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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: February, 2009

Issue PDF
Volume 20, Number 2

In this issue:

  1. Corruption in Orange County, CA Sheriff’s Department Revealed; Sheriff Resigns, Convicted on Criminal Charges (p 1)
  2. Second Chance Act Signed Into Law, But Not Yet Funded (p 8)
  3. From the Editor (p 8)
  4. Private Prison Companies Not Forthcoming About Immigration Detainee Deaths (p 10)
  5. BOP Suspends Use of Ion Spectrometry Drug Detection Devices (p 11)
  6. Officials Agree To Cap Population at D.C. Jail (p 12)
  7. Sixth Circuit Upholds Partial Denial of Qualified Immunity for MI Jail Guards’ Failure to Protect Sex Offender; Case Settles for $190,000 (p 13)
  8. Jose Medellin Executed; Vienna Convention Controversy Lives On (p 14)
  9. Changes in Texas Parole Laws Violate Ex Post Facto Clause (p 14)
  10. Department of Justice Report on Prison Rape Elimination Act (p 16)
  11. Fifth Circuit: § 1983 Nominal and Punitive Damages Allowed Absent Physical Injury (p 16)
  12. Report Criticizes Conditions in U.S. Immigrant Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington (p 18)
  13. Notwithstanding Federal Healthcare Receiver, California Prisoners Can Still Use State Habeas Corpus to Redress Medical Complaints (p 18)
  14. Washington DOC Restarts Private Industry Prison Jobs Following State Constitutional Amendment (p 20)
  15. Ohio Settles Actual Innocence Claim For $1,500,000 (p 21)
  16. Alaskan Prisoner in Arizona Can Enforce CCA Contract (p 22)
  17. Supreme Court of Canada: No Wage Loss Compensation While in Prison Caused by Sexual Assault by Staff (p 22)
  18. GAO Report Critical of BOP’s Methodology for Comparing Costs Between BOP and Private Facilities (p 24)
  19. $400,000 Award in Failure to Protect Connecticut Suicidal Prisoner (p 24)
  20. BOP Agrees to Provide Wine to Prisoner for Religious Rituals (p 25)
  21. Nominal Damages for Atlanta Georgia Jail’s Ban on Magazines, Books and Newspapers (p 26)
  22. Utah Sex Offender Internet Registry Statute Violates First Amendment (p 26)
  23. Texas Awards Prison Phone Contract (p 27)
  24. Jury Awards Almost $900,000 to Dallas County Jail Stroke Victim (p 28)
  25. Alameda County, CA Settles Jail Suicide Suit for $800,000 (p 28)
  26. Former California Prison Doctor Admits Negligence, Gets Probation; CDCR Medical Care Issues Still Unresolved (p 29)
  27. No Private Cause of Action for Businesses Complaining that Competitor Unfairly Used Prison Labor (p 30)
  28. More Damages, Costs & Attorney Fees Awarded in NH False Disciplinary Case (p 30)
  29. Writ Writer: One Man's Journey for Justice (p 32)
  30. Ex-Mayor Returned to Prison After Misleading BOP to Enter Drug Program (p 33)
  31. Ninth Circuit: Orange County Jail PLRA Injunction May Not be Terminated as to Ongoing Violations (p 34)
  32. Prisoner Litigation Swamps California Eastern District Court; Ninth Circuit Recruits Other Judges to Help (p 34)
  33. Kitsap County, Washington Jail Settles Public Records Act Suit for $125,000 (p 35)
  34. Los Angeles Sheriff Department Report: Prisoner Lawsuits Slowed, But Payouts Grew (p 36)
  35. Corpus Christi Pays $50,000 to Settle Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claim (p 36)
  36. Washington State Deputy Sheriff Not Entitled to Quasi-Judicial Immunity (p 37)
  37. TDCJ Employee Wins $1,505,000 for Texas Prison System’s Failure to Accommodate (p 38)
  38. Wisconsin Claims Board Awards Almost $110,000 for Wrongful Rape Conviction, Attorney Fees (p 38)
  39. Behavior Modification Training to Become Part of Washington State DOC (p 38)
  40. Class Action Disability Discrimination Suit Certified Against Cook County Jail in Illinois (p 39)
  41. Oregon Parolee Negligent Supervision Case Reinstated (p 40)
  42. $4.5 Million Settlement in New Jersey Jail Strip Search Lawsuit (p 40)
  43. Denial of Allocution Right on Supervised Release Resentencing Requires Remand (p 41)
  44. Transgender Idaho Prisoner Receives Hormone Therapy Pending Trial (p 42)
  45. Governments, Not Prisoners, Must Pay Cost of Transporting Prisoner Witnesses (p 42)
  46. Ohio DNA Specimen Law Ruled Not Retroactive (p 44)
  47. Unemployment Compensation Denied to Guard Who Failed to Stop Prisoner Assault (p 44)
  48. PLRA Requires Grievance Exhaustion for ADA/RA Claims (p 45)
  49. Sixth Circuit Outlines Exceptions to Heck Favorable-Termination Doctrine (p 46)
  50. California Sex Offender’s Probation Travel Restrictions Abated (p 46)
  51. Washington Classification Reassessment Requires Notice and Hearing (p 47)
  52. Arbitrator Awards Hawaii Prisoner $7,500 for Injuries Sustained While Working in Kitchen (p 47)
  53. Kentucky Jails’ Seizure of Funds for Booking, Room and Board Fees Upheld (p 48)
  54. Pennsylvania Prisoner Appointed Counsel on Retaliation / MRSA Infection Claims (p 48)
  55. Retroactive Residency Restrictions for Missouri Sex Offenders Unconstitutional (p 49)
  56. Washington Prisoner Suit for “Prevailing Wages” from Private Employer Fails (p 50)
  57. News in Brief: (p 50)
  58. South Carolina Jail Pays Prisoners $80,000 for Failure to Prevent/Treat MRSA (p 52)
  59. No Prison Guinea Pigs: President Obama Should Act Now To Ensure Prisoners Aren’t Used For Medical Research (p 55)
  60. Deceased New York Prisoner Wins Barber/Cosmetology Licensing For Ex-Cons (p 55)
  61. $1.5 Million Settlement in Alabama Probation Officer's Sex Scandal (p 2008)

