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Articles by Steve Horn

HRDC Files Censorship Suit Against New Mexico Jail; Court Orders Dismissal Based on Mootness

by Steve Horn

The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), which publishes Prison Legal News, filed a federal lawsuit on April 16, 2018 against the San Miguel County Detention Center in Las Vegas, New Mexico for censoring PLN publications in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Beginning in February 2016 ...

Formerly Incarcerated Chef Plans to Revolutionize Ramen

by Steve Horn

When Ron Freeman was released from prison in 1998, he returned to doing the two things he enjoyed the most: cooking and eating. He decided, after being incarcerated for nearly three years for drug possession at the Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California, to put those ...

With 27 Percent Unemployment, Jobs Crisis Hits Ex-prisoners the Hardest

by Steve Horn

 A new study published by the Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) – the first of its kind – reports that unemployment in the U.S. has hit former prisoners the hardest.

Titled “Out of Prison & Out of Work,” the report, released in July 2018, crunched ...

Private Prison Operator Emerald Corrections Out of Business

by Steve Horn

Louisiana-based Emerald Correctional Management, also known as Emerald Corrections, was once among the major movers and shakers in the private prison industry. Today it’s a figment of the past.

Emerald was notorious for atrocious conditions in its detention facilities, as documented in a recent investigative piece co-published ...

New CNN Film, “American Jail,” Shows How the Poor Get – and Stay – Incarcerated

by Steve Horn

On July 1, 2018, the film “American Jail” made its premiere screening before a cable television audience on CNN.

Given how seldom criminal justice-related issues – let alone the carceral system – are given serious discussion on the network, which bills itself as the “worldwide leader in ...

JPay Vulnerability Exploited by Idaho Prisoners for $225,000 in Credits

by Steve Horn

In the realm of prisons and jails, many companies have positioned themselves to profit from mass incarceration.

Few have done so in the area of prisoner communications with as much vigor as JPay, whose business model centers around charging prisoners fees to communicate with the outside world ...

HRDC Receives $25,000 Judgment in North Carolina Jail Censorship Case

by Steve Horn

The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), the parent organization of Prison Legal News, obtained a civil judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in a lawsuit filed against the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, after accepting an offer of judgment from ...

Private Prison Firms Use Revolving Door Lobbying, Generous Campaign Donations

by Steve Horn

It’s an even-numbered year, which makes sense because, as is the norm, what’s going on in our nation’s capital is anything but odd. That is, big money once again is flowing into Congressional campaign coffers from corporate interests, aiming to influence the 2018 midterm elections. And as ...

BOP Director Resigns in Protest of Prison Reform Bill Clash

by Steve Horn

Mark Inch, director of the federal Bureau of Prisons, resigned on May 18, 2018. At first it was unclear why he stepped down, but The New York Times has since reported that sources told the paper Inch resigned in protest of the role played by U.S ...

The Prison Phone Industry Has Quietly Become Even More of a Duopoly

by Steve Horn

In little-noticed regulatory filings in New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and Arizona in May 2018, telecom company Securus Technologies solidified its grip over the prison and jail phone service industry by announcing its acquisition of one of its competitors, ICSolutions, also known as ICS. First reported ...