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Articles by Kevin Bliss

California Department of Corrections Tries End-Run Around Federal Court

by Kevin Bliss

U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller stated in an October 2019 evidentiary hearing that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) knowingly presented misleading information to the court to appear more compliant with a prior ruling that found its mental health program was insufficient and ...

Alaska: Juvenile Justice Official Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography

by Kevin Bliss

David Weston, Jr., 55, was one of several Anchorage officials with authority over juvenile offenders who have been charged with possession of child pornography.

A sting operation in 2017 had an undercover FBI agent post an advertisement on Craigslist looking for a babysitter for his 10-year-old daughter ...

New York County to Pay $440,000 Settlement in Wrongful Jail Death Suit

by Kevin Bliss

Onondaga County, New York agreed to a $440,000 settlement in a wrongful death claim filed by attorney Richard Priest on behalf of Rebeka Kwiatkowski after her daughter, Chanel Lakatocz, died at the Onondaga County Justice Center (OCJC) from opioid and alcohol withdrawal.

Lakatocz was arrested on August ...

Former Seventh Circuit Judge Posner Founds Short-Lived Project to Help Pro Se Litigants

by Kevin Bliss

An assistance project for pro se litigants, started by retired federal judge Richard Posner, shut down after just over a year because there was much greater demand than could be provided by the organization.

Posner, who sat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ...

Wisconsin Pays Another $5 Million for Abuse at Controversial Juvenile Facility

by Kevin Bliss

Wisconsin has agreed to settlements with three juveniles who alleged abuse while they were held at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys/Copper Lake School for Girls (LH/CL). Paige Ray-Cluney, Laera Reed and Jacob Bailey will receive a total of $4.78 million, bringing Wisconsin’s payouts in lawsuits concerning ...

Securus Technologies Rebrands as Aventiv

by Kevin Bliss

On October 8, 2019, a corporate reorganization listed Aventiv Technologies as the parent company of Securus Technologies, Inc., JPay and AllPaid (formerly known as GovPayNet). Securus has a long history of providing prison and jail phone services, and price gouging prisoners and their families with high rates. ...

New York Closes Two More Prisons, Scaring Corrections Workers

by Kevin Bliss

New York legislators and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo agreed that the state’s 2019-2020 budget will include provisions to shut down two prisons, the Lincoln Correctional Facility in Manhattan and the Livingston Correctional Facility in Sonyea, saving over $35 million. This makes 15 prisons that have closed since ...

Billionaire and Co-Defendant Agree to Donate $1 Million to Stay Out of Jail

by Kevin Bliss

Broadcom co-founder Henry Nicholas III and his friend, Ashley Fargo, entered Alford pleas in Nevada’s Clark County District Court on October 2, 2019, to two counts of felony drug possession. The plea agreement stipulated that the charges would be dismissed in one year if they completed ...

Felony Murder Charges Should Not be Used on Juveniles

by Kevin Bliss

In September 2019, Michael Nerheim, State’s Attorney for Lake County, Illinois, dropped felony murder charges against four juveniles and one 18-year-old following pressure from activists.

The charges against the “Lake County Five” stemmed from a confrontation at 1:00 a.m. on August 23, 2019 between a ...

New York District Court Erred in Applying “Three Strike” Rule to Dismissals

by Kevin Bliss

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held on September 12, 2019 that William Escalera, Jr. was not barred from proceeding in forma pauperis and filing a complaint after a New York district court found he had three strikes under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), ...