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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Minnesota Supreme Court: Prisoner Abused with Overtight Handcuffs Need Only Show Deliberate Indifference, Not Malicious Intent

by Matthew Clark

On December 14, 2022, the Minnesota Supreme Court took up a state prisoner’s claim that he was left with permanent nerve damage from restraints guards misused during a routine medical transport. The Court held that the proper standard to apply is whether the allegations show deliberate indifference, ...

Four Michigan Jail Guards Guilty in Detainee Death, Family Paid $2.4 Million

by Matt Clarke

Just weeks before their trial was to begin on charges of involuntary manslaughter in a detainee’s death, four guards at Michigan’s Muskegon County Jail pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Willful Neglect of Duty on
April 20, 2023.

That means Crystal Grove, Jamal Lane, Jeffery Patterson ...

Imprisoned Former Head of New York City Jails Guards’ Union Granted Release

by Matt Clarke

On February 23, 2023, a federal judge who had earlier refused to reduce the sentence of the former head of the New York City jail guards’ union convicted in a costly bribery scheme, instead granted compassionate release to Norman Seabrook, 63.

The former president of the city’s ...

Eighth Circuit Lets Public Defender Withdraw from BOP Prisoner’s “Frivolous” Appeal

by Matt Clarke

On July 11, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted a motion to withdraw from an attorney appointed to represent a federal prisoner in Missouri appealing his civil commitment. Though allowing the appeal was “frivolous,” the Court denied a companion motion to keep ...

Fifth Circuit Reinstates Lawsuit Over Texas Detainee’s Asphyxiation by Jail Guards

by Matt Clarke

On July 13, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed dismissal of a lawsuit filed over the death of a Texas detainee during an altercation with jail guards.

Kelli Leanne Page, 46, was awaiting trial at the Coryell County Jail for “several months” ...

Fifth Circuit Reinstates Claim That LaSalle Guards Fatally Beat Louisiana Pre-Trial Detainee

by Matt Clarke

On July 22, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reinstated claims previously dismissed in a lawsuit filed over a detainee’s fatal beating at a prison privately operated by LaSalle Management Co. for the city of Monroe, Louisiana.

Monroe ceased leasing beds from LaSalle ...

Fifth Circuit Again Revives Muslim Texas Prisoner’s Suit Over Halal Meals Denied During Hurricane Evacuation

by Matt Clarke

On July 22, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a district court erred when it tossed a Muslim prisoner’s lawsuit over denial of Kosher meals during a hurricane evacuation from his Texas prison. It was the Court’s second review in the ...

Fifth Circuit Upholds Qualified Immunity for Texas Prison Guard Who Beat Prisoner’s Arm With Baton Until It Broke

by Matt Clarke

On August 31, 2022, the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a district court’s grant of qualified immunity (QI) to a Texas prison guard who used his baton to beat and break the arm of a prisoner protruding from the bottom of a dogpile of ...

ACLU Report Details Exploitation of Prisoners for Forced Labor

by Matt Clarke

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Global Human Rights Clinic (GHRC) of the University of Chicago Law School released a comprehensive report on June 15, 2022, detailing the way American prisoners are coerced into providing labor for little or no compensation. The practice is a ...

Fifth Circuit Finds “Opaque” Mississippi Prison Grievance System “Incapable of Use”

by Matt Clarke

On August 16, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that grievance procedure rules which the Mississippi Department of Corrections (DOC) published online – but which were not given to prisoners – cannot trigger a failure to exhaust administrative remedies that would justify ...