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Articles by Matthew Clarke

New Jersey Abolishes the Death Penalty

by Matt Clarke

On December 12, 2007, New Jersey became the second state since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 to legislatively abolish the death penalty, replacing it with life without parole. That same day, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine commuted the sentences of the eight prisoners ...

Texas Prison Health Care: On the Brink of Unconstitutionality, Again

by Matt Clarke

According to Texas prison healthcare officials, medical care in the state?s prison system is teetering on the brink of becoming unconstitutional.

?We?re toed up to the line. No doubt about it,? proclaimed Dr. Ben Raimer, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) vice president for correctional healthcare. ?Right ...

Alabama DOC Charges Prisoners Unlawful Fees to Cover Budget Shortfalls

by Matt Clarke

On June 1, 2007, the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts released an audit report critical of the funding practices of the state's Department of Corrections (DOC).

The DOC operates 19 prisons, 10 work release centers, three community work centers and a pre-release center, and contracts ...

Flurry of Escapes Emphasizes Prisoners' Desperation

by Matt Clarke

Last September produced a bumper crop of prison and jail escapes around the country, including a desperate escape by two Texas prisoners that resulted in the death of a guard, a car jacking and two shootouts. Plus a dead horse.

Jerry Duane Martin, 37, and John Ray ...

Jail Uprisings in Oklahoma and Arkansas

by Matt Clarke

June 2007 saw three disturbances at two jails in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The Pittsburg County, Oklahoma jail was built in 1974 and designed to hold 64 prisoners. On June 26, 2007 almost 100 were packed into the facility. That was when a fight between two prisoners escalated ...

Michigan Counties Unsuccessful at Collecting Costs of Jail Imprisonment

by Matt Clarke

On September 12, 2007, the Lenawee County Commission became embroiled in a debate over how to collect $6.3 million in outstanding ?room and board? fees from former jail prisoners that had accrued over the past two fiscal years. The county charges $43.28 per jail day, but cuts ...

Audit of Iowa Prison System’s Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Released

Audit of Iowa Prison System's Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Released

by Matt Clarke

On May 25, 2007, the Iowa Department of Management released a performance audit of substance abuse treatment in the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC). The audit found a number of problems, chief among them that close to ...

Washington State Opens Environmentally-Friendly Control Unit

by Matt Clarke

In October 2007, the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), Washington State's largest prison, opened the first prison building in Washington State to be certified as "green" by the U.S. Green Building Council. The unit, a new segregation building with 200 bunks, consists of a 100-bunk Intensive Management Unit ...

Tainted Chinese Toothpaste Distributed in U.S. Prisons and Hospitals

by Matt Clarke

On June 1, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that toothpaste made in China was found to be contaminated with diethylene glycol (DEG), a toxic chemical used in antifreeze and as a solvent. The FDA urged consumers to ?avoid using toothpaste labeled ...

San Antonio Sheriff Pleads No Contest to Corruption Charges, Resigns

by Matt Clarke

In August 2007, Bexar County, Texas Sheriff Ralph Lopez, 71, was indicted on three felony counts involving corruption. Lopez tendered his resignation on September 1, 2007, and two days later pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges in a deal that spared him from going to prison ...