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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: April, 2019

Issue PDF
Volume 30, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. Incorrigible: The First Step Act and the Carceral State (p 1)
  2. Ohio County Jail Settles PLN Censorship Suit for $45,000 (p 10)
  3. Hawaii Supreme Court: Pretrial Solitary Wrong, but Warden Protected by Qualified Immunity (p 11)
  4. From the Editor (p 12)
  5. Congressional Report Finds Misconduct by BOP Administrators Often Ignored (p 13)
  6. “It Smelled Like Death”: Reports of Mold Contamination in Prisons and Jails (p 15)
  7. Study Says Mass Incarceration Contributes to Poverty and Hunger (p 17)
  8. For Journalists Covering Prisons, the First Amendment is Little Help (p 18)
  9. California Prison Psychiatrists Blow Whistle on Poor Mental Healthcare, Falsified Records (p 20)
  10. Mugshots.com Operators Arrested, Face Extradition to California (p 21)
  11. Class Certification in Missouri Prisoners’ Hepatitis C Suit Upheld (p 22)
  12. Ohio: Mandamus Action Moot Where Relief Has Been Granted (p 23)
  13. Alabama DOC Refuses Muslim Spiritual Adviser in Execution Chamber (p 24)
  14. Wisconsin Prisoner Not Due Credit for Time Spent Free after Erroneous Release (p 25)
  15. Alabama DOC Stonewalling Federal Investigation; Eight Prisoners go on Hunger Strike (p 26)
  16. Georgia: Court Certifies Class Action for Prisoners Held Beyond Their Release Date (p 26)
  17. Texas Prisons, We’ve Got Some Questions About Your Commissary Vendors (p 28)
  18. Pennsylvania DOC, Mental Health Contractor Settle Wrongful Death Suit for $27,500 (p 29)
  19. California Jail Settles Class-Action Lawsuit Over Conditions of Confinement (p 30)
  20. Ex-Prisoner Awarded $1.06 Million for Sexual Assault by Former Nebraska Jailer (p 30)
  21. $1.1 Million Fee Award in California Prison Segregation Lawsuit (p 31)
  22. Oregon Prison Industry Program Nets Record $28.5 Million as Prisoners Earn $1.25/Hour (p 32)
  23. Iowa: Prisoners Entitled to Full Hearing on Termination of Parental Rights (p 33)
  24. 2018 Awards for Activism, Advocacy Against the Private Prison Industry (p 34)
  25. Arkansas Governor Addresses Prisoners at College Graduation Ceremony (p 35)
  26. Nevada: Muslim Prisoner Awarded $39,260 in Damages Plus Attorney’s Fees (p 36)
  27. New Mexico Medical Technician Wins $150,000 Jury Award for Abuse by Jailers (p 36)
  28. San Bernardino County, California Sheriff’s Office Settles Civil Rights Suit (p 38)
  29. For Years, Errors in Iowa’s Felon List Have Disenfranchised Eligible Voters (p 38)
  30. New Jersey DOC Settles Sexual Abuse Suit, but More Cases are Pending (p 40)
  31. Minnesota Lawmakers Look at Prison Reforms (p 40)
  32. Mitigating Factors Counter Government’s Interest in Forced Psychotropic Medication (p 41)
  33. New York Muslim Prisoner Wins Injunction to Pray on Recreation Yard (p 42)
  34. Women Prisoners Disciplined More than Men, but Staff Training is Changing That (p 42)
  35. New York: Federal Court Certifies Class-Action Suit Against Jail for Providing Insufficient Diet (p 43)
  36. Tennessee County Settles Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Use of Force Claim for $160,000 (p 44)
  37. Georgia Pays More Than $3 Million to Settle Prison Medical Negligence Suits (p 44)
  38. Michigan Prisoner Obtains $2,000 Settlement in Group Strip Search Suit (p 46)
  39. Conflict of Interest in Texas Rangers’ Investigation of Deaths at LaSalle-Operated Jails? (p 46)
  40. Middlesex County, New Jersey Settles Solitary Confinement Suit (p 47)
  41. $4.75 Million Settlement for Pennsylvania Teenager’s Withdrawal Death in Jail (p 47)
  42. New York City Pre-trial Detainees Exposed to Freezing Temperatures at Federal Jail (p 48)
  43. Seventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal in Prison Gang Assault Case (p 49)
  44. Securus Files Suit Alleging FDOC Improperly Entered into Prison Phone Contract (p 50)
  45. Connecticut Sued to End Prison Gerrymandering (p 51)
  46. Strip and Body Cavity Searches: Looking for Contraband in all the Wrong Places (p 52)
  47. New York City Settles Kalief Browder Lawsuit for $3.3 Million (p 54)
  48. Warden Turns Whistleblower, Claims Misconduct, Retaliation by Colorado’s DOC Director (p 54)
  49. Corizon Health Strikes Out in Arizona (p 56)
  50. Settlement Reached over Visitation, Communication with Prisoners’ Children at Indiana Jail (p 57)
  51. The Lackawanna County Seven: And Then There Were Five (p 57)
  52. Scabies Outbreak at Michigan Women’s Prison Under Corizon Health (p 58)
  53. Colorado: $190,000 Settlement for Prisoners Ordered Released but Kept in Jail for Inability to Pay $55 Fee (p 58)
  54. Former Rikers Island Prisoner Awarded $500,000 Plus Attorney Fees (p 59)
  55. California State Retirement Systems Split on Decision to Divest 
from Private Prisons (p 59)
  56. Delaware: Inadequate Medical Care Results in Prisoner’s Death (p 60)
  57. Teachers’ Unions Divest Stock Holdings in Private Prisons (p 60)
  58. Wisconsin State Prison Sergeant Rats Out Prisoner Informants (p 61)
  59. Kentucky Prison Guards Settle Sexual Harassment Suit for $1.5 Million (p 62)
  60. Lawsuit Challenging Phone Kickbacks at Massachusetts Jail Survives Motion to Dismiss (p 62)
  61. News in Brief (p 63)

