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Articles by Edward Lyon

Connecticut Prisoner Survives DOC’s Summary Judgment Motion in Mental Health Suit

by Ed Lyon 

Raudell Mercado initially entered the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) in 2013 as a youthful offender at the Manson Youth Institution. In March 2015, he was formally admitted to the DOC as a pre-trial detainee; soon afterward he was transferred to the Cheshire Correctional Institution ...

Philadelphia Robbing the Poor Through Civil Forfeiture

by Ed Lyon 

In just the four zip codes of Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, whose mainly black and Hispanic residents suffer high rates of poverty, civil asset forfeiture (CAF) proceedings netted 1,682 properties that were seized and sold by the District Attorney’s office between 1993 and 2018. During ...

Illinois Calculates the High Costs of Recidivism

by Ed Lyon 

The state of Illinois seems to be getting serious about downsizing its prison population and reducing the number of offenders who return to prison after being paroled. Governor Bruce Rauner created a task force in 2015, the Illinois State Commission of Criminal Justice and Sentencing ...

Texas Prison Air Conditioning Costs Much Lower than Expected

by Ed Lyon 

Between 1998 and 2014, at least 23 Texas prisoners died due to excessive heat in housing units and transport buses. Most Texas state prisons are not air conditioned. A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of prisoners at the Wallace Pack Unit initially resulted in an injunction ...

Arkansas Prisoner Prevails on Grievance Exhaustion Issue

by Ed Lyon

Arkansas state prisoner Jacob J. Townsend was working at the Tucker Unit’s water treatment plant when his supervisor, Terry Murphy, ordered him to work with chlorine gas. Townsend was not given training or equipment for using the dangerous chemical.

Arkansas prisons employ an informal resolution process prior ...

Life-Sentenced Missouri Prisoner Has No Right to Release Date

by Ed Lyon

In 1990, Gordon F. Goldsby received consecutive sentences of 10 years, life and 25 years for crimes he committed in Missouri in 1972. After discharging his 10-year sentence, he began serving the life sentence. In 2015 he sought a declaration of his right to be released, relying ...

New York City Pays $280,000 to Settle Suit after Visitor Assaulted by Jail Guards

by Ed Lyon

On May 19, 2014, Thomas Hamm went to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City to visit his same-sex domestic partner, identified as P.F.

Hamm and P.F., who planned to get married, hugged and kissed at the start of their visit just as other couples ...

Imprisoning America’s Mentally Ill

by Ed Lyon

Since the 1962 publication of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a mirror image of the best-selling novel’s plot has played out in U.S. prisons. Author Ken Kasey wrote a work of fiction about a prisoner who was sent to a mental hospital. In fact, mentally ill ...

Nevada Prisons Persist in Not Serving Healthy Food

by Ed Lyon

Previously, Nevada state prisoner Robert Leslie Stockmeier won a case against the prison system over claims involving dietary issues in Stockmeier v. Green, 340 P.3d 583 (Nev. 2014).

The Nevada Supreme Court found the state’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and staff were not examining actual meals for ...

Washington State Parolee Murders Girlfriend; Department of Corrections Found Not Grossly Negligent

by Ed Lyon

 Scottye Miller served two misdemeanor sentences, one “memorialized in a felony judgment” for harassing and assaulting his girlfriend of many years, entered in 2010 and 2011. Miller was released from the Department of Corrections (DOC) for community supervision on October 15, 2012. Among the many of his ...