Corruption in Orange County, CA Sheriff’s Department Revealed; Sheriff Resigns, Convicted on Criminal Charges

Corruption in Orange County, CA Sheriff’s Department Revealed; Sheriff Resigns, Convicted on Criminal Charges

by Marvin Mentor

Former Orange County, California Sheriff Michael S. Carona and many of his staff at the Theo Lacy jail have resigned or been fired after widespread misconduct was exposed.
A 2007 Special Criminal Grand ...

Second Chance Act Signed Into Law, But Not Yet Funded

Second Chance Act Signed Into Law, But Not Yet Funded

by Brandon Sample

On April 9, 2008, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act into law. The Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199), a bi-partisan effort, was designed to expand and improve prisoner reentry programs with the goal of reducing ...

From the Editor

This is the first issue of PLN published during the Barak Obama presidency. Hopefully we will see change for the better. Even before he took office Obama and Biden were making good on their promises to provide billions of dollars to local police departments to put another 50,000 cops ...

Private Prison Companies Not Forthcoming About Immigration Detainee Deaths

Private Prison Companies Not Forthcoming About Immigration Detainee Deaths

by Matt Clarke

The private prison industry has benefited from a recent influx of contracts from the federal government to incarcerate immigration detainees. Such contracts are more lucrative than those for imprisoning state prisoners. However, questions have been raised about the ...

