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Articles by Douglas Ankney

First Circuit Lets BOP Take Prisoner’s Entire $10,956.36 Trust Account Balance for Restitution

Douglas Ankney

Prisoners beware: On June 5, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit refused to stop the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from “turn[ing] over the full amount” in a prisoner’s trust account to be applied toward “his outstanding restitution obligation.”

In 2019, Christopher Saemisch was ...

South Carolina Pays $200,000 to Jail Detainees Exposed to Toxic Fumes

by Douglas Ankney

In June 2023, the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund paid $8,700 to each of 23 former detainees at Berkeley County’s Hill-Finklea Detention Center (HFDC)—a total of $200,100—to settle claims they were exposed to toxic fumes while in custody.

According to the complaint they filed, the detainees were ...

Seventh Circuit Upholds Disciplinary Sanction Revoking Over 15 Years of Indiana Prisoner’s Good Time

by Douglas Ankney

When Indiana state prisoner Tony Love participated in a brawl, he was apparently unaware of the severity of the consequences he faced. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made sure he knew, ruling on July 7, 2023, that the loss of more than ...

Fifth Circuit Says Both Texas Prisoner’s Dismissed Suit and His Lost Appeal Count as “Strikes”

by Douglas Ankney

On July 10, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed Texas prisoner Anthony Prescott’s appeal, once again explaining the requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) that applications to waive filing fees and proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) must be denied where a prisoner plaintiff ...

BOP Slammed for Prisoner Abuse in Now-Shuttered Segregation Unit at USP-Thomson in Illinois

by Douglas Ankney

A report on July 6, 2023, from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs (WLCCR&UA) exposed abuses suffered by prisoners at the hands of Bureau of Prisons (BOP) guards while confined in the now-closed Special Management Unit (SMU) at the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in ...

Oklahoma Prisoner’s Conviction Tossed After Judge’s Affair With Prosecutor Uncovered

by Douglas Ankney

On July 13, 2023, Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals granted a new trial to state prisoner Robert Leon Hashagen III, 60, after finding his trial judge and his prosecuting attorney failed to disclose their prior sexual relationship to his defense team.

Hashagen was convicted by a jury ...

Washington Fined Over $100 Million for Delays in Competency Evaluations and Restoration

by Douglas Ankney

On July 7, 2023, Judge Marsha J. Pechman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington found the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in material breach of an agreement that settled a long-running class-action accusing the agency of “violating the constitutional ...

Seventh Circuit Finds Jail Guard May Be Liable for Delayed Response to Illinois Detainee’s Fatal Heart Attack

by Douglas Ankney

On July 20, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a suit alleging delayed medical care caused the death of Eugene Washington while he was held in pretrial detention at Illinois’ Winnebago County Jail (WJC).

Washington’s cellmate, Lamar ...

Misconduct Shades Sexual Assault Suit As Hawaii Settles With Prisoners for $2 Million

by Douglas Ankney

In a surprising twist to a horrific story, the State of Hawaii agreed on July 27, 2023, to pay six state prisoners whose federal civil rights suit alleged they were sexually assaulted at Women’s Community Correction Center (WCCC) a $2 million settlement—after a jury found they were ...

Subclass Certified and Settlement Proposed to Address ADA Violations at Long-Plagued San Diego County Jails

by Douglas Ankney

On June 21, 2023, Judge Anthony J. Battaglia of the federal court for the Southern District of California signed an order in a suit alleging violations at San Diego County jails of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ch. 126, § 12101 et seq. The Court ...