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Articles by Derek Gilna

BOP’s Furlough Notification Policy Not to be Addressed for Seven Years

A September 2010 report by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice cast light on deficiencies with the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) furlough policy, and in doing so inadvertently highlighted the power of the federal prison employees’ union to delay changes in BOP policies.

In ...

Ninth Circuit Holds Private Prison Companies Can Be Sued Under Bivens for Violating Federal Prisoner’s Rights

On June 7, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Richard Lee Pollard, a prisoner in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) at the Taft Correctional Institution (TCI) in California, could assert a Bivens claim against employees of a private prison company. ...

Report: New Jersey DOC Should Upgrade Prisoner Reentry Programs

A report by Rutgers University released in January 2010 concluded that the New Jersey Department of Corrections could be doing more to help prisoners successfully reintegrate into society upon their release. The report was based on the results of a survey of 4,000 prisoners completed in August 2009, comprising about ...

Federal Prisoner’s Death at FCI Pekin Triggers FBI Investigation

The November 13, 2009 death of Adam Montoya, a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Pekin, Illinois, resulted in an investigation by the FBI.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that “an autopsy concluded that the 36-year-old inmate suffered from no fewer than three serious illnesses – cancer, hepatitis, ...

Study Finds Discriminatory Jury Selection in Southern States

A study by the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit legal organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, has found widespread discrimination in jury selection in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. The discriminatory practices appear to be most prevalent in serious criminal cases, including capital ...

Kentucky Jail Under Investigation After Prisoner Dies; Sexual Abuse, Financial Mismanagement Also Alleged

The Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, a jail in Paintsville, Kentucky, became the focus of a Kentucky State Police investigation after the death of a prisoner in March 2009. Additionally, a jail guard was accused of sexual harassment and later indicted. Those incidents followed allegations of financial mismanagement related to ...

UNICOR-Made Military Helmets Recalled, Production Suspended

The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into military contracts issued to ArmorSource, an Ohio company, and then subcontracted to Federal Prison Industries (FPI), commonly known as UNICOR, following the recall of 44,000 potentially defective combat helmets. According to U.S. Representative Chris Carney, “FPI has not met protective ...

Kansas No Longer a Leader in Post-Release Prisoner Programs

The Kansas program that as recently as two years ago was cited as a model for reintegrating prisoners into society after their release no longer exists, according to state Rep. Pat Colloton, who heads the House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice.
Despite hard statistics that showed recidivism rates for ...

Federal Rapid REPAT Program Not Working in Rhode Island

A federally-funded program designed to help states remove illegal immigrants held in state prison systems if they agree to immediate deportation from the U.S. has had no impact in Rhode Island, according to Steve Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union.

The Rapid REPAT (Removal of ...

Political Patronage Scandal Rocks Massachusetts Probation Department

A May 2010 investigative report in the Boston Globe took the Massachusetts Probation Department to task for bypassing qualified candidates for available job positions, instead employing at least 250 friends, relatives and financial backers of politicians and top court officials. According to the Globe, “[r]eports of irregularities in the [hiring] ...