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Articles by Jayson Hawkins

Growing Need to Protect Attorney-Client Emails

“It’s common attorney sense, a bedrock of American law: when your attorney communicates with you, that’s supposed to be privileged,” said Jumana Musa, director of the Fourth Amendment Center at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). 

Common sense or not, that principle has not stopped federal prosecutors from prying into electronic communications to pursue convictions. The practice dates to at least 2011 when an incarcerated former Pennsylvania state senator’s emails to his attorneys were used as evidence to lengthen his sentence.  

An assistant U.S. attorney in New York’s Eastern District warned defense lawyers in June 2014 that such communications were fair game, writing that “emails between inmates and their attorneys ... are not privileged, and thus the office intends to review all emails.”

A bipartisan bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 21, 2020, seeks to end this practice by barring emails from prisoners to their lawyers from being monitored. 

The Effective Assistance of Counsel in ...

NYC Floating Jail May Finally be Closed

As an ex-president of a local community board lamented, “Hunts Point was a place to put things that no one else wanted.”

In January 1992, tugboats pulled the Vernon C. Bain Center, a featureless five-story jail, into port. The facility, which holds 800 prisoners and has over 300 employees, did not seem out of place among the strip clubs and other eyesores that pockmarked the neighborhood at the time.

Much has changed in the intervening 28 years. Mirroring the renewal of Times Square, Hunts Point has shuttered the sex shops; violent crime has plummeted 280 percent since 1990. Next up is a planned marine terminal along the waterfront, which the city hopes will shift movement of goods from congested roadways to the East River. Part of that shift will include closing the Rain Center to free up potentially valuable real estate. ...

Beltway Sniper Marries in Prison

Muhammad was depicted as the mastermind behind the murders. He received the death penalty and was executed in 2009. Malvo, only 17 at the time of the killings, was believed to have been heavily influenced by Muhammad. Convicted in eight of the slayings, Malvo received sentences of life without parole for each. Under current laws in Maryland and Virginia, he will never leave prison.

Malvo, a native of Jamaica, has managed to find a measure of joy and normalcy amidst his incarceration. In early March 2020, he wed a woman whom he had been writing and visiting with for the previous two years. The woman’s identity was not revealed, but two of Malvo’s attorneys described her as close to his own age and “an absolutely wonderful individual.”

Carmeta Albarus, part of Malvo’s ...

Can the Pandemic Undermine Mass Incarceration?

The direction of public policy in massive bureaucratic states tends to create an almost inexorable momentum all on its own, and that momentum often overwhelms not only the conditions that created the policy but also the public welfare it purportedly serves. It is extraordinarily difficult to break ...

Colorado Explores Ending Private Prisons

Ohio Jails Under Investigation

Governor Mike DeWine admitted back in June 2019 that the state ...

Study Shows Solitary Confinement Poses Mortality Risk After Release

New Law in Maryland Reveals Pathetic Prison Wages

Delaware Changes Prison Health Care Provider Due to Lawsuits Against Prior Contract Holder

by Jayson Hawkins

March 2020 brought sweeping changes to the way people lived and worked as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country. Prisons, where social distancing was often difficult or impossible to practice, proved especially vulnerable to COVID-19, yet the Delaware Department of Correction pushed ahead ...

Former Prisoners Shut Out of Coronavirus Loans

The first phase of economic relief stemming from the COVID-19 crisis included $350 billion in loans aimed at keeping U.S. small businesses afloat. The CARES Act, as approved by Congress, offered hope of surviving the pandemic to any business with fewer than 500 employees.

The Small Business ...