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Articles by Monte McCoin

San Quentin’s “Ear Hustle” Podcast Makes History, Receives Praise

by Monte McCoin

Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, both incarcerated at California’s San Quentin State Prison, made broadcasting history by creating “Ear Hustle” – the first podcast from behind prison walls.

The nine-episode first season of “Ear Hustle” has made quite a mark with the media. According to an October ...

Overworked South Koreans Relax at Prison-themed Retreat

by Monte McCoin

Two hours west of Pyeongchang in South Korea, home of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, guests pay 500,000 Korean won (about $470 U.S.) to stay for a week at Prison Inside Me, a jail-themed meditation center in the snowy mountain village of Hongcheon. Hundreds of customers from ...

Four Guilty in Federal Student Loan Scam Using Prisoners’ Identities

by Monte McCoin

On January 12, 2018, Mercedes Diaz, 28, was sentenced to two years in prison for her role in an identity theft scheme that preyed upon 181 prisoners in Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Florida and Illinois between August 2010 and October 2012. Diaz, along with co-conspirators Heather Carr, Marcelle ...

French Officials to Install Phones in 50,000 Prison Cells

by Monte McCoin

In a bold move designed to reduce cell phone trafficking and improve rehabilitative efforts, on January 2, 2018, French officials opened the bidding process for a telecom provider to install landline telephones in each of 50,000 cells in 178 prisons. The justice ministry said the program was ...

California Jail Doctor Faces Medical Board Discipline for Negligent Care

by Monte McCoin

According to an October 2017 news report, an investigation by the Medical Board of California found that Dr. Michelle A. Thomas was negligent in the care of five prisoners at the Fresno County Jail in 2014 and 2015. Thomas could face a reprimand, probation or revocation of ...

Florida Guard Gets 21 Months for Attacking Prisoner, Planting Weapon

by Monte McCoin

On December 14, 2017, former Floridaprison Sgt. Willie L. Walker was sentenced to almost two years in federal prison for attacking a prisoner and then planting a weapon to justify the beating.

In March 2015, prisoner William Hernandez was summoned to an office after a search of ...

D.C. Man Subjected to 77 Days Overdetention; Marshals Service Denies Responsibility

by Monte McCoin

Carlton O. Harris, a 28-year-old journeyman roofer, was mistakenly held at the District of Columbia’s jail for 77 days without a chance to see a judge or be appointed a defense attorney after a misdemeanor charge against him was dropped. Harris, a father of two, feared retaliation ...

Hawaii: OCCC Mental Health Care Fails, Prison Staff Fired

by Monte McCoin

Dr. Mark Mitchell believes that he and a number of other prison medical staffers were fired because they were in the process of returning the Oahu Community Correctional Center’s (OCCC) mental health care system to compliance with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) standards.

“I think we rocked ...

Pennsylvania: Philly D.A. Sentenced to Five Years for Corruption, Disbarred

by Monte McCoin

Former Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who in 2009 drew acclaim as the first African-American D.A. in the city and the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was sentenced on October 24, 2017 to five years in prison for accepting a bribe. He had been disbarred the week before. ...

New Zealand Court Decision: Voting Ban Violates Human Rights of Prisoners

by Monte McCoin

On May 26, 2017, the Court of Appeal of New Zealand issued a decision in the case of Attorney General v. Taylor, which upheld High Court Justice Paul Heath’s July 25, 2015 determination that a blanket ban on the ability of prisoners to vote was a ...