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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

New York City Guards Charged With Fraudulently Taking More Than a Year’s Paid Sick Leave

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 10, 2022, three guards who work for the New York City Department of Correction [DOC] at Rikers Island were arrested on charges of federal program fraud. Steven Cange, Monica Coaxum and Eduardo Trinidad were named in criminal complaints announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office ...

Denver Jailer Breaks Detainee’s Wrist with Nunchucks, Gets Whopping 3-Day Suspension

by Jo Ellen Nott

Back on April 25, 2021, while attempting to remove handcuffs and leg shackles from an unruly and apparently intoxicated detainee, Denver Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Rodriguez broke out a pair of nunchucks. Then he proceeded to break the man’s wrist. After a subsequent disciplinary action – which ...

His Execution Stayed, Texas Prisoner Still Hopes to Donate His Rare Kidney Type as Atonement

by Jo Ellen Nott

On July 11, 2022, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution to Ramiro Gonzalez, 40, who had been scheduled to die just two days later. The stay resulted from problems found with testimony given by psychiatrist Edward Gripon during Gonzalez’s 2006 trail. ...

First Transgender Prisoner Execution Carried Out in Missouri

by Jo Ellen Nott

Missouri executed Amber McLaughlin, 49, by lethal injection on January 3, 2023, after she sat on death row for at least a decade as Scott McLaughlin. Hers was the first state-sanctioned murder of the new year and also the first known execution of an openly transgender ...

Fulton County Jail Detainees Ended 2022 Freezing and Defecating in Trash Bags

by Jo Ellen Nott

With no end in sight for staffing shortages at the Fulton County Jail (FCJ) in Atlanta, detainees got a cruel blow the last week of 2022: A winter storm froze water lines in the metro area, compromising the jail’s water supply and leaving detainees unable to ...

Michigan Prisoners Once Again Lose Visitation Due to COVID-19 and Influenza Outbreaks

by Jo Ellen Nott

Michigan state prisoners are having a grim winter. Quarantine orders are in effect at 11 state lockups suffering outbreaks of the flu and COVID-19.

Two prisons, Macomb Correctional Facility (CF) and G. Robert Cotton CF, were under full quarantine as of January 2023. Nine others were ...

Louisville Jail Counts 12 Deaths in Ten Months

by Jo Ellen Nott

Before November 29, 2021, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) averaged three prisoner deaths per year. Ten months later, that number had skyrocketed; a dozen lives were lost in the lockup by October 3, 2022.

As of April 2022, LMDC has a new director, after a ...

California Guards Kill Two Prisoners Who Attacked a Third

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 29, 2022, two California prisoners attacked a third with a homemade knife in the recreation yard at the High Desert State Prison (HDSP). Responding guards first attempted to intervene with verbal commands. When those were ignored, they fired warning shots from a Mini-14 rifle. ...

Idaho Cancels Execution Because It Cannot Obtain Lethal Injection Drugs

by Jo Ellen Nott

When it issued a death warrant for convicted murderer Gerald Pizzuto, Jr. on November 16, 2022, the Idaho Department of Corrections (DOC) admitted it did not have the drugs needed to carry out the execution. By its own self-imposed deadline, DOC must have lethal injection drugs ...

Former Felons Elected to Rhode Island Legislature

by Jo Ellen Nott

On January 4, 2023, a pair of former felons joined the Rhode Island House of Representatives. The two Democrats, Leonela Felix, 35, and Cherie Cruz, 50, say their shared mission is to help people rebuild their lives after run-ins with the law. It’s a cause dear ...