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Articles by Jo Ellen Nott

California State Senator Introduces Bill to Increase Gate Money Substantially

by Jo Ellen Nott

On February 18, 2022, Democratic California state Sen. Sydney Kamlager introduced legislation to increase the amount of money individuals receive when released from state prisons. These funds, commonly called “gate money,” are given to help prisoners transition from life behind bars to the larger and costly ...

HRDC Sues for Records Denied by Sheriff and Jail in Will County, Illinois

by Jo Ellen Nott

The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), the nonprofit that publishes Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News, filed suit in Illinois state court on February 7, 2022, accusing the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office (WCSAO) of improperly withholding public records.

HRDC filed its suit three ...

Colorado Bailing Out Private Prison Company on Taxpayers’ Dime

by Jo Ellen Nott 

On January 21, 2022, Colorado lawmakers advanced plans to funnel $5.41 million in additional funds over the next two years to address staffing crises at the state’s only two private prisons, both operated for the state Department of Corrections (DOC) by private prison giant CoreCivic, whose ...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Omicron Winter

by Jo Ellen Nott

The latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the omicron variant of the coronavirus is affecting prisons and jails across the U.S. Just how bad is it during these winter months?

Omicron Out West: Looking Surprisingly Good

California reported 2,350 active prisoner infections as of ...