BOP Suspends Use of Ion Spectrometry Drug Detection Devices

On April 10, 2008, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) discontinued the use of all ion spectrometry drug detection machines, more commonly known as ion scanners. According to a memo from BOP assistant director Joyce K. Conley, “the software for these machines requires correction and we have contacted the manufacturers ...

Officials Agree To Cap Population at D.C. Jail

After decades of fighting lawsuits, skirting court orders, and defying legislative decrees, the District of Columbia Mayor’s Office has finally agreed to a definitive population cap at the notoriously overcrowded and dangerous D.C. Jail.

Under the terms of the settlement, the jail will hold no more than 2 ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds Partial Denial of Qualified Immunity for MI Jail Guards’ Failure to Protect Sex Offender; Case Settles for $190,000

Sixth Circuit Upholds Partial Denial of Qualified Immunity for MI Jail Guards’ Failure to Protect Sex Offender; Case Settles for $190,000

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed in part and reversed in part a Michigan district court’s denial of qualified immunity to two ...

Jose Medellin Executed; Vienna Convention Controversy Lives On

Jose Medellin Executed; Vienna Convention Controversy Lives On

by Matt Clarke

On August 5, 2008 at 9:48 p.m., the State of Texas began the lethal injection that ended the life of Jose E. Medellin. In doing so, it ignored orders from the International Court of Justice at The ...

Changes in Texas Parole Laws Violate Ex Post Facto Clause

by Matt Clarke

On March 29, 2007, a federal court ruled that changes in Texas parole laws, practices and procedures violated the federal ex post facto clause when applied retroactively.

Barry Michael Wion, a Texas state prisoner, was convicted in 1985 of three sex offenses involving children and sentenced to ...

Department of Justice Report on Prison Rape Elimination Act

Department of Justice Report on Prison Rape Elimination Act

by Matt Clarke

In September 2007, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released the annual report for calendar 2006 on DOJ’s implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), 42 U ...

Fifth Circuit: § 1983 Nominal and Punitive Damages Allowed Absent Physical Injury

Fifth Circuit: § 1983 Nominal and Punitive Damages Allowed Absent Physical Injury

For the first time in a published opinion, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held that a prisoner pursuing a civil rights action against prison officials may seek nominal and punitive damages even if no ...

Report Criticizes Conditions in U.S. Immigrant Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington

Report Criticizes Conditions in U.S. Immigrant Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington

by David M. Reutter

Conditions at the federal immigration center in Tacoma, Washington, are substandard and not in compliance with national standards, “much less international human rights law.” The is the conclusion drawn by a 65-page report ...

Notwithstanding Federal Healthcare Receiver, California Prisoners Can Still Use State Habeas Corpus to Redress Medical Complaints

The California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, held that even though the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) was under the supervision of a court-appointed federal healthcare Receiver, state prisoners nonetheless retained the right under state law to seek individual redress from deficiencies in medical care. Prisoners raising ...

Washington DOC Restarts Private Industry Prison Jobs Following State Constitutional Amendment

Washington DOC Restarts Private Industry Prison Jobs Following State Constitutional Amendment

by John E. Dannenberg

After eliminating private industry prison work programs in response to a Washington State Supreme Court ruling declaring the underlying statute unconstitutional (see related article on Talon Industries v. Washington DOC in this issue), the Washington ...

Ohio Settles Actual Innocence Claim For $1,500,000

Ohio and Ohio prosecuting officials settled a wrongful incarceration lawsuit by agreeing to pay $1,500,000 to a man who was imprisoned for 26 years after his conviction for a robbery and murder he did not commit.

Gary James, 55, and his friend Timothy Howard were convicted of a ...

Alaskan Prisoner in Arizona Can Enforce CCA Contract

The Supreme Court of Alaska held that state prisoners incarcerated at a private prison in Arizona can enforce portions of the contract between the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) that incorporate provisions of Smith v. Cleary, 24 P.3d 1245 (Alaska 2001) [PLN, June ...

