Skip navigation

Articles by Panagioti Tsolkas

Floridians Face Prison for Voting from Jail

Tough-on-Crime Republicans Retaliate Against Rights Restoration Efforts

by Jenifer Lockwood and Panagioti Tsolkas

In February 2022, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) concluded an eight-month investigation involving the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office’s effort to register voters in the county jail. So far, the effort has resulted in ...

Oregon Prison Superintendent Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving and Interfering With Arrest

by Panagioti Tsolkas

In Oregon Circuit Court for Deschutes County on November 16, 2021, the newly appointed Superintendent of the state’s Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI), Randy Ray Gilbertson, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of Interfering With a Peace Officer during a drunk-driving arrest in Bend two months earlier. ...

ICE Continues to Abuse and Traumatize Under Biden. Immigrants Are Fighting Back.


Just after dawn on September 16, 2021, E.E. and six other African immigrant men were resting in their bunks at the Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven, Florida, when Captain John Gadson and a group of at least 15 sheriff’s deputies stormed in, as Truthout reported, pepper spraying them in the eyes before dragging them to solitary confinement cells.

E.E. and the others sat in solitary with pepper spray burning their skin, prohibited from showering until the next day. On September 17, E.E. received paperwork with charges — but someone else’s name was on it. Nine days later, he and the others finally had a hearing. They learned Glades would keep them in solitary for 30 days, the maximum time allowed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy, under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“We are being targeted,” wrote E.E. in a formal complaint to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Seventy-seven such complaints have been submitted by or on behalf of people detained at Glades since 2017, particularly for denial of medical care and excessive force, according to the new Florida Detention Database from ...

Hunger Strike, Ceiling Collapse, Lawsuit Spotlight Deteriorating Conditions at Women’s Prison in Illinois

by Brian Dolinar and Panagioti Tsolkas

"I’ve been incarcerated since the age of 18, I grew up in the penal system,” shares Mishunda Davis. “I went from the Cook County jail, to Dwight prison, to Lincoln, and I have never seen as many condemned buildings as I’ve seen since arriving ...

Florida Files Environmental Lawsuit Against Phosphate Company Pollution

Prisoners Remain Exposed and Without Evacuation Plans

by Panagioti Tsolkas

"We kept seeing them move the cows, but they didn’t move us.”

That was one reply to a series of interviews with people recently held at the Manatee County Jail, conducted by Jenn Hayes for Southerly magazine, published in August ...

Resisting a Prison Without End

by Jayson Hawkins and Panagioti Tsolkas

The fantasy of those who profit off the Prison Industrial Complex has long been perpetual incarceration. This dream has seeped into reality in recent decades as many states began adopting LWOP (life without parole) sentences. Yet another means of warehousing people without a release ...

Plans for a New Federal Prison on Coal Mine Site in Kentucky Withdrawn

Could the failure to move forward on USP Letcher indicate an end of the Appalachian prison boom?

by Panagioti Tsolkas

“I refuse to have our community’s future built on the backs of other people.” That’s what Letcher County, Kentucky resident Elizabeth Sanders said to an NBC reporter last year who ...

“It Smelled Like Death”: Reports of Mold Contamination in Prisons and Jails

by Panagioti Tsolkas

“There was big, dark, gray, blackish mildew around the air vent and that’s where the air was coming from … it smelled like death.” – Candie Hailey, Rikers Island pre-trial detainee

Over the past several years, Prison Legal News has focused attention on environmental health impacts that prisoners ...

Prisoners File Environmental Lawsuit Against Proposed Federal Prison in Kentucky

by Panagioti Tsolkas

More than three years after a controversial environmental review process for a new federal prison, conducted by the federal Bureau of Prisons and its consulting firm Cardno, attorneys filed suit in November 2018 on behalf of 21 federal prisoners spread across the country. The plaintiffs claim they ...

Litigation Surrounding Radon Exposure at Connecticut Prison Moves Forward

by Panagioti Tsolkas

“We’re talking about levels in some places that are equivalent to smoking 2½ packs of cigarettes a day,” said Lori A. Welch-Rubin, one of the attorneys who filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners at the Garner Correctional Institution (GCI) in Newtown, Connecticut. The case centers ...