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Articles by Kevin Bliss

California Prison Rehabilitation Programs Costly and Ineffective

by Kevin Bliss

A report by the California State Auditor, released on January 31, 2019, found that rehabilitative programs currently offered by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) did not assist in reducing the state’s 50 percent recidivism rate.

The report, requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, ...

Pennsylvania Prisoner Acquitted of Murder After 13-Year Battle – by Defending Himself in Retrial

by Kevin Bliss

Representing himself during a fourth trial on a murder charge, Hassan Bennett was acquitted and released following a 13-year legal fight – an extraordinary feat.

Bennett, 36, was serving a life sentence without parole for the ambush shooting death of a friend, Devon English. His defense was ...

Judicial Abuse and Law Enforcement Corruption on Trial in Meek Mill Case

by Kevin Bliss

A Pennsylvania appellate court granted Meek Mill (born Robert Rihmeek Williams) a new trial with a different judge following a motion alleging the police officer who testified against him, Reginald Graham, had perjured himself and the presiding judge, Genece Brinkley, exhibited extreme bias.

The case made national ...

Ninth Circuit: Prisoner’s Withdrawal of Consent for Magistrate Judge Improperly Denied

by Kevin Bliss

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on August 28, 2019 that a California prisoner’s motion to withdraw consent to have a magistrate judge hear his case was improperly denied, and that dismissal of a defendant and a deliberate indifference claim were erroneous.

Corey Dwayne Gilmore was ...

Prisoners at Indiana Jail Certified as a Class in Conditions of Confinement Suit

by Kevin Bliss

In June 2019, an Indiana federal district court held that a former jail detainee, Adam Bell, had presented sufficient evidence to fulfill the requirements to certify a class comprised of all current and future prisoners at the Henry County jail in a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional and inhumane ...

New York State Prisoners Sue to Get Their Pain Medications Back

by Kevin Bliss

Eighteen prisoners filed suit against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) on September 2, 2019, alleging denial of access to vital pain medication necessary for the treatment of their chronic medical conditions.

The DOCCS implemented a policy in 2017 that requires senior ...

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, signed ...