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Articles by Mark Wilson

After Ninth Circuit Refuses to Compel Arbitration, National Class Certified in HRDC’s Challenge to Jail and Prison Debit Card Fees

by Mark Wilson

In a federal suit challenging excessive fees on jail and prison “debit release” cards, the federal court for the District of Oregon on July 13, 2023, certified a national class. The ruling follows another by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on December 22, ...

Seventh Circuit Revives Illinois Prisoner’s Claim Over Knee Surgery Delayed 29 Months

by Mark Wilson

On September 19, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to Illinois prison officials accused of violating a state prisoner’s civil rights with a 29-month surgery delay.

Richard White injured his left knee while playing basketball ...

Fourth Circuit Reinstates North Carolina Prisoner’s Suit, Finding Grievance Procedure Availability an Open Question

By Mark Wilson

On December 27, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated summary judgment issued against a North Carolina prisoner for failing to exhaust his administrative remedies, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. Finding factual disputes regarding the availability ...

Congress Forces BOP to Upgrade Security Cameras

by Mark Wilson

“Broken prison camera systems are enabling corruption, misconduct and abuse” within America’s 122 federal prisons, declared U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), when Pres. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D) signed Ossoff’s bipartisan Prison Camera Reform Act of 2021 into law on January 10, 2023.

When he introduced the ...

Oregon Will Hold Release Hearings for 73 Prisoners Sentenced to LWOP as Juveniles

by Mark Wilson

On October 6, 2022, the Oregon Supreme Court denied a petition for review from prosecutors seeking to stop the Governor and Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (BPPS) from granting early release hearings to 73 prisoners who were sentenced to life for offenses committed as juveniles. See: ...

Senators Slam “Egregious” Prisoner Sexual Abuse by BOP Employees

by Mark Wilson

“I was sentenced and put in prison for choices I made,” said Briane Moore. “I was not sentenced to prison to be raped and abused.”

She was testifying at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on December 9, 2022, about being repeatedly raped ...

Minnesota Supreme Court Denies Qualified Immunity for Delayed Transfer of Sex Offenders

by Mark Wilson

On February 1, 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that civilly committed sex offenders have a clearly established right to transfer to Community Preparation Services (CPS) within a reasonable time. What is reasonable under any given circumstances, however, is a fact issue to be determined in the ...

Aramark Sparks Nevada Prison Hunger Strike

By Mark Wilson

Approximately 40 Nevada prisoners at a maximum-security lockup near Reno started a hunger strike on December 1, 2022, that lasted at least nine days. Top officials with the state Department of Corrections (DOC) claimed the strike at Ely State Prison was due to skimpy portions served by ...

Oregon Governor Commutes All Death Sentences

by Mark Wilson

“I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people – even if a terrible crime placed them in prison,” said outgoing Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on December 14, 2022, in ...

Nebraska Pays $479,000 for Restrictive Housing Prisoner’s Murder While Double-Celled

by Mark Wilson

On May 10, 2022, the federal court for the District of Nebraska granted dismissal to the estate of a prisoner murdered by his cellmate, while the two were double-bunked despite being classified for restrictive housing. Under the settlement negotiated in exchange, Nebraska prison officials agreed to pay ...