Skip navigation

Prison Legal News: May, 2005

Issue PDF
Volume 16, Number 5

In this issue:

  1. PHS Medical Care at Rikers Fails in Evaluation (p 17)
  2. From the Editor (p 18)
  3. Court Orders Washington DOC to Stop Dragging Its Feet on Sex Offender Release Plans (p 18)
  4. Over 96% of CCA Donations Go to GOP (p 19)
  5. New York Appeals Court Upholds Former Senator’s Return To Rikers (p 21)
  6. " (p 22)
  7. Ohio Death Row Moving to Supermax (p 25)
  8. New York City Settles False Imprisonment Suit For $1.25 Million (p 31)
  9. Texas: "Prison-Rape Capital Of The Country" (p 33)
  10. Michigan's Restrictive Placement Of HIV+ Prisoners Enjoined; $2 Million Damages Awarded (p 34)
  11. $12,003.74 in Fees/Costs Awarded in Excessive Force Use; PLRA Fee Cap Inapplicable to Stipulated Set (p 35)
  12. Texas Prisoner Kills Prison Employee and Himself (p 35)
  13. Concentration Of Paroled Illinois Sex Offenders Stirs Controversy (p 36)
  14. Florida Jury Awards $3,000,000 for Medical Negligence Causing Prisoner's Death (p 38)
  15. Michigan Prisoner Awarded $376,525 For Back Injury Sustained In Crash (p 44)
  16. Vermont DOC Settles PLN Writer's Suicide Suit for $750,000 (p 48)
  17. Vermont DOC Settles PLN Writer's Suicide Suit for $750,000 (p 48)
  18. Qualified Immunity Granted to Doctor Who Failed to Order Interferon Treatments for HCV+ Prisoner (p 48)
  19. Texas: Prison-Rape Capital Of The Country (p 49)
  20. American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons, By Mark Dow University Of California Press, 413 pages, $27.50 (p 49)
  21. News in Brief (p 50)
  22. Los Angeles County Pays $300,000 To Settle Public Defender's Legal Malpractice (p 52)

PHS Medical Care at Rikers Fails in Evaluation

PHS Medical Care At Rikers Fails In Evaluation

by Paul Von Zielbauer

A recent evaluation of the company in charge of prisoner health care at Rikers Island, coming months after it was awarded a new $300 million contract, has found that it has failed to meet a number of the ...

From the Editor

The many duties I have as editor of PLN include doing a lot of the research for the news and legal stories that appear in PLN as well as coordinating PLN’s litigation efforts around the country, doing
advocacy on behalf of prisoners’ rights and administrative tasks related to the ...

Court Orders Washington DOC to Stop Dragging Its Feet on Sex Offender Release Plans

Court Orders Washington DOC to Stop Dragging Its Feet
on Sex Offender Release Plans

by Hank Balson

The Washington Court of Appeals ruled in May that the state's Department of Corrections (DOC) has been illegally delaying decisions on early release plans for sex offenders, depriving certain prisoners of their ...

Over 96% of CCA Donations Go to GOP

by Matthew T. Clarke

It is well know that large corporationsespecially those that are prone to feast at the government troughmake donations to political parties and candidates. Most companies like to hedge their bets, donating to both major political parties. Nationwide, Fortune 500 companies gave between 62 and 75 percent ...

New York Appeals Court Upholds Former Senator’s Return To Rikers

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First Department, has ordered former state senator Guy J. Velella and four others (the petitioners) back to jail. In reaching this decision the court found that the petitioners had been illegally released by New York City’s Local Conditional Release Commission ...

"

"

Ohio Death Row Moving to Supermax

By Bob Williams

In March 2005, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DORC) announced that Ohio’s 193 death row prisoners would be moved from the Mansfield Correctional Institute (MCI) to the state’s Supermax facility, the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP), to save millions of dollars.

OSP warden Marc ...

New York City Settles False Imprisonment Suit For $1.25 Million

On September 23, 2004, New York City agreed to pay $1.25 million to a man who was falsely arrested and imprisoned for 15 months.

Bernie Pollard, a 28-year-old construction worker, was arrested at his Brooklyn home on July 22, 1989, in connection with a woman's stabbing death.

In ...

Texas: "Prison-Rape Capital Of The Country"

Texas: "Prison-Rape Capital Of The Country"

by Michael Rigby

Despite reputed efforts by officials in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to curb prison rapes, the number of reported sexual assaults has increased 160% in the past 4 years, from 234 in 2000 to 609 in 2004.

Some prisoner ...

