Skip navigation

Articles by Jacob Barrett

Sixth Circuit: Michigan DOC’s Years-Long Delay in Access to Religious Services and Items Constitutes Constructive Denial of Religious Exercise

by Jacob Barrett

On November 9, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a six-year delay in replying to a Michigan prisoner’s request for religious services was not merely an administrative problem for the state Department of Corrections (DOC) but instead amounted to a substantive ...

$45,000 Paid by Idaho Jail to Settle Censorship Suit Filed by HRDC

by Jacob Barrett

In an agreement executed on February 7, 2022, Canyon County, Idaho, agreed to pay $45,000 to settle censorship claims made by the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), the nonprofit publisher of PLN and Criminal Legal News (CLN). The County also agreed to a list of policy ...

DOJ Reaches Settlement Over Disability Access With Vermont Prison System

by Jacob Barrett

On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement with the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) to remedy conditions in state prisons that fail to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ch. 126 § 12101 et seq.

The settlement ...

With $2.95 Million Settlement, San Diego County Jail Racks Up Over $15 Million in Wrongful Death Payments

by Jacob Barrett

On October 6, 2021, San Diego County agreed to a $2,950,000 settlement in a wrongful death suit filed by the wife of Heron Moriarty, a mentally ill detainee at the county jail who suffocated himself there in 2016. Not only was he one of more than 200 ...

Fifth Circuit Refuses to Reinstate Louisiana Federal Prisoner’s Suit Challenging Disciplinary Sanction for Breaking CPAP Machine

by Jacob Barrett

Holding that explicit intent is not necessary to find a prisoner guilty of misconduct, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a concerning decision on November 2, 2021, upholding a disciplinary sanction against a federal prisoner in Louisiana after his medical device broke and ...

Tenth Circuit: Mentally Ill Prisoners Have No Clearly Established Right to Be Kept Out of Solitary Confinement

by Jacob Barrett

On October 21, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a complaint filed by the estate of a mentally ill and intellectually disabled prisoner who committed suicide while held by the Utah Department of Corrections (DOC).

The deceased, Brock Tucker, ...

Oregon Federal Court Sides with HRDC, Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration by “NUMI” Stored Value Cards

by Jacob Barrett

On December 6, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon denied a motion to compel arbitration by Stored Value Cards in a case filed by the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), publisher of PLN, on behalf of a released detainee whose cash was ...

Long-Time PLN Contributor Released from Solitary Stint in Oregon for ‘Contraband’ Toy Phone

Incident Prompts State Legislative Hearing

by Jacob Barrett

On December 28, 2021, long-time PLN contributor and jailhouse lawyer Mark Wilson, 52, was released from a 120-day stint in solitary confinement at the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) prompted by a disciplinary report (DR) over a toy phone left on his ...

Eighth Circuit Rules Guard’s History of Excessive Force too Prejudicial or a Jury to Hear in Prisoner’s Excessive-Force Case

Another Guard Escapes Liability by Refusing to Participate

by Jacob Barrett and Matt Clarke

What happens to a prison guard accused of using excessive force who fails to show up for trial? A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit says the answer there is: ...

Seventh Circuit: No Case for Loss of Eye from Medical Neglect Because of Lack of Expert Testimony

by Jacob Barrett

A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit highlights the importance of producing expert testimony to refute assertions made by defendant health care providers that their inaction—especially when it results in the loss of an eye—is deliberately indifferent.

The Court’s decision on ...