Incorrigible: The First Step Act and the Carceral State

by Marie Gottschalk

With much fanfare, President Donald Trump signed the First Step Act into law in December 2018. New Jersey senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker hailed the legislation as a milestone that marked a “meaningful break from decades of failed policies that led to mass incarceration.” Other ...

Ohio County Jail Settles PLN Censorship Suit for $45,000

by Steve Horn

In response to a censorship lawsuit filed in 2017 by Prison Legal News’parent organization, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), Greene County, Ohio agreed to settle the case for $45,000.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio’s Western Division ...

Hawaii Supreme Court: Pretrial Solitary Wrong, but Warden Protected by Qualified Immunity

by Derek Gilna

Mukadin Gordon, who had an extensive criminal record, was arrested for a non-violent offense in August 2010 and placed in solitary confinement for several months. 

He sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law, arguing that his nine months in solitary were ...

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

This month’s cover story reports on the landmark First Step Act, which is the first criminal justice reform bill in decades that might actually benefit some prisoners. Until now, the cavalcade of criminal justice legislation that has emerged from Congress over the past 200 years has been ...

Congressional Report Finds Misconduct by BOP Administrators Often Ignored

by Matt Clarke

A memorandum from the House Subcommittee on National Security, released on January 2, 2019, concluded that misconduct by senior leadership in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “appears to be largely tolerated or ignored altogether.” 

The committee reviewed thousands of pages of case files and ...

“It Smelled Like Death”: Reports of Mold Contamination in Prisons and Jails

by Panagioti Tsolkas

“There was big, dark, gray, blackish mildew around the air vent and that’s where the air was coming from … it smelled like death.” – Candie Hailey, Rikers Island pre-trial detainee

Over the past several years, Prison Legal News has focused attention on environmental health impacts that ...

Study Says Mass Incarceration Contributes to Poverty and Hunger

by Derek Gilna

A 2018 report by the Washington, D.C.-based Bread for the World Institute (BWI) made the argument that “U.S. poverty would have dropped by 20 percent between 1980 and 2004 if not for mass incarceration,” quoting a study by the Social Science Research Network ...

For Journalists Covering Prisons, the First Amendment is Little Help

by Jonathan Peters, Columbia Journalism Review

“Each prison is a fiefdom, and the warden is at the top of the feudal system.”

That’s how Gary Fields, who covered criminal justice for The Wall Street Journalput it in 2012, discussing the government policies and practices that make ...

