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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Maricopa County Special Prosecutor Padded Résumé, Law Partner Quits

by Matt Clarke

Regular readers of PLN are familiar with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, who bills himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” [See, e.g., PLN, March 2007, p.14]. Dennis Wilenchik, a private attorney known as “Arpaio’s Bulldog,” was hired as a special prosecutor by ...

Justice Policy Institute Brief Links Crime, Wages and Unemployment

by Matt Clarke

On October 1, 2007, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, published a research brief linking crime rates to wages and unemployment levels. In general terms, JPI found that higher crime rates occur when unemployment rates rise and that increases in wages ...

Texas State Auditor States Some Prison Rehabilitation Programs Effective, Some Not

Texas State Auditor States Some Prison Rehabilitation Programs Effective, Some Not

by Matt Clarke

In March, 2007, the Texas State Auditor’s Office (SAO) released a report on five rehabilitation programs used in the Texas state prison system (TDCJ). The report found that three of the programs resulted in reduced recidivism ...

Fondled Hawaiian Transexual Prisoner Awarded $817,500 in Damages and Attorney Fees

Fondled Hawaiian Transexual Prisoner Awarded $817,500 in Damages and Attorney Fees

by Matt Clarke

On March 18, 2008, Hawaiian First Circuit Court Judge Sabrina S. McKenna awarded a pre-operative transgendered prisoner who had been sexually abused and harassed by a prison guard at the O’ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC ...

U.N. Committee Against Torture: Tasering is a “Form of Torture”

by Matt Clarke

On November 23, 2007, the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) concluded that using the Taser X-26 electric stun gun is a “form of torture” that “can even provoke death.” CAT is charged with overseeing the application of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other ...

“I CAN Learn” Software Procurement for Kentucky DOC Questioned

“I CAN Learn” Software Procurement for Kentucky DOC Questioned

by Matt Clarke

The “I CAN Learn” educational software produced by New Orleans-based JRL Enterprises, which was adopted by the Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC), is under scrutiny for ineffectiveness and questionable procurement practices.

In 2004, then-KDOC Commissioner John Rees was ...

Texas Federal Judge Acquits VitaPro Defendants

by Matt Clarke

On April 22, 2008, Houston, Texas, federal judge Lynn Hughes acquitted former Texas prison chief James “Andy” Collins, 57, and former president and CEO of VitaPro Foods Yank Barry of federal charges for bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and misuse of a social security number. This ended the ...

Burgeoning Immigration Detainee Population Stresses ICE

by Matt Clarke

The Bush administration’s hard-nosed approach to immigration enforcement has caused an explosion in the immigrant detainee population, which has grown from a daily average of 19,600 in 2005 to 29,700 in 2007. This increase parallels a rise in deportations, from around 186,600 in ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Challenge to Ohio Parole System

by Matt Clarke

The Sixth Circuit court of appeals upheld the district court’s dismissal of a challenge to the Ohio parole system brought by Ohio attorney Norman Sirak.

This is a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Ohio Adult Parole Authority officials alleging that changes ...

Fifth Circuit: Suit Cannot be Dismissed for Following Form’s Instructions; Allegations of Retroactive Negative Changes in Texas Parole Law States Claim

by Matthew T. Clarke

On December 12, 2006, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner’s lawsuit could not be dismissed for failing to list supporting statutory law when the instructions on the forms promulgated by the federal courts told prisoners not to include legal arguments or ...