Michigan's Restrictive Placement Of HIV+ Prisoners Enjoined; $2 Million Damages Awarded

by John E. Dannenberg

Winning a fifteen year state court battle, Michigan prisoners who tested positive for HIV (AIDS virus), and who were otherwise eligible to serve their time in community residential programs, camps or farms, gained the right to not be restricted from such advantageous placement solely because of ...

$12,003.74 in Fees/Costs Awarded in Excessive Force Use; PLRA Fee Cap Inapplicable to Stipulated Set

$12,003.74 in Fees/Costs Awarded in Excessive Force Use; PLRA Fee Cap Inapplicable to Stipulated Settlements


A federal court in New York awarded attorneys' fees of $10,858 and costs of $1,144.95 for a total of $12,003.74 against a guard in an excessive force ...

Texas Prisoner Kills Prison Employee and Himself

On October 21, 2004, a prisoner at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s 2,800-bed, maximum-security Connely Unit in Kenedy, Texas, killed a prison employee, then committed suicide.

Gary Laskowski, 38, a Texas state prisoner, had been serving a life sentence in TDCJ since 1988 for two counts of ...

Concentration Of Paroled Illinois Sex Offenders Stirs Controversy

Following news that a disproportionate number of paroled sex offenders were concentrated on Chicago’s South Side, Illinois officials instituted more rigid oversight of transitional group homes and returned 55 parolees to prison.

The Chicago Tribune reported on January 3l, 2005, that 10.5% (158) of the state’s 1 ...

Florida Jury Awards $3,000,000 for Medical Negligence Causing Prisoner's Death

After a seven-day trial, a Florida jury awarded $3,006,200 to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit claiming medical negligence, causing the death of a Florida prisoner. This was brought by the estate of prisoner Clifford E. Jones, Jr., 35, against the Florida Department of Corrections and Dr. Galina Kats-Kagen ...

Michigan Prisoner Awarded $376,525 For Back Injury Sustained In Crash

A Michigan prisoner has been awarded $376,525 for back injuries sustained in a prison van crash. Lorenzo Johnson, a 40-year-old state prisoner, was being transferred from one prison to another when the van he was riding in hit a patch of ice on the highway, spun out of control ...

Vermont DOC Settles PLN Writer's Suicide Suit for $750,000

On October 14, 2004,the estate of PLN contributing writer James Quigley sued the Vermont Department of Corrections (V.D.O.C.) and several V.D.O.C. employees, alleging their mistreatment of Quigley resulted in his suicide death. Four months later the state settled the suit for $750,000 ...

Vermont DOC Settles PLN Writer's Suicide Suit for $750,000

On October 14, 2004,the estate of PLN contributing writer James Quigley sued the Vermont Department of Corrections (V.D.O.C.) and several V.D.O.C. employees, alleging their mistreatment of Quigley resulted in his suicide death. Four months later the state settled the suit for $750,000 ...

Qualified Immunity Granted to Doctor Who Failed to Order Interferon Treatments for HCV+ Prisoner

The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a doctor was not deliberately indifferent to a prisoner's medical condition by failing to order interferon treatments for his Hepatitis C virus (HCV). While imprisoned within the South Dakota corrections system, prisoner Jerry Bender tested positive for HCV. After his ...

Texas: Prison-Rape Capital Of The Country

Texas: Prison-Rape Capital Of The Country

by Michael Rigby

Despite reputed efforts by officials in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to curb prison rapes, the number of reported sexual assaults has increased 160% in the past 4 years, from 234 in 2000 to 609 in 2004.

Some prisoner ...

American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons, By Mark Dow University Of California Press, 413 pages, $27.50

American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons, By Mark Dow
University Of California Press, 413 pages, $27.50

Reviewed by Ashley Makar


Mark Dow's American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons is an articulate call for public scrutiny, when 23,000 federal immigration detainees suffer in U.S. prisonsunder ...

News in Brief

News in Brief:

Arkansas: In April, 2005, an unidentified sergeant was fired by the state DOC after the February, 2005, death of Wrightsville Unit prisoner Victor Wright, 28, while on a work detail. Wright complained to the sergeant that he was not feeling well while on a work detail clearing ...

Los Angeles County Pays $300,000 To Settle Public Defender's Legal Malpractice

by John E. Dannenberg

On October 4, 2004, the Los Angeles County, California Claims Board granted authority of $300,000 to settle a claim by a prisoner for legal malpractice on the part of the Public Defender, wherein the prisoner had been incompetently advised to plead guilty to a third ...