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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: March, 2008

Issue PDF
Volume 19, Number 3

In this issue:

  1. From the Editor (p 1)
  2. Cheaper than Chimpanzees: Expanding the Use of Prisoners in Medical Experiments (p 1)
  3. Audit Reveals Problems with Maryland’s New Prisoner Health Care System (p 16)
  4. California DOC and Joint-Venture Contractor Owe Over $1.8 Million in Attorney Fees for Protracted Suit Granting Prison Workers Prevailing Wage (p 18)
  5. Georgia’s Prison Health System Squeezed by Increasing Population, Decreasing Staff Budget (p 20)
  6. San Antonio Sheriff Pleads No Contest to Corruption Charges, Resigns (p 22)
  7. Ohio Man Paid $1.5 Million for 26 Years' Wrongful Imprisonment (p 23)
  8. Philadelphia City Jails Under Federal Supervision, Again, Temporarily (p 24)
  9. A Pursuit of Prisoners’ Health and Safety A conversation with Elizabeth Alexander, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project (p 26)
  10. Factor 8: the Arkansas Prison Blood Mining Scandal Movie review and Director Interview (p 28)
  11. Federal Court Grants Class Certification to Disabled Washington Prisoners (p 30)
  12. PLN Obtains Injunction Against Fulton County Jail in Censorship Suit (p 31)
  13. Who’s Monitoring Prison Medical Contract Requirements in New Jersey? No One (p 32)
  14. AT&T Settlement Includes Fines, Reimbursement for Overcharging Recipients of Phone Calls From Washington Prisoners (p 34)
  15. Massachusetts Jail Releases Prisoners to Meet Court-Ordered Population Levels (p 34)
  16. City Of San Leandro, California Pays $395,000 To Family Of Detainee Who Died After 21 Taser Shocks (p 35)
  17. Federal Prison Staff Are Law Enforcement Official For Purposes Of FTCA Claims (p 36)
  18. Federal Judges Convene Three-Judge Panel to Consider “Prisoner Release Orders” to Remedy California’s Prison Overcrowding; Upheld on Appeal (p 38)
  19. Los Angeles County Pays $2.8 Million For Failure To Protect Accused Child Molester In Jail (p 40)
  20. Love, Sex and Violence KO Oregon Deputies, Jailers and Prison Guards (p 40)
  21. News in Brief: (p 42)
  22. Privatized Medical Services Entangle Florida Sheriff in Litigation and Raises Costs (p 44)

From the Editor

This issue?s cover story reports the push to renew the use of prisoners as the test subjects for medical experiments and testing. If history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce, we are still at the tragic stage.
The United States has a lengthy and sordid history of ...

Cheaper than Chimpanzees: Expanding the Use of Prisoners in Medical Experiments

by Gregory Dober

"It is the duty of the doctor to remain the protector of the life and health of that person on whom clinical research is being carried out." Declaration of Helsinki

In June 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report on simplifying the current federal regulations ...

Audit Reveals Problems with Maryland’s New Prisoner Health Care System

Audit Reveals Problems with Maryland's New Prisoner Health Care System

by Michael Rigby

Maryland's new prisoner health care program remained understaffed in 2006, and the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has yet to implement promised drug treatment programs or an electronic database meant to ...

California DOC and Joint-Venture Contractor Owe Over $1.8 Million in Attorney Fees for Protracted Suit Granting Prison Workers Prevailing Wage

by John E. Dannenberg

The California Court of Appeal, 4th District, has upheld the San Diego Superior Court’s award of $1,257,258.60 in attorney fees incurred during drawn-out litigation against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and CMT Blues (CMT), the CDCR’s joint venture contractor employing ...

Georgia’s Prison Health System Squeezed by Increasing Population, Decreasing Staff Budget

Georgia's Prison Health System Squeezed by Increasing Population, Decreasing Staff Budget

by David M. Reutter

With an increase in Georgia's prison population, the cost to provide medical care to prisoners has soared. Due to legislative budgetary restraints, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is finding it increasingly difficult ...

San Antonio Sheriff Pleads No Contest to Corruption Charges, Resigns

by Matt Clarke

In August 2007, Bexar County, Texas Sheriff Ralph Lopez, 71, was indicted on three felony counts involving corruption. Lopez tendered his resignation on September 1, 2007, and two days later pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges in a deal that spared him from going to prison ...

Ohio Man Paid $1.5 Million for 26 Years' Wrongful Imprisonment

In April 2007, an Ohio jury awarded $1.5 million to Plaintiff Gary James, who spent 26 years in prison for a robbery and murder he didn't commit.

James, now 54, and his friend, Timothy Howard, were arrested in 1976 and convicted of bank robbery and murder. Both men ...

Philadelphia City Jails Under Federal Supervision, Again, Temporarily

by David M. Reutter

A Pennsylvania federal district court has held that the conditions of confinement in the intake units at Philadelphia?s local police districts, the Police Administration Building (PAB), the Philadelphia Prison System (PPS) and the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF) were unconstitutional due to overcrowding. Following the ...

