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Articles by Kevin Bliss

Mega-stars Accused of Plagiarizing Song from Nameless Missouri Prisoner

by Kevin W. Bliss

In October 2022, movie star Johnny Depp and musician Jeff Beck countersued artist and educator Bruce Jackson for libel and slander, after he accused them of plagiarizing lyrics for the song Sad Motherfuckin Parade, off their collaborative album 18, from his 1974 book Get Your Ass ...

Over $237,000 Awarded in Wisconsin Prisoner’s Suit Accusing Guard of Unwanted Sexual Advances

by Kevin W. Bliss

On June 16, 2022, the federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin ordered a state prison guard to pay $110,042.38 in legal costs and fees for a former state prisoner she subjected to unwanted sexual advances. The award came on top of a $125,000 jury ...

Mississippi Demands $1.9 Million From MTC For Short-Staffing Private State Prison

by Kevin W. Bliss

On November 14, 2022, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White submitted a civil demand for payment of $1.9 million to Utah-based private prison operator Management and Training Corporation (MTC) for violating its contractual agreement to fully staff the Marshall County Correctional Facility (MCCF) from 2017 to 2020. ...

Five High-Level Staffers Out of Michigan Prison After State Watchdog Uncovers Anti-Gay Harassment

by Kevin W. Bliss

The Michigan Office of the Executive Inspector General (OIG) released a 50-page report on December 5, 2022, detailing a culture of unprofessional and irresponsible behavior at the management level of the Pontiac Correctional Center (PCC). Prompted by a complaint of sexual harassment, the investigation resulted in ...

Two Years After Mentally Ill Detainee Strangled to Death by Guards, Florida Jail Still Refuses to Release Video

by Kevin W. Bliss

“They [need] to release the tapes,” Secilia Desir said of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), “so I can see how they killed my son.”

But two years after jail guards fatally strangled Kevin Desir, a Black 43-year-old father of two, no video evidence has been ...

North Carolina Prisoners Languish Without Air Conditioning

by Kevin W. Bliss

The North Carolina General Assembly approved a $30 million budget to air condition all state prisons in late 2021, but none of it had been spent by May 2022. That left about 15,400 of some 37,000 prisoners held by the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) ...

After Sixth Circuit Stops Attempted End-Run Around Rules, Former Kentucky Jail Detainee Settles Suit Against Southern Health Partners

by Kevin W. Bliss

On June 7, 2022, the federal court for the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed the case of a former jail detainee after she reached a settlement with the lockup’s privately contracted healthcare provider. However, the amount and most of the terms of the settlement between Kimissa ...

Former Deputy Warden Gets Two Years for Assaulting Mississippi Prisoner

by Kevin W. Bliss

On September 2, 2022, the former deputy warden of Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for a brutal assault that left a state prisoner with permanent injuries.

Melvin Hilson, 50, was ordered by ...

Settlement Reached in COVID-19 Class Action Against DC Jail

by Kevin W. Bliss and Jayson Hawkins

On April 12, 2022, the federal court for the District of Columbia approved a settlement agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit which challenged conditions of confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic at the DC Jail. Like an earlier preliminary injunction (PI) issued in the ...

N.Y. Jail Sergeant Charged With Sexual Misconduct – Again

by Kevin W. Bliss

New York’s Erie County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) fired a county jail guard on May 19, 2022, after several detainees came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. The move came a month after a grand jury indicted Robert M. Dee, 41, in April 2022 for forcible ...