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Articles by Monte McCoin

Prison Chaplain Wins Standoff with BOP Over Carrying Pepper Spray

by Monte McCoin

Rev. Ronald Apollo, head chaplain at FCI Bennettsville, a medium-security federal prison in South Carolina, prevailed against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in his challenge to a 2015 order that effectively prevented him from carrying out his ministerial duties. Apollo, who is a member of the ...

British Prison Guard Sentenced for Contraband Smuggling Conspiracy

by Monte McCoin

More than 60 handwritten, sexually graphic letters contained all the proof that prosecutors needed to convict a female guard for her role in a conspiracy to smuggle phones, spice, Subutex, steroids, cannabis, porn and vodka into HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire, to give to prisoner Falak ...

Governor Vetoes Nevada’s Anti-Private Prison Bill

by Monte McCoin

Assembly Bill 303, introduced by Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, a former prison guard, would have granted the Nevada Department of Corrections a five-year period to renovate existing prison facilities before eliminating the state’s relationship with for-profit prison firms. The bill progressed through the Nevada legislature with a 38-3 ...

Twenty-six Indicted After Gang Investigation, Including Two Prison Guards

by Monte McCoin

A Maryland prison guard was indicted on 35 charges, including first-degree attempted murder, after a lengthy investigation revealed he was a high-ranking member of the 8-Trey Crips street gang. Antoine Fordham was the initial target of a nearly year-long probe into organized crime in Maryland’s prison system ...

New York: Former Rikers Guard Gets 30 Years for Civil Rights Violations, Conspiracy

by Monte McCoin

PLN has previously reported on the December 2016 conviction of former Rikers Island jail complex guard Brian Coll, 47, for his role in the 2012 death of detainee Ronald Spear. In 2014, New York City paid $2.75 million to settle the Spear family’s wrongful death suit ...

Georgia Toddler Initially Denied Kidney Due to Father’s Parole Violation

by Monte McCoin

Officials at Emory Healthcare canceled a planned October 2017 surgery to harvest a kidney from an Atlanta toddler’s father, who had volunteered to be a living donor. According to news reports, the hospital postponed the donor arrangement after the father, Anthony Dickerson, was arrested on a parole ...

Mississippi Attorney General Settles with Third Company in Epps Bribery Scandal

by Monte McCoin

PLN has previously covered the continuing fallout from a massive bribery scandal involving former Mississippi DOC Commissioner Christopher B. Epps, including RICO lawsuits filed by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood against several companies involved in the scandal.

In May 2017, Alere, Inc., which had purchased Branan Medical ...

Pervasive Masturbation in Cook County Jail Spurs Class-action Suits, Injunction

by Monte McCoin

Two class-action lawsuits claim hundreds of women who work at the jail and courtroom lockups in Cook County, Illinois have been subjected to a hostile work environment as a result of policies maintained by Sheriff Tom Dart and Public Defender Amy Campanelli that allegedly tolerate prisoners who ...

Tennessee Drug Court Judge Imprisons Participants for Smoking Cigarettes

by Monte McCoin

In November 2017, Hamilton County, Tennessee Judge Tom Greenholtz sent several drug court participants to jail for a night after their drug tests came back positive – for nicotine.

“We routinely test for nicotine as we do for other controlled substances,” Greenholtz told Chattanooga TV station ...

Illinois Taxpayers Still Paying for a Paid-off Jail

by Monte McCoin

Residents in Tazewell County, Illinois pay a half-cent public safety sales tax on most purchases inside county lines. The tax was approved by voters in 2000 to pay for the construction of a new $17 million jail. Although the Tazewell County Justice Center building was paid off ...