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Articles by Matthew Clarke

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 ...

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 ...