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Articles by Jayson Hawkins

New York Lifts Blanket Internet Ban on Sex Offenders

by Jayson Hawkins

A settlement was finalized on January 19, 2022, in a lawsuit challenging a New York law barring those on the state sex offender registry from accessing the internet. The settlement allows some registered sex offenders now to access and use the internet, unless they previously used it ...

California Sheriff’s Pay-to-Play Scandal Reflects Nationwide Corruption Potential Documented in Watchdog Report

by Jayson Hawkins

Engulfed in a campaign finance probe that has snagged ten others on corruption and bribery charges in an alleged “pay to play” scheme, the Sheriff of California’s Santa Clara County, Laurie Smith, announced in March 2022 that she would not seek another term to the office she ...

“Jailhouse Lawyer 360” Shut Down by California Bar

by Jayson Hawkins

Like many other California parolees, Anthony David Urbano wanted to use the skills learned in prison to make a living on the outside. Unfortunately, his skill was serving as a “jailhouse lawyer,” helping other prisoners with their legal work, and his right to use it remained behind ...

$1,425,000 Paid to Epileptic Illinois Detainee Denied Medication Who Suffered Seizure and Fell From Upper Bunk in Jail

by Jayson Hawkins

On December 26, 2021, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by an epileptic former Illinois jail detainee after he accepted $1,425,000 to settle claims that he was denied medication and placed in an upper bunk from which he fell while suffering a seizure, leaving him with ...

Medical Staff Shakeup But No Charges After Teen Dies in Ohio Juvenile Facility

by Jayson Hawkins

The deaths of young Black men at the hands of police have drawn increasing scrutiny in the media and among the political chattering class, but less attention has been given to another type of criminal justice death—that of a juvenile while in custody.

Robert Wright was only ...

Guard Arrested for Running “Fight Club” in New Jersey Prison Kitchen

by Ashleigh Dye and Jayson Hawkins

A New Jersey prison guard was arrested on October 1, 2021, on charges he ran a “fight club” in the kitchen he supervised at Bayside State Prison, regularly beating and torturing prisoners who worked under him there.

“A badge is not a license to ...

$170,000 Damages and Fees As New Jersey Prisons Settle Transgender Lawsuit With New Policy

by Jayson Hawkins

As of June 29, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) has changed its policy of housing prisoners according to their gender assignment at birth, regardless of whether they are transgendered or of any non-binary sexual orientation. The policy change is part of an agreement settling ...

Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity to Colorado Prison Officials Who Shut Down Native American Religious Activities

by Jayson Hawkins

On July 21, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the ruling of a lower court in Colorado that denied a motion by state prison officials to dismiss a prisoner’s civil rights claim on the grounds that they enjoyed qualified immunity (QI).

Officials ...

Settlement Relieves Death Row Isolation in Louisiana: Four Hours Daily Out of Cell, Five Hours Per Week in New Yard

by Jayson Hawkins

In recent years, courts have begun to recognize that extended periods of solitary confinement are detrimental to the physical and mental health of prisoners. While some prisoners are placed in segregation for disciplinary reasons, those sentenced to death are often housed in solitary for decades while awaiting ...

After Sixth Death in Six Years, Virginia Jail Cuts Ties with Corizon Health

Corizon Employee Charged with Falsifying Records

by Jayson Hawkins and Keith Sanders

On February 1, 2022, a 41-year-old Black man being held on a trespassing charge was found unresponsive in his cell at the jail in Arlington County, Virginia. His death later that day, which is still under investigation, came ...