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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Lawsuit Exposes Jail Limbo for Mentally Incompetent Defendants in Texas

by Matt Clarke

According to a lawsuit filed by a non-profit group, Texas is facing a shortage of mental hospital beds that leaves hundreds of mentally-incompetent criminal defendants stranded in jails awaiting treatment.

Texas has a total of 738 mental hospital beds designated for mentally ill jail prisoners, including 343 ...

First Circuit Upholds $500,000 Award for Whistle-Blowing Boston Guard

by Matthew T. Clarke

On March 29, 2005, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $500,000 jury award in favor of a former guard at a Boston jail who was harassed by fellow guards after he reported the misconduct of another jail employee.

Bruce Baron was a guard at ...

First Circuit Upholds Ex-Boston Guard’s 46-Month Prisoner-Abuse Sentence

First Circuit Upholds Ex-Boston Guard's 46-Month Prisoner-Abuse Sentence

by Matthew T. Clarke

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a 46-month prison sentence imposed on a former guard at the Nassau Street Jail in Boston, Massachusetts for beating a pre-trial detainee who suffered from Tourette's Syndrome.

Eric J. Donnelly, ...

Texas Prisoners May Have Right to Extra Storage Space for Religious Materials

by Matthew T. Clarke

A Texas court of appeals held that state prisoners may have a right to extra storage space for religious materials.

Jeffery Balawajder, a Texas state prisoner, brought suit in state court against the Texas prison system (TDCJ), alleging that his right to free exercise of religion ...

CCA-Run Immigrant Family Detention Center in Texas Violates Settlement Conditions

by Matt Clarke

On April 9, 2007, a federal district court in Texas held that the conditions of confinement at a privately-run facility used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold families detained due to immigration issues violated the terms of a class-action settlement related to the detention of ...

State Secrets Privilege Protects U.S. in. Erroneous Rendition Suit

By Matthew T. Clarke

0n May 12, 2006, a federal district court in Virginia ruled that a German citizen who allegedly was mistaken for a terrorist, kidnapped, flown to a foreign country, isolated and tortured by CIA personnel could not sue the US government over his mistreatment without violating the ...

Attorneys May be Sued as State Actors When Colluding with Judge

by Matthew T. Clarke

On June 17, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that private attorneys could be sued as state actors in a civil rights action in federal district court, provided they allegedly operated in collusion with a state official to deprive the ...

European Court of Human Rights Awards Russian Prisoner $20,060 For Overcrowding

by Matt Clarke

On March 29, 2007, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, awarded a Russian prisoner 15,000 Euros ($20,060) in damages for incarcerating him in extremely overcrowded conditions.

On November 26, 2001, Andrey Frolov, a Russian prisoner, filed an application against the Russian Federation pursuant to ...

Texas GEO Prison Squalor Drives Idaho Prisoner to Suicide

by Matt Clarke

Seven months after arriving at the Dickens County Correctional Center (DCCC), a private prison in Spur, Texas operated by the GEO Group, Idaho state prisoner Scot Noble Payne, 43, was dead by his own hand. The reason he gave for committing suicide? Squalid conditions at the privately-run ...

Sudden Rise in New Jersey Prison Guard Firings

by Matt Clarke

The number of New Jersey state prison system employees terminated for disciplinary reasons rose from 33 in 2005 to 69 in 2006. 52 of the 2006 firings are final; 17 are on appeal. The reasons for the firings range from beating prisoners without provocation and allowing prisoners ...