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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

Daughter of Condemned Missouri Prisoner Unsuccessfully Sues to Witness His Execution

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 29, 2022, Missouri administered a lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre to murder prisoner Kevin Johnson, 37. But his 19-year-old daughter was not by his side. That was because a federal judge had ruled that a state law barring Corionsa Ramey ...

Oklahoma Prison Industries Partially Shut Down After Convicted Child Molester Uses Work Computer to Download Kiddie Porn

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 30, 2022, the new Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) addressed a scandal that began unfolding eight months earlier, when a convicted child molester manning a contract call center used his work computer to download kiddie porn.

“I’m an action-oriented guy,” ...

One Idaho Detainee Kills Another in Jail Fight Over Tablet Use

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 28, 2022, a man who fatally beat a fellow detainee at Idaho’s Madison County Jail was sentenced for the murder. Robert Pompa, 27, will spend at least 27 years in prison for killing 62-year-old Eddie Blaine Stacey in a fight over an electronic tablet ...

Former Florida Guard Gets Four Years for Holding Naked Man Hostage Over Crypto Deal Gone Bad

by Jo Ellen Nott

On December 1, 2022, former Brevard County jail guard Amony Robillard, 31, was sentenced for taking a man hostage at gunpoint and holding him naked to extort repayment of money the guard lost in a bad cryptocurrency investment made on the victim’s advice.

According to the ...

Former Felons Elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives

by Jo Ellen Nott

On January 4, 2023, former prisoners Leonela Felix, 35, and Cherie Cruz, 50, were set to become members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. The two share a mission to help people rebuild their lives from prior criminal-legal run-ins. It’s a cause dear to their ...

“No Room”: Louisiana Juvenile System No Longer Accepting Kids

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 10, 2022, the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) notified judges in state juvenile courts that the agency was “at full bed capacity” in both “secure and non-secure beds,” so it could not accept more youth into custody. The agency also requested permission from ...

NYC Jails Still Without Tablet Lifeline to the Outside Six Months After Contract Expires

by Jo Ellen Nott

By December 2022, nearly six months after its contract with tablet provider American Prison Data Systems (APDS) expired, the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) had still not explained why prisoners and detainees have been deprived of the valuable link to the outside.

From its inception ...

Death Toll Mounts at Georgia’s Fulton County Jail with Reports of Malnutrition, Medical Neglect and Vermin

by Jo Ellen Nott

When a 35-year-old detainee died in his cell at the Fulton County Jail (FCJ) in Atlanta on September 13, 2022, he was found covered in lice. Officials then discovered that every man in his unit – which is reserved for those diagnosed with mental illness – ...

3,338 Texas Prisoners Taking College Courses with Pell Grants

by Jo Ellen Nott   

In July 2023, the Biden White House will return the hope of education to more prisoners by restoring the financial assistance provided by Pell Grants. The federal need-based funding for college courses was severely curtailed for incarcerated students during the get-tough-on-crime mindset of the 1990s. ...

‘Good Time’ Credit Policy Wrongly Under Attack in Alabama

by Jo Ellen Nott

Policymakers in Alabama are howling for an end to “good time” sentence credits after a recently released state prisoner killed a Sheriff’s deputy in June 2022. But how did Austin Patrick Hall, a 26-year-old felon with 46 arrests since age 17, leave prison after serving less ...