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Articles by Mark Wilson

NY DOCS Lacks Authority to Administratively Impose PRS – But State’s Liability Uncertain

New York prison officials lack the authority to require prisoners to serve Post-Release Supervision (PRS) that was not ordered by the sentencing court, according to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.

In February 2000, Sean Earley pleaded guilty to burglary ...

Massachusetts GPS Program Upheld by State Supreme Court

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court vacated a lower court order which found that a sheriff had violated state law when he released sentenced prisoners on a GPS-monitoring program.

On March 8, 2007, Edward Donohue was convicted of his third drunk driving offense. Twelve days later, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Diane ...

Assessment of Prison Account Without Seizure of Funds Implicates Due Process in Third Circuit

In an important case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that an assessment of a prisoner’s trust account without an actual seizure of funds implicates a property interest. On remand, however, the district court decided that the violation of that right resulted in ...

Defendants Denied Qualified Immunity in Tennessee Jail Detainee’s Death

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a lower court improperly deferred a qualified immunity determination to the jury. The appellate court decided that jail guards, a jail physician and a paramedic were not entitled to qualified immunity in a Tennessee prisoner’s death, though qualified immunity was granted ...

Eighth Circuit Rejects Debt Offset of EAJA Fees; Supreme Court to Hear Case

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that attorney’s fees awarded under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) may not be withheld to pay debts owed to the federal government.

South Dakota attorney Catherine G. Ratliff successfully represented two claimants in their efforts to obtain Social Security benefits. ...

Oklahoma Lawmen Charged with Sundry Crimes

In separate incidents, five Oklahoma prison and jail guards have been charged with crimes ranging from contraband smuggling and assault to murder.

Former Sequoyah County jail guard Jarrod Anthony Yates pleaded guilty on October 2, 2008 to violating the civil rights of an unnamed detainee by punching, kneeing and stomping ...

Former Alabama Judge Acquitted of Paddling, Sexually Abusing Jail Prisoners

On March 27, 2009, former Mobile County, Alabama Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas was indicted on 57 charges for allegedly checking young male prisoners out of the Metro Jail, taking them to his office, and paddling them on their bare buttocks or asking them to engage in sex acts. Seven ...

Ohio Prison Employees Involved in Improper Relationships, Drug Smuggling, Sexual Misconduct

Four Ohio prison employees resigned or were fired amid an investigation into their improper relationships with prisoners, while in unrelated incidents four state prison guards were accused of sexual misconduct, smuggling drugs and soliciting bribes.

The Lorain/Medina Community-Based Correctional Facility (CBCF), a secure rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment center for ...

$1.55 Million Awarded in Female Colorado DOC Prisoner’s Rape by Guard

On February 3, 2009, default judgment was entered in a lawsuit filed against a Colorado prison guard who had raped and sodomized a female prisoner. Afterwards, several other individual defendants and the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) agreed to settle the prisoner’s suit for $250,000, including attorney’s fees. The rapist ...

Revised List of ICE Detainee Deaths Still Incomplete, Updated Again

At least 92 detainees died in immigration detention facilities between October 2003 and February 2009, according to an updated list compiled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The list, which was obtained by the New York Times in March 2009 following a Freedom of Information Act request, revises a previous ...