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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

Three Former Hawaii Jail Guards Convicted in Assault on Prisoner and Cover-Up

By Jo Ellen Nott

On July 8, 2022, a federal jury convicted three former guards from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center for a vicious assault on a prisoner in June 2015. The three, Jason Tagaloa, 31, Craig Pinkey, 38, and Jonathan Taum, 50, were also convicted of submitting a false ...

California Prison Optometry Labs Under Pressure to Do Better

by Jo Ellen Nott

In August 2022, Senate Bill 1089 moved forward in the California Assembly, seeking to cut long turnaround times for eyeglasses made by prisoners working in the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA). If passed, the legislation will allow Medi-Cal clinics for low-income families to bypass the slow-running ...

Louisiana Moves Juvenile Offenders to Troubled State Penitentiary at Angola

by Jo Ellen Nott

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced on July 19, 2022, that approximately 25 teenage juvenile offenders will be transferred from a residential center near New Orleans to temporary housing at the massive Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, which houses the state’s death row, sparking an ...

Despite $200 Million Bond Sale Shortfall, Alabama Moves Forward with New Prison Construction

by Jo Ellen Nott

 On June 30, 2022, Alabama officials announced they were proceeding with plans to build two “mega” prisons for $1.2 billion despite being falling $200 million short in a bond offering. The Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority (ACIFA) had hoped to sell $725 million in bonds but ...

More BOP Guards at FCI-Dublin “Rape Club” Accused of Sex Abuse by Female Prisoners

by Jo Ellen Nott

Marie Washington and Laura Chaney, former prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Dublin, California, are the latest women to allege they were victims of sexual abuse by staff at the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) lockup. The two filed tort claims in June 2022 ...

Elderly Georgia Jail Guard Charged with Committing Rape While On Duty and In Uniform

by Jo Ellen Nott

On May 31, 2022, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) agents announced the arrest of an 81-year-old jail guard in Walker County who allegedly “had sex with a woman without her consent while on duty and in uniform,” according to the agency’s press release.

The guard, Jerry ...

Former Arizona Corrections Chief Indicted After Drunken Armed Standoff with Tempe Police

by Jo Ellen Nott

In Phoenix on April 26, 2022, the Maricopa County State Attorney’s Office indicted Charles Lee Ryan, former Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, on two felony charges stemming from an armed standoff with Tempe police officers on January 6, 2022, after which Ryan admitted he ...

Woman Masterminds $2 Million Unemployment Fraud from California Prison Cell

by Jo Ellen Nott

A woman serving a life sentence in a California prison and a dozen accomplices she allegedly led were charged on May 18, 2022, in a scheme to defraud the state of at least $2 million in unemployment benefits between June 2020 and April 2021. An unnamed ...

Cause of Prisoner’s Death in Tennessee CoreCivic Jail Finally Revealed as Homicide

by Jo Ellen Nott

Laeddie Coleman was the second prisoner brutally stabbed at Tennessee’s Hardeman County Correctional Facility (HCCF) on September 7, 2021. The first, Devin Jamison, was allegedly stabbed 15 times with a homemade knife in the jail day room by fellow detainee Nicholas Tipton, who ran and hid ...

Pennsylvania Jail Guards Accused of Smuggling, Assaulting Mentally Ill Prisoners

by Jo Ellen Nott

Three guards at the Beaver County Jail in western Pennsylvania were hit with contraband charges in May 2022 after allegedly taking Cash App transfers from the families of prisoners under their supervision to smuggle marijuana, tobacco and suboxone into the lockup. 

Using search warrants and the ...