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Articles by Derek Gilna

New Jersey Comptroller Criticizes, Questions Halfway House Contracts

In a June 15, 2011 letter and separate audit report, the New Jersey State Comptroller’s office sharply criticized a number of issues related to the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) contracts with private halfway houses. Singled out for special attention was Education and Health Centers of America, Inc. (EHCA), a ...

Most Second Chance Act Money Goes to Government Agencies

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

When the Second Chance Act (SCA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, the legislation was intended to fund programs to help former prisoners find jobs, reintegrate into society and stay out of jail. Years later, however, it appears that ...

Mississippi Supreme Court Denies Equity Court Review of Death Penalty Cases

By Derek Gilna

The complaint of sixteen death-row inmates in Mississippi which sought Chancery Court review of the adequacy of their legal representation has been denied by the Mississippi Supreme Court for lack of jurisdiction based upon the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act (UPCCRA).

The prisoner claims revolved around the ...

Ninth Circuit agrees with Defendant and Reverses Contempt Conviction

By Derek Gilna

Although agreeing with the government that the defendant, James Kimsey was "no saint," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Kimsey that he could not be held in contempt for failure to obey a "rule" prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law that "cannot serve as a ...

Federal Investigation, Prosecution Targets Indiana Sheriff’s Officers

Several Lake County, Indiana Sheriff’s Department employees were the subject of a federal investigation into a gun-running scheme that resulted in criminal charges.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich placed six staff members on administrative leave and stripped them of their law enforcement powers in May 2011 after they were ...

Tenth Circuit Voids Albuquerque’s Attempt to Ban Sex Offenders from Libraries

In a case of first impression, on January 20, 2012 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s judgment invalidating an ordinance of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico that prohibited registered sex offenders from entering the City’s public libraries.

The district court had granted summary ...

Michigan Supreme Court Reverses Its Own Decision Allocating Greater Funding for State’s Public Defender Offices

By Derek Gilna

In an unusual decision, criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Michigan Supreme Court on July 17 reversed itself and threw out a lawsuit that would have required the State of Michigan to provide more funds for poor people accused of crimes to hire attorneys. "We ...

Human Rights Watch Report Faults ICE for Improper Treatment of Mentally Disabled Aliens

By Derek Gilna

A 2010 study by Human Rights Watch highlights abuses suffered by mentally disabled aliens, both legal and illegal. According to Human Rights Watch, "Every year, several hundred thousand people in the United States are arrested for possible deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The vast majority ...

Fourth Circuit Reverses Injunction Relating to Publication of Social Security Number on Virginia Land-Transfer Records

By Derek Gilna

The appeal arose from a First Amendment challenge to Virginia's Personal Information Privacy Act, Va. Code Sec. 59.1-442 to 444, part of which prohibits “[i]ntentionally communicat[ing] another individual's social security number to the general public.” The district court ruled that this was ...

Former Ohio Sheriff Sentenced to One Year of House Arrest for Theft and Ethics Violations

By Derek Gilna

Gerald T. McFaul was Sheriff of Cuyahoga County, Ohio for decades, but the 76-year old Democrat was contrite as he apologized to the people of Cuyahoga County for theft and ethics violations. He could have been sentenced for up to ten years in jail, but Judge Inderlied ...