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Articles by Matthew Clarke

CDCR’s Medication Assisted Treatment Program for Substance Abusers is a Resounding Success

by Matt Clarke

Between 2016 and 2019, fatal drug overdoses more than doubled for California state prisoners. The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said that hospitalizations for drug overdoses rose almost as fast. Clearly, a new approach was needed to stem prisoner drug use.

That resulted in the ...

Texas Prisoner Killed After Wounding Guard in Escape and Killing Family While on the Run

by Matt Clarke

On May 12, 2022, as Texas state prisoner Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was being transported in a prison bus to a medical appointment, he used a “prison-made knife and key” to loosen his restraints. He then cut through the metal cage for high-risk prisoners in which he was ...

Nevada Supreme Court: DOC Owes Parolee Credit for Any Days Over 60 Awaiting Revocation in Prison

by Matt Clarke

On May 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of Nevada ordered the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to credit a parolee for time he spent in custody awaiting parole revocation that exceeded the 60-day window state law provides for proceedings to begin.

After he was paroled, state prisoner ...

New Federal ‘Fresh Start’ Student Loan Policy May Help Prisoners in Default

by Matt Clarke

On April 26, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced a new “fresh start” policy for people whose student loans are in default, and it may help prisoners who would otherwise be barred from receiving Pell Grants when they become available next year.

The policy brings ...

Georgia Jail Settles Suit Filed by Mentally Ill Female Detainees With Policy Changes and $1.2 Million in Attorney Fees and Costs

by Matt Clarke

On April 4, 2022, the federal court for the Northern District of Georgia gave final approval to a settlement in a lawsuit brought by mentally ill women incarcerated at the South Fulton Jail. The agreement included numerous changes to jail policies and practices, along with monitoring and ...

Fifth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity to Texas Jailers Who Refused Medical Care to Detainee Dying of Drug Overdose

by Matt Clarke

On June 1, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a district court’s denial of qualified immunity (QI) to staff in a Texas jail who allegedly ignored the medical needs of a prisoner for 32 hours while he “moaned in pain, twitched, thrashed, ...

ACLU Pries Loose Employment Record of New Hampshire Trooper Who Detained Woman on Falsified Evidence, Leading to $237,500 Settlement

by Matt Clarke

On July 6, 2022, the New Hampshire Personnel Appeals Board upheld the firing of former State Trooper Haden Wilber, who allegedly illegally searched a woman during a traffic stop, found suspected heroin residue, and then — together with fellow Trooper Matthew Locke — falsified evidence that got ...

Third Illinois Guard Found Guilty In Fatal Beating of Handcuffed State Prisoner, but Attorney General Refuses To Settle With Family

by Matt Clarke

On August 23, 2022, a jury convicted the last of three ex-prison guards indicted in the fatal beating of a prisoner at Western Illinois Correctional Center (WICC) four years earlier.

Former Lt. Todd Sheffler, 54, was found guilty of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, tampering with a ...

Census Bureau Report Finds Risk of Death Nearly Triples for Prisoners After Release

by Matt Clarke

In February 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau published what may be the first multi-state report on the mortality of released prisoners. After their incarceration, “former prisoners have higher mortality rates than their demographic counterparts in the general population,” the study warned.

The study compared the deaths of ...

Ohio County Pays $4 Million To Settle Claim Over Death of Jail Detainee

by Matt Clarke

On December 9, 2021, an agreement was reached by Richland County, Ohio, paying $4 million to settle claims in a suit that was about to be brought by the family of Alexander Jose Rios, a pretrial detainee who died at the county jail following an altercation with ...