federal Mandatory Minimums “Excessively Severe”

In a 645-page report prepared by the U.S. Sentencing Commission for Congress, released in October 2011, the Commission found that federal “mandatory minimum” sentences are harsh and unjust – especially in cases where there is no physical harm or threat of physical harm. The study was the first thorough examination ...

Vietnam Pardons 10,244 Prisoners but Few Dissidents

Two Vietnamese activists jailed for advocating democracy were among more than 10,000 prisoners granted amnesty by Vietnam’s government on August 25, 2011 in celebration of National Day. Nguyen Van Tinh and Tran Duc Thach had been sentenced in 2009 to three-and-a-half and three years in jail, respectively – Tinh ...

Former Delaware Prisoner Settles Sexual Assault Suit for $287,500 and Policy Changes

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

Former Delaware state prisoner Michelle Bloothoofd has settled a federal lawsuit filed against the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC), the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution (BWCI), Warden Patrick Ryan, guard Anthony Antonio and other prison officials, after she was sexually assaulted by Antonio on ...

Bureau of Prisons Houses More “Terrorists” than Guantanamo

According to the New York Times, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) confines more than twice as many prisoners for “terrorism-related” offenses than the controversial and oft-maligned U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“As of October 1, 2011, the ... [BOP] reported that it was holding 362 people ...

CIA Slammed for Torture Abuses at Secret Lithuanian Prisons

Despite a lawsuit filed in the European Court of Human Rights by Saudi-born alleged terrorist Abu Zubaydah, Lithuanian prosecutors have declined to pursue charges related to two CIA-operated prisons located in that country. Human rights groups Amnesty International and Reprieve have claimed, according to the Associated Press, that Zubaydah was ...

Arrests of Federal Prison Guards Soar 90% Over Past Decade; Misconduct Cases Double

According to a September 2011 report by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), arrests of federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) guards increased almost 90% over the previous ten years, while staffing in the BOP grew only 24% over the same period of time. From ...

Federal Sex Offender Civil Commitment Process Under Fire

Among other provisions, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 allows the federal government to indefinitely detain “sexually dangerous” offenders through a civil commitment process, which requires mandatory court hearings after such offenders have been certified by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as eligible for ...

 

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