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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Texas Federal Judge Acquits VitaPro Defendants

by Matt Clarke

On April 22, 2008, Houston, Texas, federal judge Lynn Hughes acquitted former Texas prison chief James “Andy” Collins, 57, and former president and CEO of VitaPro Foods Yank Barry of federal charges for bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and misuse of a social security number. This ended the ...

Burgeoning Immigration Detainee Population Stresses ICE

by Matt Clarke

The Bush administration’s hard-nosed approach to immigration enforcement has caused an explosion in the immigrant detainee population, which has grown from a daily average of 19,600 in 2005 to 29,700 in 2007. This increase parallels a rise in deportations, from around 186,600 in FY 2005 to 276,900 ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Challenge to Ohio Parole System

by Matt Clarke

The Sixth Circuit court of appeals upheld the district court’s dismissal of a challenge to the Ohio parole system brought by Ohio attorney Norman Sirak.

This is a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Ohio Adult Parole Authority officials alleging that changes to the ...

Fifth Circuit: Suit Cannot be Dismissed for Following Form’s Instructions; Allegations of Retroactive Negative Changes in Texas Parole Law States Claim

by Matthew T. Clarke

On December 12, 2006, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner’s lawsuit could not be dismissed for failing to list supporting statutory law when the instructions on the forms promulgated by the federal courts told prisoners not to include legal arguments or cite ...

Eighth Circuit Upholds Arkansas Sex Offender Registration/Residency Restrictions

by Matthew T. Clarke

On July 13, 2006, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a civil rights challenge to provisions of the Arkansas Sex Offender Registration Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-901 et seq., and to a criminal statute that made it a Class D felony ...

Oklahoma Pays $844,000 for Comprehensive Performance Audit of DOC

by Matt Clarke

On January 4, 2008, MGT of America, Inc. released a performance audit of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC). The 285-page report cost $844,000 and provided several clues as to how the prison system could improve and save money. Chief among its recommendations were that the DOC ...

Human Rights Watch Report: Most Sex Offender Laws Misguided and Ineffective

by Matt Clarke

In September 2007, Human Rights Watch released a report entitled No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the US. The report concluded that most sex offender laws are ineffective and misguided in that they do not reduce the probability of future sex offenses or make the perpetrators ...

Fifth Circuit: Texas Prisoners Cannot be Disciplined for Trust Fund Deposits Initiated by Others

by Matthew T. Clarke

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that prison officials must introduce evidence that a prisoner participated in a monetary transfer before they can discipline him for trafficking and trading due to third-party trust fund deposits.

Hubert Earl Teague, a Texas state prisoner, filed a petition ...

Child Abuse Abounds in Wilderness and Boot Camp Programs

by Matt Clarke

On October 10, 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)--a federal governmental entity that audits, evaluates and investigates for Congress--released a report on residential treatment programs (RTPs) entitled Concerns Regarding Abuse and Death in Certain Programs for Troubled Youth. The report revealed widespread incidents of sometimes fatal ...

Compassionless Conservative Texas Judge Closes Court Promptly, Ensuring Execution

by Matt Clarke

Sharon Keller, 54, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has come under sharp criticism for refusing to keep the court open twenty minutes past its usual closing time to permit a late filing.
The late filing request was to allow attorneys for a death-sentenced ...