California Prison Psychiatrists Blow Whistle on Poor Mental Healthcare, Falsified Records

by Steve Horn

The landmark case of Coleman v. Brown, a federal lawsuit that forced California to provide better mental health treatment for state prisoners, has taken an unusual turn after the state’s prison psychiatry chief blew the whistle about falsification of records related to mental health care in California’s ...

Mugshots.com Operators Arrested, Face Extradition to California

by Chad Marks

Four people have been charged with extortion, money laundering and identity theft by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

In May 2018, Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee and David Usdan, allegedly the operators of Mugshots.com and Unpublisharrest.com, found themselves on the wrong side of ...

Class Certification in Missouri Prisoners’ Hepatitis C Suit Upheld

On December 6, 2018, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld class certification in a lawsuit alleging the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) and Corizon Health failed to provide adequate medical screening and treatment to prisoners with hepatitis C (HCV).

MDOC prisoners Michael Postawko, Christopher Baker and Michael C. Jamerson ...

Ohio: Mandamus Action Moot Where Relief Has Been Granted

On December 20, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a prisoner’s writ of mandamus against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC). 

State prisoner William H. Evans, Jr. filed the mandamus petition against DRC director Gary Mohr. The petition sought relief in the form of ...

Alabama DOC Refuses Muslim Spiritual Adviser in Execution Chamber

by Kevin W. Bliss

Domineque Hakim Marcelle Ray, 42, was put to death by lethal injection at Alabama’s Holman Correctional Facility on February 7, 2019, after his request to have his Muslim spiritual adviser, Imam Yusef Maisonet, present in the execution chamber was denied. [See: PLN, Mar. 2019, p ...

Wisconsin Prisoner Not Due Credit for Time Spent Free after Erroneous Release

by Scott Grammer

Zachary S. Friedlander was already serving a sentence at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution in Wisconsin for a heroin conviction when, on April 15, 2016, he pleaded no contest to one count of felony bail jumping. He was sentenced to three years of probation, to begin after serving ...

Alabama DOC Stonewalling Federal Investigation; Eight Prisoners go on Hunger Strike

by Douglas Ankney

On October 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition to enforce a subpoena naming Jefferson S. Dunn, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), as the respondent. The petition seeks an order to show cause why Dunn should not ...

Georgia: Court Certifies Class Action for Prisoners Held Beyond Their Release Date

by Derek Gilna

U.S. District Court judge in Georgia has certified a class-action suit that seeks to hold the Fulton County Jail liable for failing to release dozens of prisoners after they posted bond or were otherwise eligible for release. 

According to Judge Michael L. Brown in ...

Texas Prisons, We’ve Got Some Questions About Your Commissary Vendors

by Stephen RaherPrison Policy Initiative

One of the original inspirations for the Prison Policy Initiative’s May 2018 report on prison commissaries earlier  [see: PLN, Aug. 2018, p.1] was a 2010 article from the Texas Tribune that analyzed $95 million in purchases at prison commissaries in the previous ...

Pennsylvania DOC, Mental Health Contractor Settle Wrongful Death Suit for $27,500

by Derek Gilna

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) have agreed to pay $15,000 to the estate of a mentally ill prisoner who was killed after being attacked by another prisoner in February 2015. 

The March 2018 settlement ended a suit ...

California Jail Settles Class-Action Lawsuit Over Conditions of Confinement

by Derek Gilna

A federal civil rights suit filed by the Prison Law Office against Santa Clara County, California after a mentally ill prisoner was beaten to death by guards at the county’s jail has settled for policy changes plus $1.6 million in attorneys’ fees and annual payments of ...

Ex-Prisoner Awarded $1.06 Million for Sexual Assault by Former Nebraska Jailer

by Dale Chappell

A federal court in Nebraska awarded an ex-prisoner over $1 million in a lawsuit against a former guard who was convicted of sexually assaulting her and other women at the Phelps County jail in June 2012.

While being held at the jail for allegedly writing bad checks ...

$1.1 Million Fee Award in California Prison Segregation Lawsuit

A California federal district court has awarded $1,090,141.70 in attorney fees and costs in a class-action suit that challenged the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) policies regarding gang validation and the use and management of segregated housing. That amount includes $16,502.40 for work ...

Oregon Prison Industry Program Nets Record $28.5 Million as Prisoners Earn $1.25/Hour

by Mark Wilson

“I’m not going to get paid what I got paid on the street. But that’s part of acceptance of my life now,” Oregon prisoner James Sheppard said of his job with Oregon Correctional Enterprises (OCE), the state’s prison industry program. “Would I do this job if ...

