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Articles by Monte McCoin

North Carolina Prison Guard Sues Over Religious Discrimination

by Monte McCoin

As PLN has reported numerous times, before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Holt v. Hobbs, 135 S.Ct. 853 (2015) [PLN, Aug. 2015, p.50], Muslim prisoners were routinely denied their right to grow a beard as required by the tenets of their faith. [See, e.g.: ...

Israeli Supreme Court Orders Increased Personal Space for Prisoners

by Monte McCoin 

Researcher Lila Margalit, with the Israel Democracy Institute’s Amnon Lipkin-Shahak Center for Security and Democracy, published a blog entry on June 7, 2018 that detailed a landmark 2017 judgment entered by the Israeli Supreme Court. The decision established a minimum area of personal space for ...

Metropolitan Detention Center Guards Convicted in Sex Abuse Scandal

by Monte McCoin

PLN previously reported the 2017 arrests of a trio of Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) guards for repeatedly and violently sexually abusing at least six female prisoners who had been housed at the federal jail in Brooklyn, New York. [See: PLN, Nov. 2017, p.1; Jan. 2018, p.63].

On ...

Harvard Student Group Advocates for Prison Education, Reform

by Monte McCoin

The Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Advocacy, a student-led group known as HOPE, was established in the 1950s as part of Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House Association. Since its inception the organization has provided tutoring and educational programs for incarcerated men, women and juveniles, but in ...

Trump Establishes Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry

by Monte McCoin

On March 7, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order that launched the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry. The order revoked a presidential memorandum that had established a similar Federal Interagency Reentry Council as a U.S. Department of Justice initiative during the Obama ...

Florida: Suit Continues Against CoreCivic for Rape of Developmentally Disabled Child

by Monte McCoin

In November 2017, a U.S. District Court judge set a February 2019 trial date in a civil suit to resolve allegations that CoreCivic – formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America – failed to prevent the sexual assault of a teenage boy with developmental disabilities while he ...

Military-Style Attack on Brazilian Prison Kills 20 Prisoners, One Guard

by Monte McCoin

On April 10, 2018, a group of gunmen attacked the Santa Izabel Prison Complex near the northern Brazilian city of Belem. The state security service said 21 people were killed in the military-style assault on the facility. One guard was killed; government officials identified prisoners and outside ...

Former Jailhouse Lawyer Bobby Battle Dies at Age 80

by Monte McCoin

Former prisoner Bobby Battle, an Oklahoma City native with a sixth-grade education who filed a lawsuit that ultimately led to historic reforms and the desegregation of Oklahoma prisons, died on December 25, 2017 at the age of 80.

“He must have just had native intelligence, one of ...

States Implementing New Technology to Fight Contraband Smuggling Via Drone

by Monte McCoin

Prison Legal News has reported several times on the trend of prison contraband smuggling via remote-controlled aerial drones, both in the U.S. and other countries. [See, e.g.: PLN, May 2018, p.14; Nov. 2017, p.52; Sept. 2016, p.18].

South Carolina Department of Corrections (DOC) Director Bryan Stirling announced ...

Florida: Federal Prison Guard Sentenced for Accepting Bribe

by Monte McCoin

Former FCC Coleman guard Albert Larry Harris, Jr., 27, was sentenced to 24 months in prison on February 15, 2018 after Senior U.S. District Court Judge James D. Whittemore accepted his guilty plea for taking a bribe as a public official.

According to a press release from ...