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Prison Legal News: August, 2009

Issue PDF
Volume 20, Number 8

In this issue:

  1. Judge Not: Judges Benched for Personal Misconduct (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 8)
  3. FedCURE Entitled to Fee Waiver for FOIA Request (p 9)
  4. Violence on the Rise in BOP Facilities (p 10)
  5. Judge Sonia Sotomayor Denied My Appeal and I Spent 16 Years in Prison for a Crime I Didn’t Commit (p 12)
  6. Oregon Prosecutes Teen to Avoid Liability; Bizarre 2 1/2 Year Legal Battle Ends (p 14)
  7. A Bridge Between The Ivy League And The Jailhouse: An Interview with Brett Dignam, Clinical Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney at Yale Law School (p 16)
  8. Florida’s Private Prisons Still Lack Meaningful Oversight (p 18)
  9. Motions to Oust California Prison System’s Federal Healthcare Receiver Denied (p 20)
  10. 15 Guards Charged with Assaulting Maryland Prisoners (p 20)
  11. Oregon’s Criminal Justice Economic Recovery Plan: Keep Digging! (p 22)
  12. Indiana Lifelong Violent Offender Registration Preliminary Injunction Upheld in Part (p 24)
  13. $1,423,127 in Attorney Fees Awarded in Taser Suit; Damages Reduced (p 25)
  14. Report Recommends Lawmakers Reinstate College Programs in Prison (p 26)
  15. Report Concludes Hispanics Receiving a Greater Share of Federal Sentences (p 26)
  16. Improper Classification that Resulted in Seattle Jail Beating Settles for $37,500 (p 27)
  17. Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. The U.S.A., by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Published by City Lights Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8728646-9-6; 286 Pages; $16.95 (p 28)
  18. Reopened Abu Ghraib Prison Haunted by its Past (p 28)
  19. $10,000 Settlement for Bunk Bed Railing Hitting Prisoner (p 29)
  20. $2.1 Million Award in California Prisoner’s Choking Death (p 29)
  21. Poaching Boast Lands Oregon Prison Guard in Hot Water; Pulls State Trooper Father Down with Him (p 30)
  22. Utah Evaluates Drug Program Pilot; Recommends Further Evaluation (p 30)
  23. $100,000 Settlement in Illegal Imprisonment Caused by Massachusetts’ Failure to Implement Court Order (p 31)
  24. Vermont Supreme Court: “Nutraloaf” Diet Is Punishment that Requires Hearing (p 32)
  25. Ohio Parole Authority Ordered to Grant Hearings that Provide Meaningful Parole Consideration (p 32)
  26. $250,000 Award in Mississippi False Imprisonment Suit (p 33)
  27. Vendor Crushed by Seattle Jail Door Receives $43,525 for Injuries (p 33)
  28. Study Shows Few Texas Prisoners Transition Well to Community HIV Treatment (p 34)
  29. Highest Criminal Appeals Judge in Texas Faces Removal Hearing (p 34)
  30. Audit Report Finds Michigan Prisoner Transportation System Wasteful (p 35)
  31. Seventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Suit Alleging Excessive Force, Retaliation and Inadequate Medical Care; Settles for $15,000 (p 36)
  32. Seventh Circuit Vacates Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute; $50,000 + Fees Awarded Following Remand (p 36)
  33. Illinois Court of Appeals: Prisoner Has Standing to Sue Ameritech for Fraud (p 37)
  34. AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio Loses Three Public Records Cases (p 38)
  35. Colorado Florists Decry Prison Retail Flower Business (p 39)
  36. Missouri Public Defenders Not Immune from Client Suits (p 40)
  37. OK Prisoners Released from Custody Despite Deportation Detainers (p 40)
  38. Allowing Others to Attack Prisoner, Making Credible Death Threats, Labeling Prisoner a Snitch Violate Eighth Amendment (p 41)
  39. Nebraska: Tape-Recorded, Restricted-Calling Prison Telephone System Passes Constitutional Muster (p 42)
  40. Absent Claim for Emotional Damages, Prisoner’s Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege Remains Intact (p 42)
  41. Prolonged Bench Restraint and Excessive Pepper Spraying Requires Trial (p 43)
  42. Fifth Circuit Reinstates Prisoner’s Environmental Tobacco Smoke Suit (p 44)
  43. Federal Prison Guards’ Convictions Affirmed in Sex Scandal (p 44)
  44. $150,000 Settlement In Missouri Jail Suicide Suit (p 45)
  45. First Circuit Upholds BOP’s Discretion to Limit Halfway House Placement (p 45)
  46. Ninth Circuit: Orange County Jail Violated Ad Seg Prisoners’ ADA, Religious and Exercise Rights (p 46)
  47. Fourth Circuit Upholds Prisoner Exclusion in Virginia FOIA (p 46)
  48. Eleventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Challenge to Florida DOC Ban on Pen Pal Requests (p 47)
  49. Eleventh Circuit Unpublished Decision on PLRA Administrative Exhaustion Requirements Trumped by Published Ruling (p 48)
  50. Ohio Supreme Court Rules Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Not Retroactive (p 48)
  51. Denial of Bedding, Clothes to Florida Prisoner States Claim (p 49)
  52. News in Brief: (p 50)
  53. Alabama Raises Rates Charged for Prisoner Labor (p 52)
  54. District Court Erred in Sua Sponte Dismissal of Prisoner’s Challenge to Conditions of Confinement (p 55)

