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Articles by Edward Lyon

Overdoses Skyrocket in Tennessee Prisons During Pandemic Despite Visitation Restrictions

by Ed Lyon

In the three years before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, fourteen Tennessee state prisoners died from overdoses, according to the state Department of Correction (DOC). Over the two years since then that number skyrocketed to at least 68, not including several pending autopsies.

The rise from ...

Mentally Ill Detainee Paralyzed in Brutal New Jersey Jail Beating Files Suit

By Ed Lyon

A lawsuit was reportedly filed in New Jersey Superior Court for Essex County on April 26, 2022, on behalf of a mentally ill man left paralyzed from a brutal beating he suffered while detained at the county jail.

Surveillance video of the incident on September 23, 2021, ...

California Jail Guard Criminally Charged for Assaulting Detainee with Scalding Water

By Ed Lyon

A Sheriff’s Department deputy in California’s Orange County has forfeited a 20-plus-year law enforcement career by assaulting a mentally ill detainee at the county lockup. The deputy, Guadalupe Ortiz, 47, was fired on December 10, 2021, four days before he was charged with a felony count of ...

$11 Million Settlement Reached in Tennessee Suit Alleging False Arrest and False Imprisonment of Minors

by Ed Lyon

On December 20, 2021, a settlementwas approved by a federal court in a lawsuit alleging the illegal arrest and detention of some 1,500 children at the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. As a result, members of the proposed classes of plaintiffs were eligible ...

$5.5 Million Settlement to California Prisoner Left Incapacitated After Suicide Attempt at Santa Cruz County Jail

by Ed Lyon

On December 16, 2021, a federal court in California approved a $5.5 million settlement between Santa Cruz County and the estate of a former prisoner at the county jail whose attempt on his own life there left him an invalid.

Sometime after 11 a.m. on February 15, ...

Ecuador’s Prison System in Catastrophic Crisis

by Ed Lyon

After a riot in Ecuador’s El Turi prison left 20 prisoners dead on April 4, 2022, Interior Minister Patricio Castillo responded with a vow to “drain the cesspit” that his nation’s prisons have become. But how exactly?

Castillo promised to strip prison benefits from the unnamed ringleaders, ...

Settlement for New Jersey Special Needs Prisoner Students Includes Damages, Fees and Education

by Ed Lyon

On July 15, 2021, a settlement agreement and order was entered in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, putting an end to a four-year-old class action lawsuit against the state’s Department of Corrections (DOC) and Department of Education (DOE) over the pitiful state of ...

‘They Know No Bounds’: Suffolk County New York Prosecutors Sent to Prison

by Ed Lyon

The former District Attorney of Suffolk County, New York, Thomas Spota, and his former top assistant, Christopher McPartland, appeared before a sentencing judge in a federal courtroom on August 10, 2021. But instead of seeking the harshest sentences allowed by law as they had often done for ...

Judge Sentences Boss of ‘Horrific’ Cuyahoga Ohio Jail to Prison

“I don’t know how you can live with yourself.”

by Ed Lyon

In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, County Executive Armond Budish (D) is now the last man standing in a decade-long county government and jail malfeasance and mismanagement scandal, after his appointed jail director, Ken Mills, was sentenced to a nine-month ...

Covid-19 Pandemic Bumps Still Anemic Clemency Numbers

by Ed Lyon

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health and penology experts have urged state and federal governments to depopulate their prison systems. State governors remain under increasing pressure to use their executive clemency powers to achieve this purpose. Some are, some are not. Some can, some cannot. ...