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Articles by Keith Sanders

Pennsylvania County Retakes Control of Jail From GEO Group

by Keith Sanders

On April 6, 2022, Pennsylvania’s Delaware County assumed control of its jail for the first time in 24 years, after terminating its contract with the Florida-based GEO Group. Prior to that, the 1,800-bed George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Thornton was the state’s last privately-operated county lockup. ...

Gang Violence in Texas Federal Prison Results in Two Deaths, Nationwide BOP Lockdown

by Keith Sanders

On April 7, 2022, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against seven federal prisoners for the brutal murder of two fellow prisoners in their Texas lockup, an incident that prompted a rare nationwide lockdown of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

The victims, Guillermo Riojas, ...

$215,000 Awarded to New Jersey Detainee Assaulted by Jail Guards

by Keith Sanders

On October 22, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey awarded $215,000 in damages to a former pretrial detainee at the Cumberland County Jail (CCJ) for injuries suffered during an assault there by guards and police officers.

Lourenzo Witt, the plaintiff, was arrested ...

Two Attorneys, Three Employees Sentenced in Bribery Scandal at MTC Texas Prisons

by Keith Sanders

On June 27, 2022, the last of a trio of private prison employees — plus two immigration attorneys — who were sentenced in a bribery scandal at two Texas prisons holding federal detainees surrendered to U.S. Marshals to begin serving his sentence.

Damian Ortiz, 33, a former ...

Federal Court Puts Troubled Mississippi Jail in Receivership

by David Reutter and Keith Sanders

On July 29, 2022, the federal court for the Southern District of Mississippi took the dramatic step of placing Hinds County’s Raymond Detention Center (RDC) under federal receivership.

A series of crises dates back to a 2012 prisoner riot at the 28-year-old, 594-bed jail ...

All Ohio Prison Guards to Wear Body Cams

by Keith Sanders

In January 2022, the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation began requiring the state’s 5,000 prison guards to don body-worn cameras. Supplied by Axon, the “body cams,” which complement over 1,000 security cameras already installed in Ohio’s 28 state prisons, will cost almost $7 million the first ...

Impact of Felons’ Voting Minimal, MIT Researchers Find

by Keith Sanders

Mass incarceration disenfran­chises millions in America, especially the economically disadvantaged who make up the majority of those incarcerated. Though the rationale for barring felons from voting is multifaceted, one argument is that a bloc of voting felons would somehow skew election outcomes. However, a study published in ...

Fifth Circuit Absolves Texas Jailers in Death of Mentally Ill Detainee Who Refused Medical Treatment

by Keith Sanders

On August 5, 2022, calling the medical neglect of a mentally ill detainee who refused treatment “objectively reasonable,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court’s denial of qualified immunity (QI) to defendants in a suit brought by the family of a ...

A First Glance in Rear-View Mirror at Pandemic

by Kevin W. Bliss, Matt Clarke, Ashleigh N. Dye and Keith Sanders

As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes from the headlines, its full effect on prisoners and detainees is coming into clearer view. One of the first glimpses was provided in a December 2021 report by the federal Department of Justice ...

Kentucky Judge Gives Ex-Jail Guard Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Prisoner Chance to Re-Enlist in Army to Avoid Jail Time

by Keith Sanders

As a federal lawsuit proceeds against Kentucky’s Franklin County filed by a former jail detainee forced into sex by a former guard, a state court judge who found the man criminally liable for the detainee’s sexual assault gave him an unusual choice at his sentencing on January ...