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Articles by Kevin Bliss

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 ...

New York City May Expand Investment Bar to Prison Service Providers

by Kevin Bliss

Under a policy adopted in 2017 by the Comptroller of New York City, none of the city’s five pension funds has any investments in private prison operators due to concerns about investing public money in companies that profit from mass incarceration. Now that ban may also be ...

GEO Group Under Pressure from Shareholders on Human Rights Policy

by David M. Reutter and Kevin Bliss

An activist investor organization has forced Boca Raton, Florida-based GEO Group, which operates or manages almost 75,000 for-profit detention facility beds across the U.S., to adopt a shareholder resolution requiring the company to issue a report on implementation of its human rights policy. ...

Missouri County Agrees to $60,000 Settlement in Wrongful Death Case

by Kevin Bliss

Ralph Caldwell, the father of Michael Kibbons, filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County, Missouri for deliberate indifference to his son’s mental health needs, resulting in his death. The suit alleged that jail staff failed to properly treat and house Kibbons in a manner consistent with his ...

Complaint: Care at ICE Detention Center at Aurora, Colorado, Substandard

by Kevin W. Bliss

The American Immigration Council (AIC) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) filed a complaint on June 4, 2018, on behalf of detainees held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, Colorado, (Aurora) for “dangerously inadequate medical and mental ...

Third Circuit: Placement on a Rehire List Not a Protected Interest

by Kevin W. Bliss

In a precedent-setting case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that there is not a constitutionally protected property interest for civil service employees in New Jersey to remain on government rehire lists. In fact, the state Civil Servicc Commission has discretion ...

Delaware: No Convictions in Second Vaughn Riot Trial

by Kevin Bliss

In February 2019, a second trial for prisoners accused of participating in a deadly 2017 riot at Delaware’s James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ended in not guilty verdicts.

Prisoners Abednego Baynes, 25, and Kevin Berry, 27, were acquitted of all charges. The jury hung on two counts ...

Delaware: Inadequate Medical Care Results in Prisoner’s Death

by Kevin Bliss

Lisa Roseanne Peace, a former nurse with Connections Community Support Services (CCSS), waited almost 20 minutes before calling 911 after finding prisoner James J. Daniels on the floor of the chow hall at the Delaware Sussex Community Corrections Center, unresponsive, incontinent and foaming at the mouth.

Daniels, ...

Settlement in Lawsuit Against Missouri DOC’s Selection of Execution Witnesses

by Kevin Bliss

Christopher McDaniel, an investigative journalist for BuzzFeed News, sued the director of the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) for maintaining a policy of selecting witnesses for executions that constructively denied applicants based on their viewpoints. 

Represented by ACLU of Missouri legal director Anthony Rothert, ...

$150,000 Settlement after Michigan DOC Discriminates Against HIV Positive Prisoner

by Kevin Bliss

John Dorn sued the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) for subjecting him to harsher disciplinary penalties than other prisoners simply because he was HIV positive. 

Represented by attorneys Chris E. Davis and Mark A. Cody from Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. and Kyle A. Palazzolo ...