Supreme Court of Canada: No Wage Loss Compensation While in Prison Caused by Sexual Assault by Staff

Supreme Court of Canada: No Wage Loss Compensation While in Prison Caused by Sexual Assault by Staff

On February 8, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a prisoner cannot recover damages for lost wages that occurred while he was incarcerated.

Dean Richard Zastowny was 18 when he committed ...

GAO Report Critical of BOP’s Methodology for Comparing Costs Between BOP and Private Facilities

GAO Report Critical of BOP’s Methodology for Comparing Costs Between BOP and Private Facilities

by Brandon Sample

In October of 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress, issued a report criticizing the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) methodology for comparing the ...

$400,000 Award in Failure to Protect Connecticut Suicidal Prisoner

$400,000 Award in Failure to Protect Connecticut Suicidal Prisoner

A Connecticut judge has awarded a prisoner’s estate $403,164.30, finding the City of Hartford police were liable for the prisoner’s suicide death. At a bench trial, the Court held the arresting officer had a duty to advise the ...

BOP Agrees to Provide Wine to Prisoner for Religious Rituals

On September 18, 2008, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) settled a lawsuit brought under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) for wine during various religious rituals.
Brandon Sample, a federal prisoner and PLN contributing writer, sued the BOP under RFRA after he was denied the use of wine during his ...

Nominal Damages for Atlanta Georgia Jail’s Ban on Magazines, Books and Newspapers

On April 17, 2008, a Georgia federal court granted a prisoner summary judgment and nominal damages in a lawsuit over a jail policy that barred prisoners from receiving books, newspapers and magazines.

David Robertson was incarcerated in the Fulton County (Atlanta) jail from April 2005 through April 2007. He filed ...

Utah Sex Offender Internet Registry Statute Violates First Amendment

On September 25, 2008, a federal court in Utah enjoined the enforcement of an amended statute requiring the state’s 7,000 registered sex offenders to report all of their Internet identifiers, including user names, passwords and website addresses.

In 2005, a Utah man identified as John Doe was convicted ...

Texas Awards Prison Phone Contract

On August 14, 2008, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) awarded a phone service contract to two companies, Kansas-based Embarq Corp. and Dallas-based Securus Technologies, Inc. Prior to this historic event, the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) was the only state prison system in the nation that did ...

Jury Awards Almost $900,000 to Dallas County Jail Stroke Victim

After a one week trial and a day of deliberation a federal jury awarded Stanley Shepherd $890,336 when a stroke he suffered, in the Dallas County jail, left him permanently paralyzed.

On October 4, 2003 Shepherd was admitted to Dallas County jail as a pre-trial detainee. He was still ...

Alameda County, CA Settles Jail Suicide Suit for $800,000

Alameda County, CA Settles Jail Suicide Suit for $800,000

Following a mistrial, California’s Alameda County settled a wrongful death claim resulting from a jail detainee’s suicide for over $800,000. The federal lawsuit was brought by the prisoner’s minor children.

The plaintiffs claimed that as Richard Lebon was being ...

Former California Prison Doctor Admits Negligence, Gets Probation; CDCR Medical Care Issues Still Unresolved

by John E. Dannenberg

Dr. Bonifacio Esperanza, a physician formerly employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), was accused of gross negligence by the Medical Board of California for his alleged mistreatment of seven prisoners at Centinela State Prison. The Medical Board filed a formal complaint against ...

No Private Cause of Action for Businesses Complaining that Competitor Unfairly Used Prison Labor

No Private Cause of Action for Businesses Complaining that Competitor Unfairly Used Prison Labor

by John E. Dannenberg

The Washington Water Jet Workers Association (“Water Jet”) sued the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC), claiming the WDOC had illegally contracted with a water jet firm, MicroJet, thereby violating the Washington state ...

