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Articles by Douglas Ankney

New York City Paid McKinsey & Company Millions for Failed Program to Reduce Jail Violence

A December 10, 2019 report from ProPublica said the city of New York paid management consulting firm Mc­Kinsey & Company $27.5 million to reduce violence at jails on Rikers Island. But an investigation by the publication revealed that McKinsey manipulated reform efforts to give an appearance of success, while the data actually showed violence only increased.

McKinsey was hired in 2014 after media reports of an alarming rise in violence at Rikers. In less than two years, serious prisoner violence and use of force by guards had both increased by 50% and the U.S. Attorney’s Office had threatened to take legal action to force reforms.

That September, McKinsey was given a $1.8 million contract to determine the causes of violence at Rikers and propose solutions. But McKinsey had no experience with managing corrections facilities, and it pitched a “proprietary workplace survey” to then-Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte, spotlighting how it helped increase productivity at a strip mine by 50%.

Nevertheless, by March 2015 Mc­Kinsey and corrections officials had settled on a “14-Point Plan” to curb jail violence. The plan’s provisions ranged from adding educational opportunities for prisoners to improving staff training. According to Elizabeth Crowley, former chairperson of ...

$1 Million Paid by Snohomish County Jail to Settle Detainee’s Opioid Withdrawal Death Lawsuit

On October 21, 2019, Snohomish County, Washington, agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit related to the death of Lindsay Kronberger. Kronberger had been a detainee at the Snohomish County Jail (“SCJ”) before she died in January 2014 of causes related to dehydration and opioid withdrawal. The suit was brought by Kronberger’s husband, John T. Gohranson, and by her father, Dale R. Kronberger (“Plaintiffs”).

The suit alleged that on January 3, 2014, the 24-year-old Kronberger was booked into the SCJ.

Kronberger self-reported she was addicted to heroin and answered “yes” when asked if she had withdrawal problems. She told Registered Nurse (“RN”) Joy Maine that she had used heroin earlier that morning. Maine placed Kronberger in the Medical Housing Unit (“MHU”) and put her on detox watch for heroin withdrawal.

Addicts undergoing withdrawal experience symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea. While withdrawal is not fatal, excessive vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can be, and in this case was.

Handwritten “Progress Notes” by medical staff listed Kronberger’s weight as 97 pounds. The following day, staff evaluated Kronberger, observing that her blood pressure was low and her heart rate elevated. By January 5, Kronberger’s ...

Get Celebrity Endorsement and Get Pardoned

by Douglas Ankney

President Trump purchased an ad during the February 2 Super Bowl directed at African American voters that depicted black grandmother Alice Johnson in tears, saying, “I’m free to hug my family. I’m free to start over. This is the greatest day of my life ... I want ...

California: Qualified Attorney Work-Product Protection Applies to Discovery During Habeas Proceedings

by Douglas Ankney

In October 2, 2019, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ruled that the qualified attorney work-product protection doctrine applies in habeas corpus proceedings. In 1997, a jury convicted Samuel Zamudio Jimenez of two counts of murder and sentenced him to death.

Jiminez filed ...

State of New York 50 Percent Liable for Prisoner’s Injury Sustained from Table Saw

by Douglas Ankney

On January 31, 2019, a New York State Court of Claims found the state 50 percent liable for the injuries that prisoner Ralph Whedon sustained when operating a table saw at the Franklin Correctional Facility (FCF).

In August 2015, while Whedon was assigned to the work program ...

Orange County Pays $299K to Settle Claim that Deputy Forbade Nurse to Treat Prisoner

by Douglas Ankney

On August 13, 2019, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a $299,000 settlement in a suit brought by a jail nurse who alleged a deputy refused to allow her to treat a prisoner.

In August 2016, Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Jennifer Westfield was passing out medications ...

Maryland to Pay $1.4 Million Settlement and Provide Assistance to Blind Prisoners

by Douglas Ankney

On June 5, 2019, the State of Maryland agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit brought by current and former blind prisoners housed at the Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI). The terms of the settlement also require the state to provide blind prisoners with assistance to ...

Jury Awards Former Virginia Prisoner Over $1 Million After Finding of Medical Malpractice against Prison Doctor

by Douglas Ankney

On July 19, 2019, a federal jury in Richmond, Virginia awarded former prisoner John Kinlaw $708,671 in compensatory damages plus $625,000 in punitive damages after finding in his favor on claims of medical malpractice and negligence against Armor Correctional Health Services (Armor) and its employee, Dr. Charles ...

Arizona Prisoners Required to Pay Medical Expenses for Overdoses

by Douglas Ankney

On March 15, 2019, the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC) implemented a change to its disciplinary procedures for prisoners. Policy No. 803 now mandates that prisoners requiring hospital treatment for substance abuse must repay the cost of “all medical related expenses,” including ambulance transport, as well as ...

New Jersey County Not Entitled to Defense or Indemnification by the State in Suit Alleging Exposure of Jail Detainees

by Douglas Ankney

In an unpublished decision, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, held that Salem County is entitled to neither defense nor indemnification by the state in a class-action lawsuit brought by former jail detainees who allege the county intentionally required them to expose their breasts and ...