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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Sacramento Shooting Stokes Debate Over CDCR Rule Changes on Good Conduct Credit

by Matt Clarke

After a shootout between rival gangs in downtown Sacramento left six dead and 12 injured—many of them bystanders—on April 3, 2022, one of three suspects apprehended was Smiley Martin. Martin, 27, had been released from custody by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) just two ...

U.S. Prison and Jail Populations Flat or Rising Again After 2020 Decline Spurred by Pandemic

by Matt Clarke

After they were slashed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, U.S. prison populations have leveled off and jail populations appear to be rising again, according to research published by the Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) on March 14, 2022.

The report mirrors another published in December ...

Third Circuit Reinstates Suit Filed by Transgender Prisoner Assaulted at New Jersey Federal Prison

by Matt Clarke

On September 1, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a lower court’s decision to dismiss the claim of a pre-operative transgender federal prisoner who accused Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials of deliberate indifference to her serious risk of sexual assault when she ...

Sixth Circuit Revives Tennessee Detainee’s Suit, Holds Lower Court Not Required to Retain Jurisdiction of State Law Claims After Dismissing Federal Claims

by Matt Clarke

On September 22, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit extended the life of civil rights claims brought under Tennessee law by a jail detainee whose federal claims were dismissed by the federal court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

In its ruling, the ...

Fifth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity to Texas Sheriff Who Rehired Abusive Jailer Who in Turn Again Abused a Detainee

by Matt Clarke

On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that by rehiring a jailer who previously abused detainees at the jail, a Texas sheriff was not entitled to qualified immunity in a new suit brought by another prisoner making abuse allegations against ...

PrimeCare: Less Medical Care for Prisoners, Higher Expenses for Taxpayers, More Profits for Corporate Owner

by Matt Clarke

The news from Pennsylvania on April 4, 2021, had a sadly familiar ring to it: A prisoner died a preventable death in a county lockup, costing a bundle to settle, so county officials were turning to a private healthcare provider. They granted a multi-million-dollar annual contract—a million ...

$8.5 Million Paid by Pennsylvania DOC for Death of Asthmatic Prisoner Improperly Pepper-Sprayed

by Matt Clarke

On October 18, 2021, a federal court in Pennsylvania approved an $8.5 million settlement reached the prior month between the state Department of Corrections (DOC) and the family of an asthmatic state prisoner who died after being pepper-sprayed with oleoresin capsicum (OC) by guards at State Correctional ...

$2.2 Million Settlement Over Transgender Georgia Prisoner’s Suicide Is Largest in State DOC History

by Matt Clarke

On December 7, 2021, the parents of a 25-year-old transwoman who committed suicide while imprisoned in the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) dismissed their federal civil rights lawsuit against DOC officials after accepting a $2.2 million settlement the preceding October 27. See: Maree v. Igou, 2021 ...

$316,673 Settlement in New Mexico Prisoner’s Lawsuit Over Stabbing at GEO-Operated Private Prison

by Matt Clarke

On October 1, 2021, the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) and the private operator of one of its prisons, the GEO Group, agreed to pay $316,673.53 to settle a lawsuit brought by a prisoner stabbed and severely injured by another prisoner at a GEO-operated state prison that ...

Ninth Circuit Says Nevada DOC Not Micromanaged by Requirement to Treat Prisoner’s Severe Mental Illness; Upholds Preliminary Injunction

by Matt Clarke

On August 30, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit took the Nevada Department of Corrections (DOC) to task over a four-year delay in providing a state prisoner the only drugs known to safely treat his severe mental illness. Swatting away DOC’s contention it ...