A Pursuit of Prisoners’ Health and Safety A conversation with Elizabeth Alexander, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project

A Pursuit of Prisoners' Health and Safety: A conversation with Elizabeth Alexander, director of the ACLU's National Prison Project

by Todd Matthews

Thirty-seven years ago, Elizabeth Alexander graduated from Yale Law School and planned to enter the field of welfare law. When her husband was offered a teaching job ...

Factor 8: the Arkansas Prison Blood Mining Scandal Movie review and Director Interview

Filmmaker Kelly Duda’s first documentary, Factor 8: the Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal, chronicles the decades of abuse towards prisoners and patients from blood mining in search of profits. Traveling back to his home state of Arkansas , Duda comes face-to-face with the bureaucrats in government and business ready to kill to ...

Federal Court Grants Class Certification to Disabled Washington Prisoners

On August 10, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted class certification to a group of disabled prisoners who were not allowed to participate in work release programs due to their disabilities.

Plaintiff Rickey Peralez claimed in his federal civil rights suit that he ...

PLN Obtains Injunction Against Fulton County Jail in Censorship Suit

On February 4, 2008 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by Prison Legal News over censorship at the Fulton County Jail.

PLN brought suit against Fulton County and Sheriff Myron Freeman on October 22, 2007 ...

Who’s Monitoring Prison Medical Contract Requirements in New Jersey? No One

Who's Monitoring Prison Medical Contract Requirements in New Jersey? No One

by David Reutter

PLN subscribers often read reports about the effects of privatized prisoner health care and the spread of privatization to prison and jail systems throughout the nation. These real-life stories of prisoner deaths, maimings and suffering ...

AT&T Settlement Includes Fines, Reimbursement for Overcharging Recipients of Phone Calls From Washington Prisoners

AT&T Settlement Includes Fines, Reimbursement for Overcharging Recipients of Phone Calls From Washington Prisoners

by Michael Rigby

Telephone service provider AT&T has agreed to reimburse the families and friends of Washington prisoners who were overcharged on collect phone calls made from two state prisons during a four month ...

Massachusetts Jail Releases Prisoners to Meet Court-Ordered Population Levels

A modified consent decree order entered by a Massachusetts federal district court has resulted in the release of at least 100 prisoners from the Worcester County House of Correction (WCHC).

The order came in a class action lawsuit filed by WCHC prisoners in 1989 that complained of overcrowding and other ...

City Of San Leandro, California Pays $395,000 To Family Of Detainee Who Died After 21 Taser Shocks

The two minor children of Jose Perez settled his wrongful death action with the City of San Leandro, California in May 2007 for $395,000. While the children?s mother was also included in the settlement, the bulk went into a trust to support the children.

Jose Perez, Jr., the ...

Federal Prison Staff Are Law Enforcement Official For Purposes Of FTCA Claims

by Dan Manville

Federal prisoners are no longer able to sue pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for property that was negligently lost or destroyed by federal prison staff. In Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 128 S.Ct. 831 (2008), the United States Supreme Court held that ...

Federal Judges Convene Three-Judge Panel to Consider “Prisoner Release Orders” to Remedy California’s Prison Overcrowding; Upheld on Appeal

Federal Judges Convene Three-Judge Panel to Consider "Prisoner Release Orders" to Remedy California's Prison Overcrowding; Upheld on Appeal

On July 23, 2007, two United States District Court judges in the Northern District and Eastern District of California simultaneously issued orders finding that overcrowding appeared to be the root cause ...

Los Angeles County Pays $2.8 Million For Failure To Protect Accused Child Molester In Jail

An accused child molester who was savagely beaten by other prisoners after Los Angeles (LA) Men?s Central Jail officials negligently placed him in communal housing won a $2.8 million settlement from LA County.

Jose Beas, 38, was babysitting a young girl who complained to her parents that he ...

Love, Sex and Violence KO Oregon Deputies, Jailers and Prison Guards

On August 16, 2007, in separate incidents, two Clackamas County, Oregon sheriff?s deputies were arrested on job-related criminal offenses.

Deputy Bryan Lavigne, 36, used excessive force on a juvenile by strangling him during an arrest on July 15, 2007. Other officers witnessed the incident and reported it to supervisors ...

News in Brief:

Alabama: On December 1, 2007, Elizabeth Franklin, 54, a guard at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women fell 15 feet out of a guard tower and died.

Brazil: On November 18, 2007, prisoners at the Maceio Detention Center in the state of Alagoas tried to escape. After a shoot out ...

Privatized Medical Services Entangle Florida Sheriff in Litigation and Raises Costs

Proponents of privatization of prison services tout it as a way to not only save governmental entities money, but to remove them from legal entanglement. Officials in Florida?s Sarasota County Sheriff?s Office (SCSO) are not realizing those supposed benefits for its medical care contract.

Since 2002, the SCSO ...

 

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