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Articles by Kevin Bliss

New Jail Healthcare Provider Coming to Albuquerque – Again

by Kevin W. Bliss

New Mexico’s Bernalillo County is terminating the contract with its jail’s private healthcare contractor effective July 25, 2023. County Manager Julie Morgas Baca sent word to YesCare – the corporate descendant of Corizon Health – on January 26, 2023, pulling the plug two years early on ...

Third Connecticut Prison Lockdown in Five Months

by Kevin W. Bliss

When an apparently intoxicated prisoner allegedly assaulted a guard at Connecticut’s largest prison on June 13, 2023, the lockup was put on lockdown. It was at least the third time this year that a state Department of Correction (DOC) prison was shutdown.

The first incident also ...

New York City Stops Reporting Rikers Island Deaths Amid Rampant Guard Misconduct

by Kevin W. Bliss, Chuck Sharman and Benjamin Tschirhart

On May 31, 2023, Luis Molina, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction (DOC), announced his agency would no longer make public reports of in-custody deaths. Why? Molina blamed the federal monitor overseeing a long-running class-action lawsuit to improve ...

California Prisoners Embracing Arts

by Kevin W. Bliss

In November 2022, about 20 prisoners at California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino staged a dance show.

You read that right.

Smashing what New York Times reporter Brian Selbert called “prison culture codes of masculine behavior,” the men said no one was more surprised than ...

Iowa DOC Changes Policy After Ombudsman Calls Out Unfair Prisoner Discipline

by Kevin W. Bliss

In its Annual Report on December 15, 2022, the Iowa Ombudsman Office (IOO) called out the state Department of Corrections (DOC) for unfairly addressing abuse of K2 by prisoners and also failing to protect those in protective custody (PC). But Ombudsman Bernardo Granwehr said policy changes ...

Arizona Exploiting Prisoner Labor for Profit

by Kevin W. Bliss

A new constitutional amendment proposed to Congress in June 2023 would remove the exception for prisoners to the U.S. ban on slavery. The effort follows a report from Arizona in December 2022, which found that private firms in the state used over two dozen undocumented migrant ...

“Night of Terror” in Indiana Jail Sees Detainees Assaulted by Fellow Prisoners Who Purchased Cell Keys From Guard

by Kevin W. Bliss

An Indiana jail guard and a jail detainee are headed to trial in the summer of 2023 on charges that the guard sold the detainee access to keys that he used to unlocked the female housing area to a group of male detainees. But officials at ...

“Abdication of Responsibility”: Heads Roll in Tennessee DOC Over Botched Execution Protocols

by Kevin W. Bliss

A day before releasing a scathing report on the state’s execution procedures, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) fired the deputy commissioner of the Department of Corrections (DOC), Debbi Inglis, along with Inspector General Kelly Young. The last day of work for both was December 27, 2022. ...

Prisoner Counselors STORMING California Prisons to Aid in Addiction Recovery

by Kevin W. Bliss

On October 28, 2022, the first graduates of the Offender Mentor Certification Program (OMCP) at California State Prison (CSP) in Lancaster received their certificates. The new class of 29 will offer peer-to-peer drug abuse recovery and counseling to prisoners across the state. Upon release they can ...

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Caves to Criticism, Accepts Resignation of Formerly Incarcerated Clerk

by Kevin W. Bliss

On January 5, 2023, new Michigan Supreme Court Justice Kyra Bolden announced she had accepted the resignation of her formerly incarnated clerk, Pete Martel. In doing so, the justice bowed to complaints that Martel, who served 14 years for shooting at police during a 1994 robbery, ...