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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Prison Walls No Barrier to America’s Deadly Opioid Crisis

by Douglas Ankney

When Missouri prisoner Robert Hebert learned in January 2023 that he had less than two years remaining on his prison sentence, the father of six and his family shared in the excitement. He planned to look for work in the concrete industry. Along with his wife, Rachelle ...

Ohio Supreme Court Awards Prisoner $700 From Sheriff Who Failed to Comply with Public Records Request

by Douglas Ankney

On April 19, 2023, the Supreme Court of Ohio awarded prisoner Franklin Woods $700 in statutory damages against the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) for failure to comply with a public-records request.

On August 1, 2022, while Woods was incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, he sent ...

Eighth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity to Arkansas Guard Accused of Provoking One Prisoner to Attack Another

by Douglas Ankney

On August 23, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the judgment of a lower court in favor of Arkansas prisoner Deverick Scott, who claimed that a guard with the state Department of Corrections (DOC) provoked a fellow prisoner to attack Scott in ...

Arizona Governor Creates Independent Prison Oversight Commission

by Douglas Ankney

On January 25, 2023, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) signed Executive Order No. 6, establishing an Independent Prison Oversight Commission (IPOC). Created to address the “urgent need to provide transparency and accountability of Arizona’s corrections system,” Hobbs said that IPOC’s responsibilities include safeguarding the integrity of the ...

$30,000 Paid by Pennsylvania to Prisoner Who Alleged Guards Beat and Tortured Him

by Douglas Ankney

On December 8, 2022, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agreed to pay state prisoner Warren Easley $30,000 to settle claims that guards and medical staff at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Frackville violated his civil rights.

Easley filed his suit pro se in federal court for the ...

Number Held in U.S. Prisons and Jails Dipped in Pandemic’s Second Year

by Douglas Ankney

According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS Report) in December 2022, “the number of persons under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities in the United States declined 1%, from 1,221,200 to 1,204,300” between December 31, 2020, ...

Court Orders Preliminary Injunctive Relief for Transgender Massachusetts Prisoners

by Douglas Ankney

In consolidated cases, the Massachusetts Superior Court for Suffolk County ordered preliminary injunctive relief on December 30, 2022, for a pair of transgender women incarcerated at the state’s Souza Baranowski Correctional Center (SBCC).

Each woman filed a suit, which the Court consolidated. In the lead case, Jerome ...

$2,060,000 Awarded to Former New York Prisoner Left Quadriplegic After Assault by Guards

by Douglas Ankney

On February 21, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered judgment in favor of a now-paroled prisoner against the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), after an assault by guards left him paralyzed. Based upon a jury’s verdict in ...

The Almost Unknown Turkey Bowl and Black Sheep

by Douglas Ankney

While fans of college football get excited in November about upcoming bowl games, few ever mention the Turkey Bowl, likely because almost none of those fans will be in attendance. Played annually – except for the unusual 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19 – the game draws ...

Virginia Prisoner Wins Habeas Release on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim

by Douglas Ankney

There was good news and bad news for former Virginia prisoner Jeramiah Chamberlain on December 22, 2021. That’s when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed dismissal of his suit against officials with the state Department of Corrections (DOC), alleging they failed to treat ...