Judge Not: Judges Benched for Personal Misconduct

by Gary Hunter & Alex Friedmann

They decide hot-button topics ranging from abortion and racial discrimination to religious freedoms and contested elections. They can put you in prison or vindicate your civil rights. They can even sentence you to death. Who am I talking about? Judges.

Of all the public officials involved in the justice system, including the police, prosecutors, prison guards and parole officers, judges wield the most influence and power. Presumably, then, when we entrust members of the judiciary with such power we expect them to follow the law and conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

Unfortunately that is not always the case, as demonstrated by the following recent examples of judicial misconduct.

Federal Judicial Hijinks

On February 6, 2008, Massachusetts U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Somma, 63, was pulled over following a minor car accident and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was wearing high heels, stockings and a cocktail dress at the time, and the arresting officer noted that the judge had to retrieve his driver’s license from his purse.

The following week Somma pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge; his license was suspended for a year and he was ordered to pay a $600 fine. He tendered his resignation two days later. However, after more than 200 attorneys signed on to a letter of support submitted to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Somma sought ...

From the Editor

The cover story and a number of other articles in this issue of PLN focus on misconduct by judges. As this article goes to press the anointment hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court are taking place in the US senate. Sadly, it appears she is a ...

FedCURE Entitled to Fee Waiver for FOIA Request

On March 19, 2009, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted a motion for summary judgment filed by FedCURE, a non-profit organization that advocates for federal prisoners and their families, in a suit filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

In 2005, FedCURE ...

Violence on the Rise in BOP Facilities

Killings, assaults and other acts of violence are becoming more widespread in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), as the prison population increases and staff-to-prisoner ratios decline. Fifteen prisoner-on-prisoner BOP homicides occurred in 2008 compared with 12 in 2007. Serious assaults on staff increased to 82 in 2008 from 72 ...

Judge Sonia Sotomayor Denied My Appeal and I Spent 16 Years in Prison for a Crime I Didn’t Commit

My name is Jeffrey Deskovic. At age 17, I was wrongfully convicted of murder and rape, a conviction that was based upon a coerced false confession, the fabrication of evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, and fraud by a medical examiner. I was cleared 16 years later – almost three years ago – when DNA ...

