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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

Pittsburgh Jail Records 13 Deaths in Two Years, Only One From COVID-19

by Jo Ellen Nott

In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, deaths have more than doubled at the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) in downtown Pittsburgh, even as the jail population was cut drastically in an effort to curb the spread of the SARS-COV2 virus. Yet ...

Fifth BOP Staffer Arrested in “Rape Club” at California Federal Prison

by Jo Ellen Nott

Once known for famous prisoners from Hollywood, the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) at Dublin, California, is now in the spotlight for a different reason: As of March 2022, at least five Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees have been charged with sexually abusing women held at the ...

Oklahoma Prison Guard and Gilbert Postelle’s Brother Among 125 Convicted in Drug Ring

By Jo Ellen Nott

On April 5, 2022, federal prosecutors announced convictions in a massive drug-trafficking conspiracy for 125 associates of an Oklahoma-based prison gang, one of whom was a state prison guard and another the incarcerated brother of recently executed Oklahoma prisoner Gilbert Postelle.

David Postelle, 39, who headed ...

Massachusetts DOC Will Close Long-Time Maximum-Security Prison

by Jo Ellen Nott

The Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) announced on April 7, 2022, that it will close one of its oldest prisons, Massachusetts Correctional Institution (MCI) Cedar Junction, citing a falling incarceration rate and nearly $30 million in needed repairs.

The maximum-security prison designed to hold 568 prisoners ...

Chief of Training for Hawaii Prison and Jail Guards Charged with Falsifying Educational Credentials, Out on Paid Leave

by Jo Ellen Nott

Hawaii Department of Public Safety (DPS) Public Training Officer J. Marte Martinez, who oversaw the training of thousands of state prison guards and deputy sheriffs working as guards in county jails, was arrested in her office on April 7, 2022, on charges of perjury, tampering with ...

Warden Accused of Sexual Misconduct and Forced to Take Leave from Job at Violence-Plagued Alabama Prison

By Jo Ellen Nott


The warden was escorted from Alabama’s Limestone Correctional Facility and placed on mandatory leave on March 19, 2022, following allegations of sexual misconduct and the near-fatal stabbing of a minimum-security prisoner there.

The prisoner, who has not been identified, was stabbed during what was described ...

Indian Prison Superintendent Sentenced to Seven Days for Denying Parole During Pandemic

by Jo Ellen Nott

Nagpur, an educational and cultural center of nearly three million located at the geographical center of India, made judicial headlines on March 16, 2022, when the local bench of the Bombay High Court held Superintendent of Central Prison Nagpur Anupkumar M. Kumre guilty of contempt and ...

NYC DOC Internal Affairs Investigator Claims She Was Fired for Not Siding with Guards Union

By Jo Ellen Nott

Sarena Townsend, the attorney heading internal affairs investigations for the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC), was abruptly fired by new DOC Commissioner Louis Molina on January 4, 2022.

One of the first priorities announced by incoming Mayor Eric Adams (D) was smoothing relations with ...

At Least 35 Florida DOC Employees and Contractors Arrested in Just Over a Year

By Jo Ellen Nott

An examination of Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) employee and contractor arrests from March 2021 to April 2022 revealed that 18 were charged with introducing contraband, and another 10 were charged with assaulting prisoners. Six more were charged with having illicit relationships with prisoners under their ...

Deaths and Violence Mount at Overcrowded Alabama Prisons While Parole Rate Hits New Low

by Kevin Bliss and Jo Ellen Nott

On February 5, 2022, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a nine-year sentence had been handed down to the last of four Alabama prison guards convicted of beating state prisoners they suspected of smuggling contraband at Elmore Correctional Facility (ECF).

Three days ...