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Articles by Keith Sanders

Hawaii Supreme Court Rules That Time Served for Concurrent Sentences Can Be Counted Only Once for Sentence Credit

by Keith Sanders

On March 15, 2023, the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §706-671 (2014) does not entitle a defendant to count time earned in detention or incarceration twice against consecutive sentences imposed later.

The Court’s ruling concerned Jonathan Vaden, who was charged with five ...

Top Official in Boston Mayor’s Office Charged With Money Laundering in Prison Drug Smuggling Scheme

by Keith Sanders

Smuggling contraband into prison – like the synthetic cannabinoid known as K2 or “spice” – is a ubiquitous problem. There is an opportunity to quickly make significant money when an 8 x 11 sheet of paper sprayed with liquid K2 can sell for up to $32,000. But ...

Sing Sing Prisoners Sue, Alleging Vicious Beatings During CERT Shakedown

by Keith Sanders

On January 31, 2023, a group of 26 prisoners at New York’s notorious maximum-security Sing Sing Correctional Facility sued the state for assaults allegedly carried out by guards during a two-day prison-wide shakedown in November 2022.

The suit, filed in State Court of Claims by attorney Alexander ...

Circuit Court Orders Hawaii to Release Names of Prisoners Who Die in State’s Jails and Prisons

by Keith Sanders

On November 14, 2022, a Hawaiian court ordered the state Department of Public Safety (DPS), the agency that runs state prisons and jails, to reveal the names of those who have died while incarcerated by the state.

The decision by Judge John M. Tonaki of the state’s ...

Polling Stations Inside Jails Combat Voter Disenfranchisement

by Keith Sanders

America’s carceral system strips millions of people of many privileges as citizens. Even when released, some of those privileges are not regained. Take voting, for instance. Felons – with rare exceptions in a couple of states – lose their privilege to participate in the political process that ...

Almost $650,000 Paid by Illinois to Prisoner Who Lost Leg to Untreated Diabetes

by Keith Sanders

On February 2, 2023, the federal court for the Central District of Illinois denied a motion to overturn a $400,000 jury verdict for a state prisoner, who suffered serious complications arising from untreated diabetic ulcers. Before month’s end, the Court augmented that with nearly $250,000 in attorneys’ ...

Educating Prisoners: New Meta-Analysis Reinforces That It Reduces Recidivism

by Keith Sanders

With the highest incarceration rate in the world – over six out of every 1,000 people – America has long known there is one thing that consistently reduces recidivism: education.

A recent meta-analysis conducted by Middle Tennessee State University Professors Steven Sprick Schuster and Ben Stickle reviewed ...

“Ban the Box” Hiring Law Sets National Standard for Federal Contracts

by Keith Sanders

A little-known provision attached to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2020 prohibits federal contractors from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history. Signed into law in December 2020 by former Pres. Donald J. Trump (R), the provision is intended to prevent prematurely excluding people who ...

Gun Safety Group Defeats Re-Election of “Constitutional Sheriff” in Massachusetts

by Keith Sanders

In the November 2022 elections, voters elected a new sheriff in Bristol County, Massachusetts: Democrat Paul Heroux defeated his Republican opponent, Sheriff Tom Hodgson. The local race garnered national headlines, not just because Heroux, a former Attleboro mayor and state representative, ousted a 25-year incumbent. Heroux was ...

Voters in Four States Change Constitution to Ban Prison Slavery

by Keith Sanders

The November 2022 elections did more than send new faces to Congress and statehouses around the country. They also saw historic ballot measures passed to change the constitutions in four states. Voters in Alabama, Tennessee, Oregon, and Vermont approved measures to amend or rewrite their constitutions to ...