Oregon Prosecutes Teen to Avoid Liability; Bizarre 2 1/2 Year Legal Battle Ends

Oregon Prosecutes Teen to Avoid Liability; Bizarre 2 ½ Year Legal Battle Ends

by Mark Wilson

Seventeen year old David Simmons and his fourteen year old girlfriend began a sexual relationship which continued after they turned 18 and 15, respectively. The relationship ended, however, on September 27, 2006 when the ...

A Bridge Between The Ivy League And The Jailhouse: An Interview with Brett Dignam, Clinical Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney at Yale Law School

Thirty years ago, Brett Dignam would not have believed she would spend her career as an attorney advocating for prisoners’ rights. Dignam’s passion at the time was performance, and she was deeply interested in teaching children’s theater.

“Law school was something I did so that I would have ...

Florida’s Private Prisons Still Lack Meaningful Oversight

by David M. Reutter

Florida’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) has issued a report that finds that oversight of the state’s private prisons has strengthened under the Department of Management Services (DMS) but significant weakness still abounds.

The Florida Legislature authorized private prisons in ...

Motions to Oust California Prison System’s Federal Healthcare Receiver Denied

by John E. Dannenberg

On March 24, 2009, motions by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to terminate the Receivership now operating the state’s prison healthcare system under a longstanding federal lawsuit were denied by the U.S. District Court.

Judge Thelton E. Henderson found that the ...

15 Guards Charged with Assaulting Maryland Prisoners

by David M. Reutter

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office has charged 15 former prison guards with assaulting prisoners. The charges come nearly a year after the guards were fired from the North Branch Correctional Institution and Roxbury Correctional Institution; another eight guards were not charged due to lack of ...

Oregon’s Criminal Justice Economic Recovery Plan: Keep Digging!

Like every other state, Oregon has been hit hard by the worst economic crisis in recent American history. Yet standing in an ever-deepening fiscal crater, prosecutors and victims’ rights groups keep handing out shovels and Oregonians stubbornly refuse to stop digging. This may not be what President Obama envisioned when ...

Indiana Lifelong Violent Offender Registration Preliminary Injunction Upheld in Part

On December 29, 2008, an Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a superior court’s preliminary injunction against lifelong registration for violent offenders.

A July 1, 2007 Indiana statute added people who had been convicted of certain violent crimes to the state’s registry requirement, which previously was solely reserved for ...

$1,423,127 in Attorney Fees Awarded in Taser Suit; Damages Reduced

A California federal district court has awarded $1,423,127 in attorney fees in the first lawsuit to result in a verdict against TASER International for failing to warn purchasers its electronic control devices pose a risk of acidosis, to a degree that posed a risk of cardiac arrest, when ...

Report Recommends Lawmakers Reinstate College Programs in Prison

by David M. Reutter

Citing the benefits of college prison programs, a report by the Correctional Association of New York recommended several policy changes to increase and recognize participation in degree-awarding programs. The report says the principal benefits of college programs in prison are: reduced recidivism because of the enhanced ...

Report Concludes Hispanics Receiving a Greater Share of Federal Sentences

by David M. Reutter

Hispanics are comprising a higher percentage of federal sentences, concludes a February 2009 report issued by the Pew Hispanic Center. The rise is attributed to a heightened focus on immigration enforcement. The findings of the report are based on data collected by the United States Sentencing ...

Improper Classification that Resulted in Seattle Jail Beating Settles for $37,500

Washington State’s King County Jail settled a claim that a prisoner was beaten severely by another prisoner due to improper classification for $37,500.

While at the Jail on August 2, 2003, Ian Kennedy Lennox was beaten by Carlos Martell Balcinde. The beating occurred without any provocation by Lennox ...

Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. The U.S.A., by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Published by City Lights Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8728646-9-6; 286 Pages; $16.95

Prisoners helping prisoners with legal issues would not seem strange to most people. But the idea of prisoners protecting the U.S. constitution is a notion not many can grasp unless they take the time to read Jailhouse Lawyers.

