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Articles by Douglas Ankney

$100,000 Settlement for Suicide of Mentally Ill Prisoner Repeatedly Raped

by Douglas Ankney

On February 27, 2019, the State of Hawaii and a prison medical contractor agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Helen Coma, the mother of 32-year-old Jonathan Ibana. 

Ibana, incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF), killed himself on March 11, 2013 – ...

Seventh Circuit Reverses District Court’s Denial of Blind Prisoner’s Request for Counsel

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying a blind prisoner’s motion to appoint counsel.

James V. Pennewell was blind in his left eye due to retinal detachment when he began serving a prison sentence on February 3, 2015 at ...

Commander of Guantanamo Bay Military Prison Fired

by Douglas Ankney

Navy Rear Admiral John Ring, commander of the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, commonly known as GITMO, was relieved of his position on April 27, 2019. Admiral Craig Faller, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, met with Ring and informed him that he was being fired ...

Missouri DOC Costs State Another $600,000 in Sexual Harassment Settlement

by Douglas Ankney

A lack of basic respect for female employees, as well as any notion of appropriate workplace behavior, continues to plague state agencies in Missouri, most notably the state’s Department of Corrections (DOC). And the cost to taxpayers is staggering. Lawsuits against the state, including those over sexual ...

New York: $655,000 Award after State Found 100% Responsible for Prisoner Assault

by Douglas Ankney

A New York Court of Claims held the state was 100% responsible for a prisoner-on-prisoner assault that resulted in severe injuries, and awarded $655,000 in damages.

Perez Aughtry, 37, testified that around noon on July 27, 2012, he had finished showering and was drying off near the ...

Correlation Between Dyslexia and Criminal Behavior; First Step Act to Require Screening, Treatment

by Douglas Ankney

“When you can’t read, you see no other way out,” said actor Ameer Baraka. “As a kid, I used to ask God to make me a drug dealer, because I knew in order to be someone in life you have to learn to read, and I couldn’t.” ...

Michigan: Settlement in Class-Action Suit by Prisoners with Hearing Disabilities

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has approved a final settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service (MPAAS) on behalf of about 200 deaf and hard of hearing prisoners held by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC).  ...

Scammers Deprive Prisoners with Legitimate Substance Abuse Problems of BOP Drug Treatment

by Douglas Ankney

An industry composed of prison consultants charges thousands of dollars to help people prepare for life behind bars. One service they provide is information about the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) offered by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Federal prisoners with nonviolent convictions who complete the ...

Pennsylvania Prisoners’ Cigarette Stashes to Go Up in Smoke

by Douglas Ankney

Effective July 1, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) banned tobacco use by staff and prisoners at all state prisons. Announced by DOC Secretary John Wetzel in March, the new rule means that cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, tobacco substitutes, lighters, pipes, pipe cleaners, filters, ...

Monterey County, California Pays $365,000 for Jail Prisoner’s Death

by Douglas Ankney

Officials in Monterey County, California agreed to pay the family of Jacob Parenti $365,000 to settle a lawsuit over his death while he was held at the Monterey County Jail (MCJ).

In 2013, Parenti was on his way home from work when, during a traffic stop, police ...