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Articles by Kevin Bliss

Ohio County Pays $2.5 Million for Photographing Female Detainees’ Tattooed Private Areas

by Kevin W. Bliss

On January 7, 2022, Ohio’s Franklin County Board of Commissioners settled a suit brought by a class of former female detainees in the county jail who claimed their constitutional rights were violated when photographs of tattoos on or around their private areas were taken by deputies ...

Alabama Prisoner Who Escaped With Jail Guard Lover Charged in Her Death on the Run

by Kevin W. Bliss

On July 12, 2022, the District Attorney (DA) for Alabama’s Lauderdale County announced murder charges against a former detainee in the county jail who escaped with the help of a high-ranking guard, after which she fatally shot herself as authorities closed in to recapture him.

Vicky ...

Federal Court Affords Immigrant Children More Due Process Rights in California Class-Action

by Kevin W. Bliss

In a class-action suit filed by minor immigrants held in federal detention centers alleging deprivations suffered there, the federal court for the Central District of California granted plaintiffs a preliminary injunction on August 30, 2022, requiring the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide specific ...

Death and Inhumane Living Conditions Persist in Nation’s Worst Jail

by Kevin W. Bliss

Crisis conditions continue at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, where 13 deaths have been recorded through the first eight months of 2022. Given a population of some 5,700 prisoners and detainees at the jail, that’s a death rate over twice as a high as ...

New Florida Law Shrouds Executions in Secrecy

by Kevin W. Bliss

On May 12, 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB 873, “providing an exemption from public records requirements for information or records that identify or could reasonably lead to the identification of any person or entity that participates in an execution.”

Sponsored by state Sen. ...

New York Closes Moriah ‘Shock Camp’

by Kevin W. Bliss

The New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) shuttered its upstate “shock camp” on March 10, 2022. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced in her 2022 budget the closing of several prisons including the Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility. That leaves the state’s last shock ...

California Appeals Court Lets CDCR Define Term Adopted From Legislation

by Kevin W. Bliss

Is a man your mother marries after you grow up and leave home your stepfather? What if she dies — is he still your stepfather then?

The questions sound like parlor games, but the answers carry significance under regulations promulgated by the California Department of Corrections ...

Seventh Circuit Lets Wexford Skate from “Appalling” Treatment of Illinois Prisoner With Painful Anal Abscess and Fistula

by Kevin W. Bliss
After an Illinois prisoner developed a painful anal abscess and fistula, his medical care was “appalling” and the prison healthcare system was “dysfunctional.” But that’s just negligence, and the Constitution doesn’t protect prisoners from that.

That’s the takeaway from a ruling by the U.S. Court of ...

Settlement Delivers Huge Gains for Montana Prisoners with Mental Illnesses

by Kevin W. Bliss

The Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) and Montana State Prison (MSP) entered into an agreement with Disability Rights Montana, Inc. (DRM) on March 10, 2022, settling a lawsuit DRM filed on behalf of state prisoners with serious mental illnesses (SMI) with a major overhaul to the ...

Nebraska Prison Staffing Crisis Sees Supervisors Take Demotions to Get Hourly Overtime Pay

by Kevin W. Bliss

Despite a watchdog report finding state prisons so short-staffed that some guard supervisors sought demotions to take advantage of ballooning hourly overtime pay, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will not see any help from lawmakers this session, after an ambitious prison overhaul bill died ...