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Articles by Harold Hempstead

Nevada Muslim Prisoner Wins Suit Over Denial of Jumu’ah Prayer

by Harold Hempstead

On June 14, 2022, the federal Court for the District of Nevada granted summary judgment to a Muslim state prisoner, agreeing with him that the state Department of Corrections (DOC) violated his constitutional rights by restricting his ability to participate in Jumu’ah prayer.

While held at Lovelock ...

$450,000 Settlement to Illinois Prisoner Whose Untreated Boil Left Him Paraplegic

by Harold Hempstead

On August 17, 2021, after the IllinoisDepartment of Corrections (DOC) paid $450,000 to settle claims of medical neglect that cost him the use of his legs, a state prisoner successfully petitioned a federal court to dismiss his lawsuit.

In September 2017, while held at Hill Correctional Center, ...

Mississippi Reopens Walnut Grove Prison Just in Time for Prison Population Explosion

byHarold Hempstead

In October 2022, the Mississippi Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force reported there were 2,192 more state prisoners than the year before. That pushed the state Department of Corrections (DOC) close to 95% capacity, despite reopening a former juvenile prison in 2021.

That prison, Walnut Grove Correctional ...

Eighth Circuit Grants Qualified Immunity to Minnesota Jailers and Medical Provider Who Misdiagnosed Prisoner’s Leukemia as Gingivitis

by Harold Hempstead

On April 12, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit said a Minnesota jail detainee was not subjected to unconstitutional treatment by jailers and their contract medical providers who misdiagnosed his leukemia as gingivitis.

When Kyle Rusness arrived at the Becker County Jail (BCJ) ...

Excessive-Force Claim by Now-Incarcerated Former Maryland Guard Survives

by Harold Hempstead

On September 2, 2021, the federal court for the District of Maryland denied a motion for summary judgment made by a state prison guard who is the defendant in a case brought by a prisoner who was himself a former guard, and who alleged he was subjected ...

Tennessee Governor Suspends Executions, Orders Investigation Into Lethal Injection Process

by Harold Hempstead

On May 2, 2022, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) halted all executions scheduled for the remainder of the year for an independent investigation into the state’s lethal injection protocols. Four days later, the interim director of the state Department of Correction (DOC), Lisa Helton, filed her admission ...

Nebraska Crime Commission Says Dodge County Jail Noncompliant With Reporting Requirements

by Harold Hempstead

On January 28, 2022, when Sheriff Steve Hespen retired after 35 years in Dodge County, Nebraska, he left behind unanswered a charge from the state Jail Standards Board (JSB) that the county jail was almost two years out of compliance in documenting admissions and releases.

That charge ...

Fourth Circuit Dooms Suit Filed After North Carolina Guard Murdered by State Prisoner

by Harold Hempstead

On November 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a substantive due process claim based on the state-created danger doctrine did not apply to Sgt. Meggan L. Callahan, who was murdered by prisoner Craig Wissink at Bertie Correction Institution (BCI) in ...

Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Wellpath in Kentucky Prisoner’s Suit Alleging Denial of Medical Care, Due to Lack of Expert Testimony

by Harold Hempstead

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit illustrates the importance of expert testimony in a prisoner’s claim he was denied constitutionally adequate medical care. In its ruling on September 17, 2021, the Court affirmed the decision of the federal court for ...

Fourth Circuit Refuses to Hold North Carolina Liable After State Prisoner Murders Guard

by Harold Hempstead

On November 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that no civil rights violation had been committed by North Carolina officials in the murder of a guard at the hands of a state prisoner at Bertie Correction Institution (BCI).

After the guard, ...