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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Matthew Clarke

Georgia Jail Prisoner’s Lawsuit Over Mail Censorship Settled for $18,000

by Matt Clarke

 A Georgia county agreed to settle a jail prisoner’s lawsuit over censorship of mail and media and other issues at the Gwinnett County Detention Center after a federal magistrate recommended that it be allowed to proceed.

Adam Garber was a prisoner at the jail when, according to ...

Colorado: $190,000 Settlement for Prisoners Ordered Released but Kept in Jail for Inability to Pay $55 Fee

by Matt Clarke 

El Paso County, Colorado has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who remained in jail for 27 days because she was unable to pay a $55 fee, even after a judge ordered her release on a personal recognizance bond.

According to court ...

New York City Settles Kalief Browder Lawsuit for $3.3 Million

by Matt Clarke 

The untimely death of Kalief Browder at age 22 sparked a nationwide movement to enact bail reform and end the use of segregation for young detainees. Both President Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cited Browder’s suicide – after he served two years ...

Strip and Body Cavity Searches: Looking for Contraband in all the Wrong Places

by Matt Clarke 

It is unknown whether the Supreme Court’s ruling in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, 566 U.S. 318 (2012), which upheld the practice of strip searching jail prisoners absent individualized suspicion of illegal activity and regardless of the severity of their ...

Conflict of Interest in Texas Rangers’ Investigation of Deaths at LaSalle-Operated Jails?

by Matt Clarke 

In January 2019, the Dallas Morning News reported that Louisiana-based private prison company LaSalle Corrections, which operates eight jails in Texas, employs a former Texas Ranger whose son oversees that law enforcement agency. The Texas Rangers are responsible for investigating deaths at seven of the eight ...

For Years, Errors in Iowa’s Felon List Have Disenfranchised Eligible Voters

by Matt Clarke 

Iowa’s electronic database of registered voters, I-VOTERS, contains the names of about 69,000 convicted felons who are barred from casting ballots. But in June 2016, Iowa’s Secretary of State found that 2,591 of those names belonged to people who were not in ...

Congressional Report Finds Misconduct by BOP Administrators Often Ignored

by Matt Clarke

A memorandum from the House Subcommittee on National Security, released on January 2, 2019, concluded that misconduct by senior leadership in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “appears to be largely tolerated or ignored altogether.” 

The committee reviewed thousands of pages of case files and ...

Colorado Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment Abolishing Prison Slavery

by Matt Clarke 

The second time was the charm. On November 6, 2018, Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state’s constitution that abolished all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude, after rejecting a similar ballot measure in 2016. [See: PLN, Dec. 2018, p.48; Nov. 2017 ...

Closed Since 2013, Tamms Prison Now “Rampant” with Mold

by Matt Clarke

As previously reported in PLN, the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) closed the Tamms Correctional Center as part of a cost-cutting consolidation of state prisons pushed by then-Governor Pat Quinn in 2013. [See: PLN, June 2013, p.1].

Since then the supermax facility has remained vacant, unventilated ...

Counties Modify, Cancel Contracts for Privately Operated Immigration Detention Centers

by Matt Clarke 

Using a type of contract known as an Intergovernmental Service Agreement (ISA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has partnered with local governments to place immigrant detainees in unused jail beds or detention centers built specifically for that purpose, creating a network of facilities that are often ...


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