Iowa: Prisoners Entitled to Full Hearing on Termination of Parental Rights

by David Reutter

The Iowa Supreme Court held on November 30, 2018 that an incarcerated parent is entitled to participate in the entire hearing for termination of parental rights.

The Court announced the new procedure in the appeal of a mother whose rights were terminated. At issue was the process ...

2018 Awards for Activism, Advocacy Against the Private Prison Industry

On March 5, 2019, the Private Corrections Institute (PCI), a nonprofit citizen watchdog organization, announced its 2018 awardees for individual activism and organizational advocacy against the for-profit prison industry.

PCI opposes the privatization of correctional services, including the operation of prisons, jails and other detention facilities by companies such ...

Arkansas Governor Addresses Prisoners at College Graduation Ceremony

by Scott Grammer

On November 30, 2018, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed 25 prisoners who had received Associate of Arts degrees from Shorter College. According to a press release, “In an effort to reduce rates of recidivism, [the Second Chance Act] provides need-based Pell grants to people in state and ...

Nevada: Muslim Prisoner Awarded $39,260 in Damages Plus Attorney’s Fees

A Nevada federal jury initially awarded $28,800 to a state prisoner after finding that officials at the Southern Desert Correctional Center had violated his religious and equal protection rights, and one guard used excessive force.

Prisoner Reginald C. Howard claimed he was denied the opportunity to attend Muslim religious ...

New Mexico Medical Technician Wins $150,000 Jury Award for Abuse by Jailers

by Ed Lyon

Estrella Tenorio was a nurse’s aide/medical technician employed by for-profit contractor HealthCare Partners, Inc. (HCP). HCP specializes in providing medical services to prisoners. Tenorio’s first assignment was at a jail located near Las Vegas, New Mexico. Her mother was a state prison employee and her ...

San Bernardino County, California Sheriff’s Office Settles Civil Rights Suit

by Derek Gilna

The County of San Bernardino, California and Sheriff John McMahon have settled a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in February 2016, which alleged they had failed “to provide minimally adequate medical, dental and mental health care” to prisoners in the county’s jail system, and had failed “to ...

For Years, Errors in Iowa’s Felon List Have Disenfranchised Eligible Voters

by Matt Clarke 

Iowa’s electronic database of registered voters, I-VOTERS, contains the names of about 69,000 convicted felons who are barred from casting ballots. But in June 2016, Iowa’s Secretary of State found that 2,591 of those names belonged to people who were not in ...

New Jersey DOC Settles Sexual Abuse Suit, but More Cases are Pending

by Derek Gilna

The New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to settle a federal complaint that alleged multiple civil rights violations at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women. That same facility, located in Hunterdon County, is also the subject of several lawsuits in state court raising similar allegations ...

Minnesota Lawmakers Look at Prison Reforms

by Chad Marks

Lawmakers in Minnesota are considering a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the state’s prison population. Data from August 2018 indicate that the adult prison population was 9,849, and some legislators have expressed concerns about racial disparities in the prison system. 

According to recent ...

Mitigating Factors Counter Government’s Interest in Forced Psychotropic Medication

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held on December 19, 2018 that the government could not involuntarily medicate a defendant where it lacked an interest to prosecute. A significant factor in the case was that the defendant had already served pretrial detention almost as long as his potential sentence under ...

New York Muslim Prisoner Wins Injunction to Pray on Recreation Yard

In January 2018, a New York federal district court issued a preliminary injunction that required officials at the Cayuga Correctional Facility to allow a Muslim prisoner “to participate in individual, demonstrable prayer” on the prison’s recreation yard, “absent extraordinary circumstances.” The case later settled.

Prisoner Bornallah Wright filed a ...

Women Prisoners Disciplined More than Men, but Staff Training is Changing That

by Dale Chappell

According to an October 2018 news report, women prisoners are disciplined more often than male prisoners – two to three times more – and often receive harsher punishments. But updated staff training and new laws are helping to address that disparity.

Since 1980, the population of women ...

New York: Federal Court Certifies Class-Action Suit Against Jail for Providing Insufficient Diet

by Dale Chappell 

In August 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York certified a class-action lawsuit against the Montgomery County jail (MCJ) for providing prisoners with a sub-standard diet after several prisoners complained they became ill due to deficiencies in the amount of ...