In Jailhouse Lawyers, author and PLN Columnist Mumia Abu Jamal raises ...

Reopened Abu Ghraib Prison Haunted by its Past

by Matt Clarke

On February 21, 2009, Iraqi officials reopened the most infamous icon of human rights abuses under two different governments – the Abu Ghraib prison. Located near western Baghdad on 113 hectares of land, the immense prison complex now boasts a barber shop, recreation yard, playground for children visiting ...

$10,000 Settlement for Bunk Bed Railing Hitting Prisoner

Washington State’s King County Jail has paid $10,000 to settle a claim for physical injury caused by defective bunk bedding. The bed was not defective until a guard kicked it.

During count at the Jail on October 4, 2006, at around 3:00 PM, prisoner Tanner C. Brown ...

$2.1 Million Award in California Prisoner’s Choking Death

A California federal jury has awarded the estate of a prisoner who was choked to death by prison guards $2.1 million. Prisoner Johnny Young, who was mentally ill, died on December 30, 2004, while being restrained by guards at the Richard J. Donovan State Prison.

While walking to breakfast ...

Poaching Boast Lands Oregon Prison Guard in Hot Water; Pulls State Trooper Father Down with Him

Pendleton, Oregon boys pride themselves on their hunting abilities. Deep in the heart of Oregon’s high desert, hunting is an age-old rite of passage and a way of life. Guards at Pendleton’s Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) brag constantly about their hunting prowess, though they’re probably doing ...

Utah Evaluates Drug Program Pilot; Recommends Further Evaluation

by David M. Reutter

A report by Utah’s legislative Auditor General into the performance of the Drug Offender Reform Act (DORA) says that more time is needed to evaluate the program, and it makes several recommendations to assist in future evaluations.

DORA began as a three-year pilot program to ...

$100,000 Settlement in Illegal Imprisonment Caused by Massachusetts’ Failure to Implement Court Order

by David M. Reutter

A former Massachusetts prisoner has received $100,000 to settle a claim of wrongful and illegal confinement. PLN previously reported on this incident, which stems from the failure of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MDOC) and Parole Board to implement a court ruling that required time ...

Vermont Supreme Court: “Nutraloaf” Diet Is Punishment that Requires Hearing

On March 13, 2009, the Vermont Supreme Court held that placing a prisoner on a “Nutraloaf” and water diet constitutes punishment that requires a hearing before the punitive diet is imposed.

William Borden, Richard Pahl and Brian Pelletier, Vermont state prisoners, filed a declaratory judgment action in superior court seeking ...

Ohio Parole Authority Ordered to Grant Hearings that Provide Meaningful Parole Consideration

by David M. Reutter

The Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County, Ohio has entered summary judgment finding the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA) denies “meaningful parole consideration when they assign an inmate to a proper guidelines category, but the lowest possible range in the guidelines chart is beyond the ...

$250,000 Award in Mississippi False Imprisonment Suit

Last January, a Mississippi federal jury awarded a former prisoner $250,000 for being falsely incarcerated by the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). The facts of the case exhibit an unbelievable abuse of power by MDOC officials.

After pleading guilty to burglary of an automobile, Will Terrance Porter was sentenced ...

Vendor Crushed by Seattle Jail Door Receives $43,525 for Injuries

Washington State’s King County Jail in Seattle has paid $43,525 to settle a claim brought by a man delivering frozen food to the Jail.

While making his delivery on November 7, 2002, David Huntington was crushed by a heavy metal door operated remotely and from inside the building ...

Study Shows Few Texas Prisoners Transition Well to Community HIV Treatment

by Matt Clarke

On February 25, 2009, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article which reported what percentage of Texas prisoners who were receiving Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV while in prison accessed ART drugs after release. The article showed that only half the prisoners applied ...

