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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Motions to Dismiss by Corizon and Wexford Denied in Lawsuit Over Florida Prisoner’s Double Leg Amputation

by Matt Clarke 

On December 14, 2018, a federal district court in Florida denied motions to dismiss by Wexford Health Sources and Corizon Health in a medical deliberate indifference case where a state prisoner’s legs were amputated. 

Craig Salvani was 38 years old when he arrived at the ...

Fifth Circuit Reinstates Texas Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claims

by Matt Clarke

On April 16, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated excessive force claims raised by a Texas prisoner in a federal civil rights suit. 

Michael Bourne was being held in a segregation cell when he asked to speak to a guard captain about some money ...

Montana Parolee Sues CoreCivic Over Prison Assault, Brain Injury

by Matt Clarke

former prisoner at the Crossroads Correctional Center near Shelby, Montana is suing the facility’s private operator, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America) and its contract medical provider, alleging staff allowed another prisoner to assault him without intervening and then delayed medical care, resulting in a permanent ...

Sheriff, Undersheriff and Deputies Resign Over Safety Issues at Oklahoma Jail

by Matt Clarke 

On March 18, 2019, Terry Sue Barnett, the sheriff of Nowata County, Oklahoma, resigned. So did her undersheriff, all of her deputies and everyone else in the sheriff’s department except for two dispatchers and three jailers. The reasons given for the mass resignations were safety ...

Texas Prisoner Sues Former Guards for Planting Screwdrivers in His Cell

by Matt Clarke

In February 2019, Texas state prisoner Neil Giese filed a lawsuit against four former Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) guards – including a major, a lieutenant and a sergeant – who allegedly planted screwdrivers in his cell at the Ramsey Unit, southwest of Houston ...

Texas Prisoner’s Lawsuit Over Reaction to Prison Blankets Moves Forward

by Matt Clarke

A lawsuit filed by a Texas prisoner with a wool allergy, who has spent a decade trying to get a blanket that will not cause an adverse reaction, has survived the state’s attempt to have the case dismissed.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prisoner Calvin E ...

Study Finds More Private Prisons Result in Judges Imposing Slightly Longer Sentences

by Matt Clarke 

In a report published on March 24, 2019, researchers from Columbia University and UCLA found that “the opening of a private prison increases the length of sentences relative to what the crime’s and defendant’s characteristics predict.” Private prisons did not increase the chances of defendants ...

Texas Bans All Clergy from Death Chamber after Supreme Court Stays Execution

by Matt Clarke

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for Texas prisoner Patrick H. Murphy on March 28, 2019, based upon his challenge to a prison policy that effectively allowed only Christian and Muslim clergy members to be present in the death chamber during executions. Within ...

Mentally Ill Texas Woman “Ignored to Death” After Five Months in Jail

by Matt Clarke

Janice Dotson-Stephens, 61, died of natural causes at the Bexar County jail in San Antonio, Texas on December 14, 2018. The circumstances of her death were anything but “natural,” though. She spent her last five months incarcerated on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing on private property ...

Eighth Circuit Reinstates Iowa Prisoner’s Retaliation Claims

by Matt Clarke 

On February 26, 2019, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated some of the retaliation claims in a prisoner’s civil rights action that had been dismissed by the district court.

Iowa state prisoner Mark Bitzan filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the ...