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Articles by Jordan Arizmendi

Former Mississippi Sheriff Indicted for Bribery After Allegedly Allowing Detainee Rape at County Jail

by Jordan Arizmendi

Three years after retiring, and 16 years after the first rape allegations surfaced at Mississippi’s Noxubee County Jail (NCJ), former Sheriff Terry Grassaree has been indicted on federal charges. On October 5, 2022, Grassaree and a former deputy were accused of bribing a detainee with a cellphone ...

It’s Official: BOP Prisoners on Expanded COVID-19 Home Confinement Staying Put

by Jordan Arizmendi

In its final rule that took effect on May 4, 2023, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) declared that prisoners placed on home confinement by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) under eligibility criteria expanded by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic would not have to ...

Fewer Juveniles in U.S. Detention Facilities, But Problems Persist

by Jordan Arizmendi

Anyone who watches news or primetime television shows may think that crime by violent youths is on the rise. However, a study released by The Sentencing Project in May 2023 proves the opposite is true: Between 2000 and 2020, the number of youths held at U.S. juvenile ...

Study Finds 3% of US Prisoners Are Doing Time for Crimes Committed as Children

by Jordan Arizmendi

Children prosecuted as adults have sadly been ignored by criminal justice reform. On May 9, 2023, a new study was released by the nonprofit Human Rights for Kids that put the problem in context. Abstracting data from 45 states, the group found that 32,359 prisoners – about ...

Guards Filmed Walking Away from Burning Mexican Detention Center Where 38 Migrants Died

by Jordan Arizmendi and Chuck Sharman

A huge fire inside an immigration detention facility in Ciudad Juarez, just across the Mexican border from El Paso, killed 38 men on March 28, 2023. Another 28 were left with injuries, according to Mexico’s National Immigration Institute.

While smoke filled the building and ...

31 UK Guards Fired Since 2019 for Sexual Misconduct with Prisoners

by Jordan Arizmendi

As of March 2023, the U.K. Prison Service had fired 31 guards in just 48 months for sexual misconduct with prisoners in England and Wales. More than half of the randy guards – 18 – were fired from a single lockup, HMP Berwyn, which is Britain’s newest ...

Four Charged with Using Drones to Smuggle Drugs into California Prisons

by Jordan Arizmendi

In an indictment unsealed on April 13, 2023, four people were accused of using drone aircraft to deliver drugs into California state prisons. The indictment was brought in federal court for the Eastern District of California on February 6, 2023, against Michael Ray Acosta, 48, and three ...

Alabama No-Bid Prison Contract Costs More Per Bed Than State’s Average Home

by Jordan Arizmendi

The Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority recently approved a $975 million no-bid contract for a single new prison – roughly equal to the budget of Alabama’s entire Department of Mental Health. Dividing the total cost by an expected population of 4,000 prisoners comes out to $243,750 per ...

Illinois DOC Accused of Fraudulently Obtaining Do Not Resuscitate Orders From Mentally Incompetent Prisoners

by Jordan Arizmendi

A report by Chicago’s WBEZ on April 4, 2023, revealed a chilling accusation against the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC): That officials got signatures on Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders from prisoners suffering dementia or mental illness.

The charge was leveled by a federal monitor overseeing the ...

“What a Nice House You Have”: Head of R.I. Prison Guard Union Accused of Witness Intimidation

by Jordan Arizmendi

Just outside the hearing room of Rhode Island’s House Judiciary Committee on April 4, 2023, a witness supporting a proposed law to limit the use of solitary confinement in state prisons said he was collared by the head of the state prison guard’s union, who then used ...