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Articles by Edward Lyon

New York City Pre-trial Detainees Exposed to Freezing Temperatures at Federal Jail

by Ed Lyon 

The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, a 1,654-bed facility operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) that houses defendants awaiting trial, was without main and generator-supplied electricity between January 27 and February 3, 2019 – a frigid stretch of winter during which ...

New Mexico Medical Technician Wins $150,000 Jury Award for Abuse by Jailers

by Ed Lyon

Estrella Tenorio was a nurse’s aide/medical technician employed by for-profit contractor HealthCare Partners, Inc. (HCP). HCP specializes in providing medical services to prisoners. Tenorio’s first assignment was at a jail located near Las Vegas, New Mexico. Her mother was a state prison employee and her father ...

Reports Cite Poor Leadership in U.S. Marshals Service

by Ed Lyon

For aficionados of “U.S. Marshals” and “The Fugitive,” movies staring Tommy Lee Jones, it may come as a shock that art comes nowhere near to a true imitation of life. That was painfully evident in a 20-page memorandum released by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on December ...

Ohio Governor Commutes Death Sentences, Grants Reprieves for Another

by Ed Lyon

As a child, Raymond Tibbetts lived a life straight out of a movie – a horror movie. He and his brothers were bounced from one foster home to another. Along their journey to adulthood, they found themselves being tied to their beds, burned, beaten, thrown down flights ...

Report Released on Deaths in Utah Prisons and Jails

by Ed Lyon 

A new law in Utah requires information about deaths in both the state’s prisons and local jails to be reported annually. The first death in custody report, released last November, revealed that around half of all prisoner deaths are suicides and that most jail deaths occur ...

Indiana Prisoners Win Partial Summary Judgment in Jail Conditions Case

by Ed Lyon 

The Vigo County jail in Terre Haute, Indiana has a well-documented history of constitutional violations. In 2002, the county entered into a consent decree to cap the jail’s population at no more than 268 prisoners, among other relief resulting from a federal class-action lawsuit.  ...

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 ...