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Articles by Edward Lyon

Tennessee Adopts Alternative Sentencing for Primary Caregivers of Minor Children

by Ed Lyon 

Study after study has shown that children of incarcerated parents often suffer, sometimes catastrophically. Children with an incarcerated parent have higher incarceration rates as adults themselves than children who never had a parent behind bars.

Some states are taking action to try to circumvent that vicious ...

$50,000 for Missouri Jail Prisoner Who Suffered Injuries Caused by Broken Plumbing

by Ed Lyon

Nicholas Ayers was a pretrial detainee at the Jackson County Detention Center in Missouri in 2015 and 2016. On January 1, 2016, a water pipe to Ayers’ cell broke so the water to his cell was cut off. A feature of plumbing unique to jails and prisons ...

Increasing Number of Walkaways from California Early-Release Programs

by Ed Lyon 

In 2018, almost half of California’s 50 prison escapees walked away from early-release programs where they were finishing their sentences – more than double the number of “walkaways” in 2014, the first year the programs were established. While the number represents only a tiny fraction of ...

Arizona Federal Court Levies Sanctions Against Corizon Health

by Ed Lyon

Corizon Health, headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, is the nation’s largest private prison and jail healthcare provider. The company has, for many years, been mentioned in Prison Legal News – usually in connection with misconduct by Corizon employees, grossly inadequate medical care and lawsuits resulting in verdicts and ...

California Jailer Accused of Raping Detainees to Stand Trial

by Ed Lyon 

On March 31, 2018, two female detainees at a jail in Contra Costa County, California decided to play a dangerous game and began a flirtation with male guard Patrick Morseman. Early that day, the women passed a note to Morseman, 26, that he understood to be ...

Cops, Guards Beat Mentally Ill Arrestee to Death as Jail Nurse Watches; $5 Million Settlement

by Ed Lyon

It is estimated that around 20 percent of prisoners have a serious mental health condition, and due to the criminalization of mental illness in the United States, the mentally ill are more likely to end up behind bars than in a psychiatric facility.

The tiny city of ...

New York Appellate Court Holds Names of Prison Guards are Public Records

by Ed Lyon

From February 2015 to January 2016, Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) made a series of records requests to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS). The requests were made under the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), and included prisoner behavior ...

$2 Million Awarded to New Mexico Prisoner Left in Hot Transport Van

by Ed Lyon

Each year, throughout the duration of summer months, there are empathy-invoking news stories about children and pets left in unattended vehicles, sometimes resulting in deaths due to the scorching heat. A New Mexico federal jury recently held that prisoners should not be left in unattended transport ...

Problems with Ion Scanners Used to Detect Drugs on Prison Visitors

by Ed Lyon

Ion scanners were initially installed in prisons in the early 1990s to detect controlled substances on visitors, whose hands and clothes are typically swabbed for testing. But visitors and prison staff who filed lawsuits – in states including New York, Massachusetts and Maryland – claimed they were ...

Kentucky Corrections, Parole Officials Fired

by Ed Lyon 

Rodney Ballard served as commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) from March 2016 to May 2017. He then abruptly left that job with a $100,000-plus annual salary for the private sector, and was replaced by deputy commissioner Jim Erwin. Erwin began his career ...