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Articles by Scott Grammer

Former Angola Major Found Guilty – Twice – in Excessive Force Case

by Scott Grammer

On January 26, 2018, former prison major Daniel Davis, 41, was convicted of conspiracy to cover up the beating of an unnamed prisoner at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. The prisoner did not resist when Davis began yanking the prisoner’s shackles, but when he fell face-first ...

BOP Official Who Ordered More Prisoners Sent to Private Prisons Hired by GEO Group

by Scott Grammer

Frank Lara was the Assistant Director of the Correctional Programs Division for the federal Bureau of Prisons when, on January 24, 2018, he sent a memo to all Chief Executive Officers of the BOP. The memo required them to “submit eligible inmates ... for transfer consideration to private ...

Federal Prison Employee Sentenced for Defrauding Prisoners’ Families

by Scott Grammer

On June 14, 2018, Tanya L. Richard pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud after being charged with taking money from the families of federal prisoners in return for a promise of sentence reductions. U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Crone ...

Cell Phones Sold in Commissary at South Carolina Jail

by Scott Grammer

There is a surprising item for sale in the commissary at the Union County Jail in South Carolina: cell phones. The $100 phones can be used to text and make calls between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., but do not have Internet ...

Unlicensed Interns to Perform Psych Tests on Utah Prisoners

by Scott Grammer

According to October 2018 news reports, Utah’s Department of Corrections wants to pay unlicensed interns to “train” at the Draper prison by administering psychological and IQ tests to prisoners in mental health and sex offender programs. Victor Kersey, Director of Institutional Programming for the Utah DOC, said ...

California State Retirement Systems Split on Decision to Divest 
from Private Prisons

by Scott Grammer

The Teachers’ Retirement Board of the California State Retirement System (CalSTRS) has decided to get out of private prison investments by dumping CoreCivic and GEO Group stock from its portfolio. About $12 million worth of stock is involved – which represents a fraction of the companies’ combined ...

Settlement Reached over Visitation, Communication with Prisoners’ Children at Indiana Jail

by Scott Grammer

A class-action lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2016 against Allen County, Indiana Sheriff David Gladieux by plaintiffs Ronald Ward and Samuel Chinnis, claimed that prisoners at the county jail “have been and are being forbidden for months and potentially years from seeing their children and, absent ...

Connecticut Sued to End Prison Gerrymandering

by Scott Grammer

The NAACP and other plaintiffs have sued the State of Connecticut to put a stop to a “statewide practice of counting incarcerated people as residents of the legislative districts where they are held, rather than in their home districts.” This practice is known as prison gerrymandering. [See ...

Michigan Prisoner Obtains $2,000 Settlement in Group Strip Search Suit

by Scott Grammer

On February 10, 2017, Mario Cavin, incarcerated at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, filed a handwritten civil rights complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. He alleged that he had been strip searched in the prison’s chapel in front of “fifteen ...

Arkansas Governor Addresses Prisoners at College Graduation Ceremony

by Scott Grammer

On November 30, 2018, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed 25 prisoners who had received Associate of Arts degrees from Shorter College. According to a press release, “In an effort to reduce rates of recidivism, [the Second Chance Act] provides need-based Pell grants to people in state and ...