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Articles by Scott Grammer

Wisconsin Prisoner Sues After Injury; Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal

by Scott Grammer

On March 6, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed by Wisconsin prisoner Ezra R.E. French. According to the ruling, French was working on a yard crew at the Green Bay Correctional Institution when a guard ...

Dr. Arthur Zitrin, Anti-Death Penalty Advocate and Bioethicist, Dies at 101

by Scott Grammer

Dr. Arthur Zitrin died at age 101 on May 11, 2019. He was a psychiatrist and leading bioethicist who believed that doctors should take no part in lethal injections. His son Richard, an attorney and professor of legal ethics, said Zitrin died of chronic lung disease complicated ...

Oklahoma Jail Administrator, Guard Receive 55-Hour Sentence for Prisoner’s Death

by Scott Grammer

Anthony Dewayne Huff, 58, was arrested in Garfield County, Oklahoma on June 4, 2016 for public intoxication and booked into the Garfield County Detention Facility. Two days later he was put in a restraint chair and, on June 8, was “found unresponsive” while still strapped in the ...

Illinois Jail Guard Secretly Prosecuted for Assaulting Prisoner

by Scott Grammer

Francisco Valdes, 44, a jailer with the sheriff’s office in Will County, Illinois, was the subject of a secret prosecution at that county’s courthouse. Valdes was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery in December 2018. 

After the fact of the secret prosecution was revealed by ...

Pennsylvania Police Officer Shoots Unarmed Man in Holding Cell, is “Excused” by DA

by Scott Grammer

On March 3, 2019, Brian Riling, 38, was in custody after being arrested on intimidation charges. His girlfriend told police that he had sent her a number of text messages threatening to attack her, calling her a prostitute and saying he would kill himself. Court records showed ...

Kentucky Jail Rents Texting Devices to Prisoners

by Scott Grammer

The Noble County jail in Albion, Kentucky has found a new way to make money – by renting texting devices to prisoners. For $4.00 a month plus $0.10 per text, prisoners can send and receive monitored messages. The $0.10 fee applies to incoming texts ...

Former BOP Official Pays $50,000 to Settle Anti-Kickback Claims

by Scott Grammer

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had accepted a $50,000 settlement from Cary J. Hudson, a former Bureau of Prisons financial administrator, to resolve allegations that he took kickbacks from Integrated Medical Solutions, Inc. (IMS). Hudson was accused of accepting ...

Preliminary Settlement in Lawsuit Against JPay Over Prison Video Calls Ending Early

by Scott Grammer

Oumer Salim, a resident of Colley­ville, Texas, wanted to communicate with his brother, who was in an Ohio state prison. The facility used JPay for video calling, at a cost of $9.90 for each 30-minute session. So Salim began using the system. He noticed a recurring ...

Mexican Mafia Crime Ring Busted in Los Angeles, San Bernardino County Jails

by Scott Grammer

In May 2018, federal authorities, including the FBI and DEA, in conjunction with California state prison officials and local police, arrested 32 people on charges related to the Mexican Mafia’s operation of a massive crime ring in Los Angeles County’s jail system. Approximately three dozen prisoners ...

Final Settlement Entered in 1976 Class-Action Suit Against Florida Jail

by Scott Grammer

In August 1976, a lawsuit was filed in a Florida federal district court alleging numerous constitutional violations at the Broward County jail, including overcrowding. Two years later the case was certified as a class action. It took until 1994 for a consent decree to be reached, then ...