More Damages, Costs & Attorney Fees Awarded in NH False Disciplinary Case

More Damages, Costs & Attorney Fees Awarded in NH False Disciplinary Case

Three prisoners involved in two federal civil rights lawsuits against officials of the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in New Hampshire (the jail) were awarded nominal, compensatory and punitive damages plus attorney fees and costs.

On July 14 ...

Writ Writer: One Man's Journey for Justice

Writ Writer: One Man’s Journey for Justice?A co-production of Passage Productions and the Independent Television Service ?(ITVS), in association with Latino Public Broadcasting
Directed by Susanne Mason; 2008, 60 Minutes, $34.98 (personal use)
http://www.writwritermovie.com/index.html

Reviewed by David Preston

De profundis clamavi ad ...

Ex-Mayor Returned to Prison After Misleading BOP to Enter Drug Program

Ex-Mayor Returned to Prison After Misleading BOP to Enter Drug Program

by Brandon Sample

Bill C. Campbell, the former mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, was returned to federal prison after it was discovered he had lied to gain entrance into the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). Successful ...

Ninth Circuit: Orange County Jail PLRA Injunction May Not be Terminated as to Ongoing Violations

Ninth Circuit: Orange County Jail PLRA Injunction May Not be Terminated as to Ongoing Violations

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held that evidence of ongoing American with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations and inadequate access to exercise and religious services precluded Orange County, California jails from obtaining ...

Prisoner Litigation Swamps California Eastern District Court; Ninth Circuit Recruits Other Judges to Help

Prisoner Litigation Swamps California Eastern District Court; Ninth Circuit Recruits Other Judges to Help

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, has reached a crisis stage due to excessive caseload, resulting principally from prisoner filings. Each of the Eastern District’s judges handled an average ...

Kitsap County, Washington Jail Settles Public Records Act Suit for $125,000

Kitsap County, Washington Jail Settles Public Records Act Suit for $125,000

On May 16, 2008, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office agreed to pay $125,000 to a former prisoner for violations of Washington’s Public Records Act.

In September 2006, Jeffery McKee, then a prisoner at the Kitsap County Corrections ...

Los Angeles Sheriff Department Report: Prisoner Lawsuits Slowed, But Payouts Grew

Los Angeles Sheriff Department Report: Prisoner Lawsuits Slowed, But Payouts Grew

by John E. Dannenberg

In its July 2008 25th semi-annual report, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) reviewed prisoner litigation against the county in the six-year period from 2001-2007. While the report noted a “welcome reduction” of new ...

Corpus Christi Pays $50,000 to Settle Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claim

Corpus Christi Pays $50,000 to Settle Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claim

The City of Corpus Christi, Texas, agreed to settle an excessive use of force claim brought by a former detainee at the City Detention Center (CDC) for $50,000.

The claim arose from events that are alleged to ...

Washington State Deputy Sheriff Not Entitled to Quasi-Judicial Immunity

Washington State Deputy Sheriff Not Entitled to Quasi-Judicial Immunity

The Washington Court of Appeals held that a deputy sheriff who was negligent in transporting a prisoner from court to jail was not entitled to quasi-judicial immunity.

Anthony Reijm was taken into custody on the order of Skagit County District Judge ...

TDCJ Employee Wins $1,505,000 for Texas Prison System’s Failure to Accommodate

An El Paso jury awarded $1,505,000 to a former employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for the prison system’s failure to accommodate her severe asthma by refusing to remove automatic air fresheners from an office area.

Linette Weller was a senior chemical dependency counselor ...

Wisconsin Claims Board Awards Almost $110,000 for Wrongful Rape Conviction, Attorney Fees

Wisconsin Claims Board Awards Almost $110,000 for Wrongful Rape Conviction, Attorney Fees

In 1990, Anthony Hicks was convicted of raping a woman who lived in his apartment building. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Central to the state’s case were pubic hairs found on the victim which ...

Behavior Modification Training to Become Part of Washington State DOC

Behavior Modification Training to Become Part of Washington State DOC

Governor Chris Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6400 into law on March 20, 2008. The bill enacts a revolutionary concept designed to correct what politicians perceive to be, the morally corrupt character of its state prisoners.