Highest Criminal Appeals Judge in Texas Faces Removal Hearing

by Matt Clarke

On February 19, 2009, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct charged Sharon “Killer” Keller, Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest court in Texas over criminal matters, with five disciplinary charges – including bringing discredit on the judiciary and violating her duty as a ...

Audit Report Finds Michigan Prisoner Transportation System Wasteful

by David M. Reutter

Michigan’s Auditor General has issued a report that criticizes the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) prison transport system as inefficient and wasteful of taxpayer money. The report notes that MDOC has failed to implement recommendations made in a 1996 report.

To transport its prisoners, the ...

Seventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Suit Alleging Excessive Force, Retaliation and Inadequate Medical Care; Settles for $15,000

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit against Cook County Jail (CCJ) officials in Chicago, Illinois that alleged excessive force, retaliation and inadequate medical treatment.

Fredrick Lee Walker, a pre-trial detainee at CCJ for some eight years, sued CCJ and numerous ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute; $50,000 + Fees Awarded Following Remand

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court’s dismissal of a prisoner’s suit for failure to prosecute. The appellate court found the severe sanction of dismissal was not justified.

Illinois prisoner Amilcar Gabriel sustained second- and third-degree burns while working in the kitchen at the ...

Illinois Court of Appeals: Prisoner Has Standing to Sue Ameritech for Fraud

On July 1, 2008, an Illinois Court of Appeals held that a prisoner had standing to bring a claim against Ameritech for consumer fraud. Johnnie Flournoy, an Illinois state prisoner at the Joliet Correctional Center, filed suit against Ameritech in state court alleging the company had “deliberately terminated his collect ...

AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio Loses Three Public Records Cases

by Matt Clarke

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have lost three public records cases in the Arizona Court of Appeals, including one where they were ordered to pay over $25,000 in attorney fees.

The first case arose when MCSO Lt. Paul Chagolla removed ...

Colorado Florists Decry Prison Retail Flower Business

by David M. Reutter

Florists in Colorado are crying out against a prison program that is competing against them, undercutting their prices due to the help of prisoner slave labor. What started as a prison program to keep prisoners busy has now turned into a business that florists in Canon ...

Missouri Public Defenders Not Immune from Client Suits

In a case of first impression, the Missouri Court of Appeals held that state public defenders are not entitled to official immunity for acts committed during their representation of indigent criminal defendants.

Missouri public defender Arthur Allen represented Bernardo Costa, an indigent defendant, “in connection with a motion for post-conviction ...

OK Prisoners Released from Custody Despite Deportation Detainers

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ordered two illegal aliens released from custody even though detainers for deportation had been filed with the county where they were being held, because the trial judge didn’t have authority to order them detained and federal officials hadn’t acted on the detainers ...

Allowing Others to Attack Prisoner, Making Credible Death Threats, Labeling Prisoner a Snitch Violate Eighth Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed in part a district court’s denial of qualified immunity to four guards accused of violating a prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights.

William Irving, a Missouri prisoner, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Thomas Brigance, Ronetta ...

Nebraska: Tape-Recorded, Restricted-Calling Prison Telephone System Passes Constitutional Muster

by John E. Dannenberg

The Nebraska Court of Appeals has upheld administrative regulation 205.3 (AR 205.3) of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), which restricts prisoner phone calls to land-line, nonconference-call recipients and authorizes tape-recording of all non-attorney phone calls. In reversing an earlier district court injunction enjoining ...

Absent Claim for Emotional Damages, Prisoner’s Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege Remains Intact

The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has entered a detailed opinion on the issue of psychotherapist-patient privilege when a district court is confronted with a request by prison officials to obtain a prisoner’s psychiatric records in discovery in a civil rights action. The appellate court concluded the ...

Prolonged Bench Restraint and Excessive Pepper Spraying Requires Trial

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a grant of summary judgment to prison officials in a prisoner’s lawsuit alleging Eighth Amendment violations when guards restrained him on a bench for 24 hours for refusing to accept a cell mate, and for pepper spraying him for refusing orders ...

