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Articles by Edward Lyon

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 ...

Illinois Federal Jury Awards Prisoner $252,100 
for Beating and Denial of Medical Care

by Ed Lyon

During the noon meal on February 5, 2014, Illinois prison guard Nathan Berry found alcohol and an altered TV in a property box in a cell shared by Osbaldo Jose-Nicolas and Edgar Diaz at the Menard Correctional Center.

Both prisoners were directed to a holding cell when ...

Prisoners Face Retaliation for Raising Concerns 
About Criminal Justice System

by Ed Lyon

Prisoners who peacefully advocate for their rights, such as by filing lawsuits and grievances, and engaging in non-violent protests, regularly risk retaliation by prison officials.

That was the case following a nationwide work strike that was called by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS) – a prisoners’ rights advocacy ...

Prisoner Loses Suit Against Jail Officials for Disclosure of His Medical Condition

by Ed Lyon

Joseph Leiser was in an Illinois jail pending extradition to Coffey County, Kansas. Because Leiser had been Tased by federal marshals, Coffey County jail administrator Shannon Moore asked Illinois officials to have him thoroughly examined, including chest X-rays and a CT scan, to see if he suffered ...

Washington State Prisoners Protest Poor Food

by Ed Lyon

During April 2018, prisoners in six housing units at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla participated in a hunger strike that lasted up to 10 days. Over 1,300 prisoners reportedly took part – around half the facility’s population, excluding those who were elderly or ill. Their ...