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Articles by Kevin Bliss

Seventh Circuit: Failure to Provide Medical Accommodation is Deliberate Indifference

by Kevin Bliss

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in a June 26, 2019 ruling that sufficient evidence existed for a reasonable juror to conclude that prisoner LeRoy Palmer’s congenital deformity constituted a serious medical condition, and that a prison medical employee’s knowledge of the heightened risk of harm ...

Prison’s Refusal to Allow Wiccan Services Must be Reviewed for Compelling Governmental Interest

by Kevin Bliss

Mario Sentelle Cavin, incarcerated at the Macomb Correctional Facility in Michigan, filed an appeal in the Sixth Circuit after a federal district court ruled that his religious freedoms had not been violated when the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) refused to allow him communal worship for Wiccan ...

Conditions Lawsuit Against Indiana County Jail Certified as a Class Action

by Kevin Bliss

An Indiana federal district court held that a former jail detainee, Adam Bell, had presented sufficient evidence to allow certification of a class comprised of all persons currently confined, and who will be confined in the future, at the Henry County Jail. The ruling came in a ...

Victim Notification Law Plagues Alabama’s Parole System

by Kevin Bliss

Admitting it is an “uncalled-for-situation,” Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) Director Charles Graddick announced on September 9, 2019 that all future parole hearings were being postponed in order to comply with a new law that took effect the first of that month. The law ...

Louisiana Prison Industry Program Puts Profits Before Prisoners

by Kevin Bliss

The Louisiana Department of Corrections’ (LDOC) prison industry program, Prison Enterprises (PE), was audited in May 2019. The resulting report found that the program still had some of the same issues with sustainability and inadequate training opportunities for prisoners as it did 20 years ago in its ...

Alabama Prisoners Bring Awareness of Abusive Conditions Through Hunger Strikes

by Kevin Bliss

In March 2019, nine Alabama prisoners went on a hunger strike after being placed in solitary confinement without being given any reason other than “preventative measures.”

The prisoners, members of Convicts Against Violence or the Free Alabama Movement, were housed at the St. Clair Correctional Facility ...

Report: Summit Food Services Provides Inadequate Nutrition at Missouri Jail

by Kevin Bliss

Attorney and retired judge Gary Oxenhandler conducted a study in 2017 on the prisoner population at the Boone County Jail (BCJ) in Columbia, Missouri. He reported that prisoners were complaining about the quality and quantity of meals at the facility – specifically, that they were not receiving ...

Oregon Sheriff Places Own Head on the Chopping Block for Budget Cuts

by Kevin Bliss

Harney County, Oregon expects an $800,000 budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. Nonunion employees and elected officials in the county are already being furloughed 10 hours a month to help make up existing shortfalls, the county jail fails to meet state law standards, and there ...

Lawsuit: Woman Gave Birth Alone in Colorado Jail Cell

by Kevin Bliss

Diana Sanchez gave birth to her son on July 31, 2019 at the Denver County Jail (DCJ), with no assistance from the medical staff. Guards and medical personnel watched from a remote location through a live video feed as Sanchez went through five hours of labor, ultimately ...

Audit Finds Mississippi Private Prison Plagued by Violence, Run by Gangs

by Kevin Bliss

Former warden Jody Bradley depended on gang leaders at a privately-run Mississippi prison to maintain control of the facility.

That was one finding of a December 2018 internal audit by Management & Training Corporation (MTC) at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility (WCCF), which the company operates for ...