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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

“Ridiculous and Unacceptable”: Guards Sacked from Ohio Jail for Wrestling Matches with Prisoners

by Jo Ellen Nott

On July 21, 2022, at 11:30 p.m., surveillance cameras in a day room at Ohio’s Fairfield County Jail captured an unusual sight: Friendly wrestling matches were taking place between prisoners and two guards, while a third looked on. Another Sheriff’s deputy who does not work as ...

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 ...

Alabama Reporter Barred from Execution For Too-Short Skirt

by Jo Ellen Nott

On July 28, 2022, news reported Ivana Hrynkiw Shatara had to borrow pants and change her shoes to attend the execution by lethal injection of a state prisoner, after officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) decided her skirt was “too revealing” to admit her ...

Five Hospitalized After Prisoner Take-Over Put Down at Short-Staffed New Orleans Jail

by Jo Ellen Nott

On Sunday, August 14, 2022, barely one hundred days into her tenure as New Orleans Parish Sheriff, Susan Hutson was confronted with a prisoner takeover of a cellblock in the parish lockup, resulting in a call to the Special Response Team (SRT) from the state Department ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...