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Articles by Edward Lyon

Texas Prisons are Fire Traps

by Ed Lyon

With almost 122,000 prisoners, Texas has the largest state prison system in the U.S. According to a report on January 9, 2023, it appears to be the most fire prone system, as well.

Fire and safety spending by the state Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) rose from ...

The World’s Biggest Prison

by Ed Lyon 

In February 2023, officials in El Salvador began admitting detainees to a new prison that is the largest in the world.

The prison, which has its own utilities, is isolated on 56 acres in the middle of a 410-acre plot of thick forest. The cells are spread ...

U.S. Prisoner Numbers Slowly Declining

by Ed Lyon

New data released in December 2022 by the federal Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) showed a steady decline in prison population from 2011 to 2021 – nearly 25% overall. The number of people imprisoned today – 1,163,665 – reflects the largest slice of U.S. ...

California Easing Housing Hurdles for Released Prisoners

by Ed Lyon

As retributive minded states likeTexas pursue ever more draconian measures and policies to deny housing to released prisoners (PLN, May 2021, pp. 34-35), California is beginning to enact measures and policies to assist released prisoners in obtaining housing.

Easing housing restrictions for the formerly incarcerated ...

Warden Ousted from Troubled Alabama Prison After DUI Arrest

by Ed Lyon

A state prison warden was arrested on August 30, 2022, on suspicion of driving under the influence in Cullman, Alabama. Jeffrey Baldwin was then placed on mandatory leave from his post at Elmore Correctional Facility (CF) by the state Department of Corrections (DOC). Thwarting any effort to ...

$20,000 Settlement for Ohio Prisoner’s Slip-and-Fall Injury

by Ed Lyon

On July 23, 2021, Magistrate Scott Sheets presiding in the Ohio Court of Claims approved a settlement, under which the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) agreed to pay $20,000 to a former state prisoner who claimed he was injured while incarcerated when he slipped and ...

$32,500 Medical Malpractice Award to Ohio Prisoner for Ripped-Out Catheter

by Ed Lyon

On February 28, 2022, Judge Patrick E. Sheeran of the Ohio Court of Claims approved a settlement under which the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) agreed to pay a prisoner $32,500 to resolve his claims that prison medical staff ignored post-surgery instruction and removed his ...

Student Loan Debt and Prisoners

by Ed Lyon

After Pres. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D) took action in August 2022 to forgive up to $20,000 in federal or federally insured student loan debt, nearly 22 million of some 44 million Americans affected rushed to sign up. Prisoners were not excluded from the plan, which was ...

South Carolina Judge Halts State Executions by Electrocution and Firing Squad

by David M. Reutter and Ed Lyon

On September 6, 2022, the Richland County Court of Common Pleas granted an injunction in a challenge brought by four condemned South Carolina prisoners to 2021 state legislation making electrocution the default method of execution unless a prisoner opts instead for lethal injection ...

Arizona Closing Prison, Moving Prisoners to CoreCivic Lockup

by Ed Lyon

In January 2022, when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced the closing of the state prison complex in Florence, he pointed to the facility’s age—it was built in 1904—and said spending an estimated $150 million on needed repairs “just doesn’t make sense.”

What does make sense? Apparently ...