Tennessee County Settles Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Use of Force Claim for $160,000

by Douglas Ankney

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee has agreed to pay Timothy Warren $110,000 in damages for injuries he suffered at the county jail, plus an additional $50,000 in attorney’s fees.

On New Year’s Eve 2013, Warren was arrested and booked into the ...

Georgia Pays More Than $3 Million to Settle Prison Medical Negligence Suits

by Kevin W. Bliss

The state of Georgia paid over $3 million in 2018 to settle lawsuits involving two former doctors hired by Augusta University’s Georgia Correctional HealthCare (GCHC) to work in state prisons. Dr. Yvon Nazaire and Dr. Chiquita Fye were named in five suits alleging negligence and deliberate ...

Michigan Prisoner Obtains $2,000 Settlement in Group Strip Search Suit

by Scott Grammer

On February 10, 2017, Mario Cavin, incarcerated at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, filed a handwritten civil rights complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. He alleged that he had been strip searched in the prison’s chapel in front of “fifteen ...

Conflict of Interest in Texas Rangers’ Investigation of Deaths at LaSalle-Operated Jails?

by Matt Clarke 

In January 2019, the Dallas Morning News reported that Louisiana-based private prison company LaSalle Corrections, which operates eight jails in Texas, employs a former Texas Ranger whose son oversees that law enforcement agency. The Texas Rangers are responsible for investigating deaths at seven of the eight ...

Middlesex County, New Jersey Settles Solitary Confinement Suit

by Dale Chappell

In September 2018, Middlesex County, New Jersey agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit and give prisoners held in a secure housing unit more freedom. 

“It’s no longer possible to lock someone in solitary confinement and throw away the key,” Deputy Public Defender ...

$4.75 Million Settlement for Pennsylvania Teenager’s Withdrawal Death in Jail

by David M. Reutter

The death of a teenager is a sad event. But when it was entirely preventable, it becomes tragic.

The death of Victoria Jeanette Herr, 18, just four days after being booked into Pennsylvania’s Lebanon County Correctional Facility (LCCF), is yet another example of poor healthcare and ...

New York City Pre-trial Detainees Exposed to Freezing Temperatures at Federal Jail

by Ed Lyon 

The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, a 1,654-bed facility operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) that houses defendants awaiting trial, was without main and generator-supplied electricity between January 27 and February 3, 2019 – a frigid stretch of winter during ...

Seventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal in Prison Gang Assault Case

by Ed Lyon 

Illinois prisoner Kirk Horshaw paid an extremely high price for placing his trust in prison officials. He received a written note warning that he was going to be beaten because a prison gang leader felt he had not shown him the proper respect. Horshaw passed the ...

Securus Files Suit Alleging FDOC Improperly Entered into Prison Phone Contract

by Chad Marks

In a lawsuit filed on January 29, 2019, Securus Technologies, Inc., one of the nation’s two largest prison telecom companies, accused the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) of ignoring provisions of the Florida Constitution when exercising budgeting and appropriation powers, and doing so at the expense of ...

Connecticut Sued to End Prison Gerrymandering

by Scott Grammer

The NAACP and other plaintiffs have sued the State of Connecticut to put a stop to a “statewide practice of counting incarcerated people as residents of the legislative districts where they are held, rather than in their home districts.” This practice is known as prison gerrymandering. [See ...

Strip and Body Cavity Searches: Looking for Contraband in all the Wrong Places

by Matt Clarke 

It is unknown whether the Supreme Court’s ruling in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, 566 U.S. 318 (2012), which upheld the practice of strip searching jail prisoners absent individualized suspicion of illegal activity and regardless of the severity of their ...

New York City Settles Kalief Browder Lawsuit for $3.3 Million

by Matt Clarke 

The untimely death of Kalief Browder at age 22 sparked a nationwide movement to enact bail reform and end the use of segregation for young detainees. Both President Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cited Browder’s suicide – after he served two years ...

Warden Turns Whistleblower, Claims Misconduct, Retaliation by Colorado’s DOC Director

by Dale Chappell

In October 2018, a warden who blew the whistle on an illegal hazardous-waste dumping scandal involving the head of Colorado’s prison system filed a lawsuit to compel the state to share the results of its investigations. 

Angel Medina, former warden of the Cañon Minimum Centers – ...

