Skip navigation

Articles by Keith Sanders

“Join Me in Holding Your Nose” Federal Judge Reluctantly Okays $750,000 Settlement in Ohio Pre-Trial Detainee’s Excessive Force Suit

by Keith Sanders

On December 6, 2021, the Board of Commissioners of Clermont County, Ohio, voted to pay $750,000 to settle a suit brought by a former pretrial detainee allegedly subjected to unconstitutional mistreatment at the county jail. The vote ratified an earlier agreement reached between the parties, after a ...

Video Released of Guards Killing Kansas Teen at Juvenile Facility; DA Says “Stand-Your-Ground” Law Prevents Him from Filing Charges

by Keith Sanders

The webpage of Kansas’ Sedgwick County crashed on June 10, 2022, under the weight of a surge in traffic driven by the release of surveillance video showing guards at the county juvenile facility struggling with a 17-year-old who then died.

District Attorney (DA) Marc Bennett previously declined ...

Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting Uncovers Almost 1,000 Privileged Calls Recorded in Four County Jails, Sues York County for Denying Public Records Request

by Keith Sanders 

On January 26, 2022, the Maine Monitor published a list of nearly 1,000 privileged calls illegally recorded between detainees and their attorneys from June 2019 to May 2020 at four county jails in the state. Not included, however, was any data from York County, the state’s second-most ...

$500,001 Settlement Against Guard Who Groped Delaware Prisoner With Long History of Lost Cases

by Keith Sanders

On December 16, 2021, a federal jury awarded Delaware prisoner DeShawn Drumgo $500,001 in damages after concluding a prison guard had inappropriately fondled him. This was the same prisoner who lost at least four earlier cases over conditions of confinement and alleged use of excessive force by ...

$725,000 Settlement Reached in North Carolina Prisoner’s Suicide at Troubled Jail

by Keith Sanders

On January 18, 2019, Melissa Middleton Rice committed suicide while in custody at the Jackson County Detention Center (JCDC) in Sylva, North Carolina. As she sat in the jail’s booking room, Rice hanged herself with a telephone cord. She was found unresponsive and without a pulse just ...

Lifting Six-Year Moratorium, Oklahoma Treats Witnesses to Convulsing and Vomiting Prisoner During Execution

by Keith Sanders 

Several journalists spoke out about what they witnessed during the execution by lethal injection of Oklahoma prisoner John Marion Grant on October 28, 2021, saying the 60-year-old convulsed over a dozen times and then began vomiting after the first drug, a sedative, was administered.

Sean Murphy and ...

Fourth Circuit Refuses to Reinstate Suit by NC Jail Detainee Alleging Denial of Access to Grievance System and Timely Medical Care Prisoner Didn’t Ask the Court to Extend Kingsley Protections

by Keith Sanders

The U.S. Supreme Court lowered the bar for a pre-trial detainee to sustain a civil rights claim over an alleged use of excessive force in Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576 U.S. 389 (2015), saying it is necessary to show only that the alleged injury was objectively unreasonable, ...

Death by Incarceration: Study Reveals High Death Rates Inside NY’s State Prisons

by Keith Sanders 

In 1972, when the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed capital punishment, New York state had been executing people since 1608. The total number of individuals put to death by the state in that period is staggering: 1,130. Yet as appallingly high as that number may be, more people ...

Centurion Health Supplants Corizon in Missouri After Court Ruling

by Keith Sanders

After a trial on November 3, 2021, a Missouri court ruled in favor of the state Department of Corrections (DOC) in a challenge to its decision replacing its private healthcare contractor Corizon with a competitor, Centurion Health.

At stake was a $1.4 billion seven-year contract to provide ...

$1.1 Million Colorado Initiative Set to Assist Prisoners With More Employment Opportunities Upon Release

by Keith Sanders

Individuals leaving prison often face obstacles securing basic necessities like employment, housing, and health care. This can make reintegration into society exceedingly difficult. The restrictions and limited opportunities that ex-prisoners face often contribute to higher recidivism rates, especially the inability to find gainful employment. 

Now Colorado will ...