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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Pennsylvania Private Juvenile Prison Scandal Results in Guilty Pleas

by Matt Clarke

On June 9, 2009, attorney Robert J. Powell of Hazeltown, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to charges related to an illegal scheme involving two for-profit juvenile facilities – PA Child Care in Luzerne County and Western PA Child Care in Butler County.

Powell was charged with one count of ...

Texas Supreme Court: Prisoner May Appeal Despite Incomplete Indigence Affidavit

by Matt Clarke

On May 16, 2008, the Supreme Court of Texas held that an indigent prisoner whose indigence was uncontested may proceed with an appeal despite deficiencies in his affidavit of indigence.

Lawrence Higgins, a Texas state prisoner, filed suit in state district court alleging that county jail officials ...

Obama Promises Guantanamo Will Close and Torture Will End ... but When?

by Matt Clarke

During last year’s election campaign, President Obama came out forcefully against torture by U.S. officials and in favor of closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which holds approximately 230 alleged “terrorism” suspects. However, what Obama has done on these issues since taking office is another ...

Problems at Washington’s Civil Commitment Center Continue

by Matt Clarke

On July 30, 2008, Paepaega Matautia, Jr., 39, a mail room guard at the Special Commitment Center (SCC) for sex offenders on McNeil Island in Washington state, was arrested on federal charges of attempting to possess and distribute crack cocaine at the facility. The next day, SCC ...

Southern California Jails Addicted to ICE Money

by Matt Clarke

Faced with budget cuts due to the down economy, jails across Southern California have turned to a new revenue stream – immigration detention. The federal government paid over $55 million to house immigrant detainees in California jails in fiscal year 2008. That was up from $52.6 million ...

CA Prison Medical Care Receiver: Three Top Officials Ousted, Controversial Building Plan Opposed

by Matt Clarke

On March 12, 2009, J. Clark Kelso, California’s federal court-appointed receiver over prison medical care, demanded the resignations of his chief of staff, John Hagar; Stephen Weston, Hagar’s assistant; and medical services CEO Dr. Terry Hill. Hagar and Weston both resigned; Hill refused to resign and was ...

Texas Parole Board’s Hearing on Imposition of Sex Offender Conditions Inadequate

by Matt Clarke

On March 24, 2009, a U.S. District Court ruled that hearings held by the Texas parole board before imposing sex offender parole conditions on prisoners not convicted of sex offenses were constitutionally inadequate.

Raul Meza, a Texas prisoner, was convicted of murdering an eight-year-old girl and sentenced ...

$500,000 Settlement for Fatal Beating of Phoenix Jail Prisoner

by Matt Clarke

On June 3, 2009, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to settle for $500,000 a lawsuit brought by survivors of a man beat to death in the Fourth Avenue Jail of the Maricopa County Jail System. The jail is operated by sheriff Joe Arpaio, ...

Injunction Against Missouri Sex Offender Halloween Restrictions Issued, Then Vacated

by Matt Clarke

A Missouri federal judge issued an injunction against enforcement of a new Missouri law imposing Halloween-related restrictions on registered sex offenders. However, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction on October 30, 2008.

As part of the general demonizing and harassment of registered sex offenders ...

Second Circuit Reinstates New York Jail Guard’s Excessive Force Conviction

by Matt Clarke

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the federal conviction of a New York jail guard for intentionally using excessive force on a prisoner in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242.
Zoran Teodorovic, a pre-trial detainee at the Westchester County Jail, was housed in a special section ...