Corizon Health Strikes Out in Arizona

by Ed Lyon 

In 2014, a settlement was reached in Parsons v. Ryan, a lawsuit over healthcare in Arizona’s prison system. The state contracted with Corizon Health to provide medical services for the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), even though the company had been plagued with problems and ...

Settlement Reached over Visitation, Communication with Prisoners’ Children at Indiana Jail

by Scott Grammer

A class-action lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2016 against Allen County, Indiana Sheriff David Gladieux by plaintiffs Ronald Ward and Samuel Chinnis, claimed that prisoners at the county jail “have been and are being forbidden for months and potentially years from seeing their children and, absent ...

The Lackawanna County Seven: And Then There Were Five

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Few cases are as difficult to prosecute as those involving cops, sheriffs and prison guards. This is largely due to the popular perception that they’re the good guys protecting society from the bad guys ... or in this case, bad girls.

The Lackawanna County Seven – seven guards ...

Scabies Outbreak at Michigan Women’s Prison Under Corizon Health

by Ed Lyon 

Scabies is the name for an infestation of tiny mites that burrow under a person’s skin and cause an itchy rash. They are spread by touching an infected person or an item of the person’s clothing or bedding. Crowded conditions, like those one normally encounters ...

Colorado: $190,000 Settlement for Prisoners Ordered Released but Kept in Jail for Inability to Pay $55 Fee

by Matt Clarke 

El Paso County, Colorado has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who remained in jail for 27 days because she was unable to pay a $55 fee, even after a judge ordered her release on a personal recognizance bond.

According to court ...

Former Rikers Island Prisoner Awarded $500,000 Plus Attorney Fees

by Dale Chappell

On August 6, 2018, a New York federal district court awarded a former Rikers Island jail prisoner $500,000 in damages after he was assaulted by a police officer and another prisoner.

Former NYPD officer Jamel Brown and Rikers prisoner Christopher McFadden were ordered by the ...

California State Retirement Systems Split on Decision to Divest 
from Private Prisons

by Scott Grammer

The Teachers’ Retirement Board of the California State Retirement System (CalSTRS) has decided to get out of private prison investments by dumping CoreCivic and GEO Group stock from its portfolio. About $12 million worth of stock is involved – which represents a fraction of the companies’ combined ...

Delaware: Inadequate Medical Care Results in Prisoner’s Death

by Kevin Bliss

Lisa Roseanne Peace, a former nurse with Connections Community Support Services (CCSS), waited almost 20 minutes before calling 911 after finding prisoner James J. Daniels on the floor of the chow hall at the Delaware Sussex Community Corrections Center, unresponsive, incontinent and foaming at the mouth.

Daniels ...

Teachers’ Unions Divest Stock Holdings in Private Prisons

by David Reutter

Pension funds for teachers are abandoning their investments in private prisons. The divestures follow an appeal by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s second-largest teacher’s union, for public pension funds to liquidate their holdings in for-profit prison companies and other firms involved in immigrant detention ...

Wisconsin State Prison Sergeant Rats Out Prisoner Informants

by Ed Lyon 

It is unfortunate that one of the first things someone learns after being incarcerated is to never, ever trust anyone. Now-retired Wisconsin prison captain Jason Wilke is a poster-child for the never-trust-anyone creed, demonstrating that it also applies to prison staff not being able to trust ...

Kentucky Prison Guards Settle Sexual Harassment Suit for $1.5 Million

by David M. Reutter

A $1.5 million settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging a male sergeant at Kentucky’s Little Sandy Correctional Complex (LSCC) sexually harassed four female guards. The settlement ended an appeal that followed a $1.6 million jury award.

“We think this shows the seriousness of ...

Lawsuit Challenging Phone Kickbacks at Massachusetts Jail Survives Motion to Dismiss

In December 2018, a Massachusetts federal district court refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the cost of phone calls made by prisoners at the Bristol County House of Correction (BCHC). [See: PLN, Sept. 2018, p.36].

Before the court were motions to dismiss filed by defendants Sheriff Thomas M ...

News in Brief

Alabama: “I know I was wrong. But, on the other end, I don’t want to say it’s the culture, or it’s accepted culture, but it happens,” declared former Warden Cedric Specks, when asked about his extra-marital affairs with two contract nurses at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in 2016 ...


 

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