The behavior bill is intended ...

Class Action Disability Discrimination Suit Certified Against Cook County Jail in Illinois

Class Action Disability Discrimination Suit Certified Against Cook County Jail in Illinois

On March 26, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Elaine E. Bucklo certified a class action lawsuit against the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDC) alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act (RA ...

Oregon Parolee Negligent Supervision Case Reinstated

The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment against a teenage girl who was raped by a violent parolee.

In November 1997, 14-year-old Akilah Johnson was assaulted and raped by a stranger. More than four years later, on April 29, 2002, Ladon Stephens was ...

$4.5 Million Settlement in New Jersey Jail Strip Search Lawsuit

$4.5 Million Settlement in New Jersey Jail Strip Search Lawsuit

New Jersey’s Cumberland County has agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle a class action strip search lawsuit. This is another huge settlement in Fourth Amendment claims of this type. Like others, this case involved the strip searching ...

Denial of Allocution Right on Supervised Release Resentencing Requires Remand

Denial of Allocution Right on Supervised Release Resentencing Requires Remand

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a federal prisoner’s sentence because an Illinois federal district court denied his right to allocution upon revocation of his supervised release and imposition of a new sentence.

Bernard J. O’Hallaren III was ...

Transgender Idaho Prisoner Receives Hormone Therapy Pending Trial

A federal judge has ordered the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) to provide hormone therapy to a prisoner with gender identity disorder pending trial.

The preliminary injunction, issued July 27, 2007, was in response to a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Spencer, 27, who was born a biological male but lived ...

Governments, Not Prisoners, Must Pay Cost of Transporting Prisoner Witnesses

A federal court in Georgia held that costs taxed against an incarcerated litigant who lost his lawsuit could not include the cost of transporting prisoner witnesses to testify at trial.

Dexter Palmer, a Georgia state prisoner, filed a civil rights suit in federal district court under 42 U.S.C ...

Ohio DNA Specimen Law Ruled Not Retroactive

The Ohio Supreme Court held that a state law requiring convicted felons and some misdemeanants to provide DNA specimens could not be applied retroactively to offenders placed on supervised release before the law’s May 2005 effective date.

On August 6, 2002, Craig Consilio pleaded guilty to DUI, a fourth ...

Unemployment Compensation Denied to Guard Who Failed to Stop Prisoner Assault

Unemployment Compensation Denied to Guard Who Failed to Stop Prisoner Assault

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has held that a guard who was fired for willful misconduct for failing to report the planned assault of a prisoner was not entitled to unemployment compensation. The Court reached the same conclusion after ...

PLRA Requires Grievance Exhaustion for ADA/RA Claims

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the Sixth Circuit in holding that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires exhaustion of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act (RA) claims.

Nevada prisoner Roy O’Guinn had a history of mental illness, brain damage and organic personality disorder ...

Sixth Circuit Outlines Exceptions to Heck Favorable-Termination Doctrine

Sixth Circuit Outlines Exceptions to Heck Favorable-Termination Doctrine

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held the favorable-termination doctrine does not apply to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 actions brought by prisoners who were foreclosed from challenging their incarceration in a habeas action or who are only challenging the ...

California Sex Offender’s Probation Travel Restrictions Abated

by John E. Dannenberg

Kenneth Smith was convicted of committing a lewd act on his stepdaughter and sentenced to three years in prison, which was suspended in lieu of five years probation. Upon learning that Los Angeles County had a blanket policy disallowing registered sex offenders from leaving the county ...

Washington Classification Reassessment Requires Notice and Hearing

The Washington State Court of Appeals held that reassessment of a prisoner’s risk classification which made him ineligible for a 50 percent sentence reduction, without notice or an opportunity to be heard, violated due process.

In 2004, Charles Leon Wheeler pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and was ...

