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Articles by Kevin Bliss

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), ...

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 ...