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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Contemporary Slavery: The Not-So-Secret Practice of Forced Labor Inside U.S. Prisons

by Douglas Ankney


“If we refused to work we had to stand on top of a wooden box in the sun. It was called ‘doin’ the scarecrow’ and some guys passed out from the heat”—Florida prisoner Ronald Smith, quoted by formerly incarcerated journalist Ryan Moser in Slavery and ...

New York Court of Appeals Lets DOCCS Skate from Liability for Doctor’s Malpractice on State Prisoner

by Douglas Ankney


On December 14, 2023, the New York Court of Appeals refused to hold officials with the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) liable for malpractice committed on a state prisoner by Dr. Jun Wang. Why? Because Wang is an employee of private pathology group ...

Private Prison Transport Guards Sentenced to Prison for Raping Detainees

by Douglas Ankney


Two former guards with Inmate Services Corporation (ISC), a private contractor that provided prisoner transports across the U.S., have been sentenced to federal prison for raping detainees in their charge. Marquet Johnson, 45, was sentenced on April 16, 2024, to 30 years in federal prison followed ...

Botched Idaho Execution Halted

by Douglas Ankney


On February 28, 2024, Idaho halted the execution of Thomas Eugene Creech, 73, after the all-volunteer team assigned to kill him was unable to find a suitable vein to establish the intravenous connection necessary for his lethal injection.

Creech, convicted of five murders in three states, ...

$500,000 Jury Award Cut to $250,000 for Pennsylvania Prisoner Brutally Beaten by Guards

Lack of expert testimony halved a $500,000 award made by a federal jury to Pennsylvania prisoner Michael Sherman Allen on November 1, 2023, for injuries sustained in a brutal 2019 beating at the hands of Robert Hollowood and fellow guards at State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Fayette.

Allen, who is ...

Federal Watchdog Slams BOP for Lapses in Epstein Death, Pushes Back Against Rumors It Wasn’t Suicide

by Douglas Ankney

On June 27, 2023, the Office of U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz (OIG) released a report corroborating a New York City medical examiner’s conclusion that the death of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was a suicide but faulting the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for ...

Over 5,000 Prisoners Federally Sentenced Every Month

by Douglas Ankney

In the nine months ending on June 30, 2023, there were 47,931 sentences for federal crime, driving more than 5,000 prisoners into custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons every month, according to data released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission on September 21, 2023.

Most of those ...

HIV and Incarcerated People: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

by Douglas Ankney

In June 2023, Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) reviewed data from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics on HIV and people in America’s prisons, finding that infection rates for the virus—which has no cure—remain stubbornly higher behind bars, running three times the overall rate for all those living ...

Was There a Plot to Discredit Former Missouri Sheriff Investigating Corruption?

by Douglas Ankney

Jeff Burkett resigned as Sheriff of Missouri’s Iron County on January 31, 2024, saying if he stayed to defend a civil suit filed to remove him from office, his testimony might undermine his defense to pending criminal charges.

As PLN reported, the now-former Sheriff was arrested in ...

Regarding Death Penalty, Biden’s Actions Don’t Align with His Mouth

by Douglas Ankney

In an 1829 letter, Pres. Andrew Jackson (D) told the Creek Nation of Indigenous Americans that he was speaking “straight, and not with a forked tongue” when he promised those who evacuated from Alabama would enjoy new lands in Mississippi “forever.” Almost two centuries later, another Democratic ...