Arbitrator Awards Hawaii Prisoner $7,500 for Injuries Sustained While Working in Kitchen

On March 10, 2008, a Hawaii prisoner was awarded $7,500 through arbitration after being burned by hot coffee.

On April 3, 2007, Will Kaaihue received second degree burns down the left side of his body while working in the kitchen at the Halawa Correctional Facility. Kaaihue had been attempting ...

Kentucky Jails’ Seizure of Funds for Booking, Room and Board Fees Upheld

Kentucky Jails’ Seizure of Funds for Booking, Room and Board Fees Upheld

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the seizure of jail prisoners’ canteen funds for booking and room and board fees does not violate due process.

When Campbell County and Kenton County (Kentucky) detain individuals in ...

Pennsylvania Prisoner Appointed Counsel on Retaliation / MRSA Infection Claims

Pennsylvania Prisoner Appointed Counsel on Retaliation / MRSA Infection Claims

A Pennsylvania federal district court appointed counsel to a prisoner in a lawsuit claiming he contracted a serious infection and faced retaliation after filing grievances about his medical condition.

While housed at Pennsylvania’s SCI-Chester, state prisoner Jose Crespo contracted Methicillin Resistant ...

Retroactive Residency Restrictions for Missouri Sex Offenders Unconstitutional

by Matt Clarke

On May 24, 2007, Cole County, Missouri Circuit Court Judge Patricia S. Joyce ruled that a Missouri statute requiring certain registered sex offenders to move if they lived within 1,000 feet of a school (§ 566.147, R.S.Mo.) was unconstitutional as applied to offenders who ...

Washington Prisoner Suit for “Prevailing Wages” from Private Employer Fails

Washington Prisoner Suit for “Prevailing Wages” from Private Employer Fails

by John E. Dannenberg

The Washington state Court of Appeals has affirmed a superior court’s denial of a “prevailing wage” claim filed by state prisoners employed by Elliott Bay Metal, Inc.
(Elliott), a private employer operating inside prison walls under ...

News in Brief:

Arizona: On November 20, 2008, Earl Lappe, 32, a prisoner at the Lewis Morey Unit of the state prison in Buckeye was killed, apparently by another prisoner. In October, 2008, Duffy Kilrain, another prisoner at a separate prison, was also murdered.

California: On December 22, 2008, Angel Rodriguez, 22, a ...

South Carolina Jail Pays Prisoners $80,000 for Failure to Prevent/Treat MRSA

$80,000 to South Carolina Jail Prisoners for Failure to Prevent and Treat MRSA

South Carolina’s Greenville County has agreed to pay $80,000 to settle 25 prisoners’ lawsuit that claims jail officials failed to take preventive measures to prevent the spread of an outbreak of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus ...

No Prison Guinea Pigs: President Obama Should Act Now To Ensure Prisoners Aren’t Used For Medical Research

No Prison Guinea Pigs: President Obama Should Act Now To Ensure Prisoners Aren’t Used For Medical Research

by Allen M. Hornblum and Jeffrey Ian Ross

We keep hearing that President Barack Obama is intent on correcting the excesses of the previous administration, whether it’s waterboarding or dirty air or international ...

Deceased New York Prisoner Wins Barber/Cosmetology Licensing For Ex-Cons

Three years after his death, ex-con Marc LaCloche won his long-fought case to permit ex-cons in New York state the right to gain barber and cosmetology licenses.

LaCloche, after an 11-year stint in New York prison, sought to make a living as a barber - a skill he had learned in ...

$1.5 Million Settlement in Alabama Probation Officer's Sex Scandal

$1.5 Million Settlement in Alabama Probation Officer's Sex Scandal

A $1.5 million dollar settlement has been reached in a lawsuit claiming an Alabama probation officer raped a female probationer and made inappropriate sexual advances towards eleven other female probationers.

The complaint in the action made claims against ...


 

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