Fifth Circuit Reinstates Prisoner’s Environmental Tobacco Smoke Suit

by Matt Clarke

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court’s order granting summary judgment to prison officials in a prisoner’s environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) lawsuit.

Getzell Johnson Murrell, Sr., a federal prisoner incarcerated in Beaumont, Texas, filed a pro se complaint against prison officials ...

Federal Prison Guards’ Convictions Affirmed in Sex Scandal

by David M. Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of two guards convicted in a sex-for-contraband scheme at the Women’s Federal Correctional Institute in Tallahassee, Florida. PLN previously reported the arrests and indictments in this case. [See: PLN, Aug. 2007, p.38; Oct. 2006 ...

$150,000 Settlement In Missouri Jail Suicide Suit

On May 21, 2008, the Sheriff of Adair County, Missouri agreed to settle a wrongful death suit brought by the family of a prisoner who committed suicide while at the Adair County Detention Center (ACDC). The settlement requires the county to pay $150,000 to the family of the prisoner ...

First Circuit Upholds BOP’s Discretion to Limit Halfway House Placement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the authority of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to limit halfway house placements.

In 2005, the BOP promulgated formal rules categorically limiting halfway house placement to the last ten percent of a prisoner’s sentence, not to exceed ...

Ninth Circuit: Orange County Jail Violated Ad Seg Prisoners’ ADA, Religious and Exercise Rights

by John E. Dannenberg

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that restrictions on prisoners in administrative segregation (ad seg) at the jail in Orange County, California, related to exercise and group religious programs, violated their federal rights. The appellate court further held that inadequate physical facilities at ...

Fourth Circuit Upholds Prisoner Exclusion in Virginia FOIA

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of excluding prisoners from the right to obtain public records under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Va. Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3700 to 3704 (2005).

Joseph M. Giarratano, a Virginia state prisoner, filed a FOIA request with the Virginia Department ...

Eleventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Challenge to Florida DOC Ban on Pen Pal Requests

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court order dismissing a Florida prisoner’s civil rights action that challenged a prison policy which prohibited him from sending letters to churches and ministers requesting prayer partners and pen pals.

The federal lawsuit was filed in the Northern District ...

Eleventh Circuit Unpublished Decision on PLRA Administrative Exhaustion Requirements Trumped by Published Ruling

In an unpublished ruling, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that summary judgment, rather than a motion to dismiss, was the proper procedure to determine whether a prisoner had exhausted administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). However, that ruling was superceded by a published decision from ...

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Not Retroactive

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that a state statute restricting sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a school (R.C. 2950.031) did not apply to sex offenders whose home purchase and offense occurred before the statute’s enactment.

Gerry R. Porter was ...

Denial of Bedding, Clothes to Florida Prisoner States Claim

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held that a prisoner’s civil rights complaint alleging that a guard denied him blankets, bed sheets and clean clothing for four-and-a-half months, causing illness and injury, stated a claim that was sufficient to withstand summary dismissal.

The Court’s ruling came in ...

News in Brief:

Alabama: On May 25, 2009, Ashton Mink, 22, and Joshua Southwick, 26, escaped from the Perry County Corrections Center in Uniontown. The facility is owned and operated by LCS Corrections Services. The prisoners escaped when Ashton’s sister, Angela Mink, 25, and Jacquelin Mink, 25, his wife, cut holes in ...

Alabama Raises Rates Charged for Prisoner Labor

In October 2007, the Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) began charging other government entities for prisoner labor, such as work crews that pick up highway trash. With the start of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2009, the DOC will raise the rate from $10 per prisoner per day ...

District Court Erred in Sua Sponte Dismissal of Prisoner’s Challenge to Conditions of Confinement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court’s sua sponte dismissal of a prisoner’s challenge to his conditions of confinement.

Sala-Thiel Thompson, a federal prisoner, filed a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 alleging that his conviction was entered without ...