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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Guards Fleeing Texas Prisons

by Matt Clarke

According to a March 2022 report published by the Texas State Auditor, the state Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has an extremely high staff turnover rate — 32.8%, compared to a 21.5% rate for all state employees in fiscal year 2021.

Within TDCJ, the rate for prison ...

Fifth Circuit Holds PLRA’s ‘Three-Strikes’ Provision Does Not Apply to Actions Removed From State Court

by Matt Clarke

On June 9, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that prisoners claiming indigent status in a federal civil rights suit are not barred by the ‘three strikes’ provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e, if the prisoner ...

Fifth Circuit: Martinez Report May Not Override Factual Allegations in Prisoner’s Complaint

by Matt Clarke

On June 2, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that facts alleged in a supplemental administrative report which a district court requested from prison officials may not be relied upon if they conflict with factual allegations in a prisoner’s complaint. Such a ...

Second Circuit: N.Y. Detainee Didn’t Fail to Exhaust Administrative Remedies When Jail Grievance Procedure Excluded Matter Forming Basis of Claim

by Matt Clarke

On June 8, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated a New York jail detainee’s claim, saying he couldn’t be guilty of failure to exhaust his administrative remedies when the jail’s grievance policy specifically precluded him from grieving the matter at hand.

While ...

‘Time for Me to Go’: Troubled Oklahoma Jail Loses Administrator

by Matt Clarke

When Greg Williams resigned from the Oklahoma County Jail on December 5, 2022, the administrator of the scandal-plagued lockup said only that “It is time for me to go.”

That was after one detainee sauntered out of the jail booking area in July 2022 and raped another ...

Oklahoma Raises Pay for Execution Doctors From $300 to $15,000 Per Execution, Still Won’t Say Who They Are or What They Do

by Matt Clarke

Before Oklahoma killed prisoners Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle in early 2022 [See: PLN, May 2022, p.60], the state told a federal court hearing a challenge to their executions that a doctor would be on-hand at each killing for a fee of $15,000.  

That’s quite a ...

Ninth Circuit Tells Federal Prisoner in California to Wait Until Incarcerated Before Applying for Compassionate Release

by Matt Clarke

On April 4, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a convicted and sentenced federal criminal defendant who had not yet been incarcerated was not eligible for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(l)(A)(ii).

In October 2019, George Fower pleaded guilty in ...

D.C. Circuit Grants BOP Medical Director Qualified Immunity in Suit Over Delayed Treatment of Prisoner’s Hepatitis C

by Matt Clarke

On July 5, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the medical director of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was entitled to qualified immunity (QI) in a prisoner’s lawsuit over delayed treatment of his Hepatitis-C with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) ...

‘Plainly Grossly Inadequate’: Federal Court Finds Arizona Prison Healthcare Deliberately Indifferent to Prisoners’ Risk of Serious Harm

by Matt Clarke

On June 30, 2022, the federal court for the District of Arizona found that the healthcare state prisoners get is frankly awful — unconstitutionally so. As is the amount of time many spend in isolation, where their psychiatric ailments are ignored, and they go hungry not only ...

Eighth Circuit Says Judge Dismissing Claim of Federal Prisoner in Arkansas Was Premature in Counting It a PLRA ‘Strike’

by Matt Clarke

On January 12, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit said a lower court erred in declaring that a federal prisoner’s dismissed lawsuit counted as the first of three “strikes” allowed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Why? Because only the judge who counts the ...