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Articles by Edward Lyon

Civil Commitment Used to Imprison Drug Users in Massachusetts

by Ed Lyon

While most states have laws allowing the involuntary civil commitment (ICC) of the mentally ill, some states extend such laws to addicted drug abusers. Massachusetts is the only state to specify by statute that people whose substance abuse problems “pose a serious risk of harm” can be ...

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Reports Inaccurate Jail Violence Data

by Ed Lyon

Already rocked by a scandal that put its former sheriff and his top deputy behind bars, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has come under fire for its inconsistent reporting of violent incidents in the county’s jail system, which is the largest in the nation.

According ...

Adolescent Texas Prisoners Moving To Different Prison

by Ed Lyon

Some youthful offenders in Texas will soon be moved to a former death row wing in the Ellis Unit in Huntsville.

Children ages 14 to 17 who are certified as adults, tried and sentenced to prison for committing crimes, take part in a Youthful Offender Program (YOP). ...

Settlement after Connecticut Police Chief’s Son Assaults Handcuffed Prisoner

by Ed Lyon

On May 1, 2010, Pedro Temich was arrested in Meriden, Connecticut. He was taken to jail, where video cameras recorded officer Evan Cossette pushing Temich, who was handcuffed and not resisting. Temich fell, hitting the back of his head on a concrete bench.

Cossette then entered the ...

Texas Prisoners Receive Inadequate Legal Representation from State Agency

by Ed Lyon

In December 2017, a Texas State Bar committee issued a scathing report concerning the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), which oversees the State Counsel for Offenders (SCO) – an agency that provides legal representation for prisoners in certain cases.

SCO attorneys represent prisoners accused of committing ...

Kansas Jail Prisoners Win Lawsuit Over Postcard-only Policy

by Ed Lyon

When Wilson County, Kansas Sheriff Pete Figgins instituted a postcard-only correspondence policy at the county jail, prisoners were only allowed to send and receive letters to and from attorneys. No notice was provided when mail was rejected under the new policy.

In April 2016, the ACLU Foundation ...

Mentally Ill Colorado Prisoner Who Gouged Out His Eyes Sues Sheriff

by Ed Lyon

On December 7, 2017, Ryan Partridge, a mentally ill prisoner, sued the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and other county employees, claiming they failed to provide him with adequate mental health care and abused him. The 31-year-old, who suffers from psychosis, eventually gouged out his own eyes; in ...

Trinity Services Group Faces Complaints Due to Inadequate Prison and Jail Food

by Ed Lyon

A tide of complaints has surfaced around Florida-based Trinity Services Group, one of the largest food service providers to correctional facilities in the nation. At issue is the provision of adequate, nutritious and healthy meals, since one study has found prisoners are six times more likely to ...

New California Parole Board Guidelines, Reforms Face Opposition

by Ed Lyon

California is getting serious about reversing its long history of mass incarceration. From a 2008 state supreme court ruling that abolished parole denials based on the seriousness and nature of the offense to a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering California to reduce its prison population, the ...

California: A Prison by any Other Name is Still a Prison

by Ed Lyon

The City of Adelanto in San Bernardino County, California owns a detention center – not a prison – according to Pablo Paez, a spokesman for the GEO Group, a private prison firm. “The ICE Processing Centers operated by our company are very different than local jails and ...