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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

Alabama Prisoners Continue to Die at Alarming Rate, More Than One Every Week in 2022

by Jo Ellen Nott

With 39 prisoners dead by September 1, 2022 — despite a federal Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation ongoing since 2016 and two federal court orders — the Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) remains unwilling or unable to address hellish conditions in its prisons.

One of those ...

TDCJ Driven Batty Over Demolition Plans

by Jo Ellen Nott

A colony of 750,000 bats has upended plans by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to demolish an abandoned warehouse next to the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. The massive building, occupying an entire city block, is home to the furry fliers for six months ...

Former Australian Prisoner Partners With Former Guard to Become Porn Stars

by Jo Ellen Nott

They came from opposite sides of the bars in prisons down under and now are “royalty” in Australia’s porn industry. The improbable partnership of adult film stars Dale Egan, 31, a former prisoner, and Isabelle Deltore, 40, a former guard, began when they met through a ...

Wait,What? Florida DOC Bans Tee Shirts Promoting Prisoner Visits

by Jo Ellen Nott

On August 5, 2022, the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) warned employees that certain t-shirts worn by visitors to state prisons “are considered inflammatory and a potential threat to security.” So what messages on the t-shirts sparked this clamp-down?

“I Love My Visits”

“Visits Matter” 

“Stand ...

Guard Held Over His Shift at Short-Staffed Montana Prison Files Kidnapping Charges

by Jo Ellen Nott

On July 28, 2022, Montana State Prison (MSP) Anthony Cotton filed a complaint with local law enforcement accusing two prison supervisors of a “forced holdover,” after he was allegedly locked inside a guard cage in the prison a half-hour past his shift and not allowed to ...

Meth “Kiss of Death” Kills Tennessee Prisoner; Girlfriend Charged with Murder

by Jo Ellen Nott

On August 13, 2022, special agents of the Tennessee Department of Corrections (DOC) and deputies from the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department arrested Rachel Dollard, 33, on charges of second-degree murder and introduction of contraband into a penal facility, after she allegedly passed half an ounce of ...

Arizona DOC Director Admits State Economy Would “Collapse” Without Cheap Prisoner Labor

by Jo Ellen Nott

During testimony before Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee on July 14, 2022, state Department of Corrections (DOC) Director David Shinn admitted that communities in the Grand Canyon State would “collapse” without cheap labor from state prisoners.

Shinn’s comment came in answer to questions about a proposed contract for ...

Guard Sentenced for Montana Women’s Prison Rape

by Jo Ellen Nott

On June 30, 2022, a former guard at Montana Woman’s Prison (MWP) was sentenced in Yellowstone County District Court to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, for raping a prisoner at the lockup in 2019. The unnamed prisoner said she had sex 10 times ...

Two Juvenile Behavioral Treatment Centers in Detroit Ordered to Close

by Jo Ellen Nott

On June 23, 2022, the state of Michigan notified two youth residential behavioral treatment centers in Detroit they had to shutter operations by July 8 due to shocking allegations of staff abuse against the juvenile residents. The order to close the Detroit Behavioral Institute (DBI) came ...

Teen with Toy Water Gun Fatally Shot by Off-Duty NYC Prison Guard

By Jo Ellen Nott

An off-duty guard with the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) was indicted on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges—both first-degree and second-degree—in Bronx County Criminal Court on August 22, 2022, for the fatal shooting of a teenager firing a toy water gun from inside a ...