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Prison Legal News: June, 2021

Issue PDF
Volume 32, Number 6

In this issue:

  1. The 10 Worst Sheriffs in America (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 10)
  3. Auditor Slams California ICE Facility That Released Detainees With COVID-19 (p 10)
  4. Sen. Warren Investigation Exposes Broken Prison Accreditation System (p 12)
  5. Kentucky Consolidated Local Government Entitled to Sovereign Immunity (p 12)
  6. 25 Years of the AEDPA: Where do We Stand? (p 14)
  7. Prisoners Released Without COVID Tests Face Difficult Reentry (p 17)
  8. Pandemic Medical Update (p 18)
  9. Former Georgia Sheriff Deputies Denied Immunity in Criminal Case for Taser Death of Unarmed Man (p 20)
  10. Law Passes Requiring Parents in New York Prisons to be Housed Close to Their Children (p 20)
  11. Mentally Ill Alabama Prisoner Dies in 101-Degree Cell (p 21)
  12. Trump Pardons Highlight System’s Flaws (p 22)
  13. Prioritizing Incarcerated People for Vaccine Quickly Reduced COVID in IL Prisons (p 24)
  14. Massachusetts Medical Parole Cases and COVID-19 Prisoner Deaths (p 26)
  15. Class Action Lawsuit Over COVID at Chesapeake, MD Jail Reaches Settlement (p 26)
  16. DOJ: Florida Women’s Prison Subjects Prisoners to Unconstitutional Risk of Sexual Abuse (p 28)
  17. New Hampshire Prisoner Sues to Enforce Conditions of Consent Decree (p 29)
  18. Connecticut Supermax Closing After Lawsuit Filed Seeking to Reduce Use of Solitary (p 30)
  19. Court Orders In-Person Inspection of Michigan Facility to Determine COVID-19 Policy Compliance (p 31)
  20. Inspection Reports Reveal Filthy Conditions In Arizona Prison Kitchens (p 32)
  21. NY Prisoner Entitled to Release Upon Reaching Conditional Release Date (p 34)
  22. Prison Overcrowding Continues During COVID-19 Pandemic (p 34)
  23. Prisoners Find Their Voice in Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (p 36)
  24. Kentucky Leases Closed Private Prison to Use as State Facility (p 36)
  25. Texas Republican Representative Proposes Renaming Prisons With Names Honoring Enslavers, Oppressors and Convict Leasers (p 38)
  26. Draconian Use of Solitary Confinement in North Carolina (p 38)
  27. Inspector General Calls California Prison Reform Efforts a $10 Million Failure (p 40)
  28. New Jersey Man Dies Soon After Exonerated of Sex Offense (p 41)
  29. Sixth Circuit Refuses to Extend Bivens to BOP Prisoner’s First Amendment Claims (p 42)
  30. Activism and Art Team Up to Abolish Mass Incarceration (p 42)
  31. Connecticut Prisoner Population Lowest in Over Three Decades Due to Coronavirus (p 43)
  32. DWN Report Shows ICE Facilities Were Community Superspreaders of COVID-19 (p 44)
  33. State Prison System Takes Over County Jail (p 45)
  34. PA Lawsuit Claims Allegheny County Jail Sergeant Brutalized Disabled Women (p 46)
  35. GEO Group Puts Money, Lobbyist into Defeating Bill to Prohibit Private Prisons in Virginia (p 47)
  36. Guard Commits Suicide Amidst Allegations in Federal Prison (p 48)
  37. Six Howard County, Indiana Jail Guards Fired Over Sexual Assaults and Harassment of Prisoners (p 48)
  38. Federal Agencies Rack Up Nearly One Thousand Arrest-Related or In-Custody Deaths in Two Years, DOJ Report Finds (p 50)
  39. Fourth Circuit Holds Immigrant Children’s Mental Health Care Should Be Up to Professional Standards (p 50)
  40. Pew Study Shows Crime Falls but Spending on Jails Soar (p 51)
  41. Amending the 13th Amendment (p 52)
  42. State Auditor Report Critical of Texas Prison Agribusiness (p 52)
  43. Auditor Appalled at Lack of Spending Controls in Mississippi Prison System (p 54)
  44. Washington Gives Right to Vote to 20,000 People Previously Incarcerated (p 54)
  45. Pushing Back on Prison Labor (p 56)
  46. Fourth Circuit Holds Deaf Federal Civilly Committed Sex Offender Has First Amendment Right of Access to Point-to-Point Videocalls in BOP Prison (p 57)
  47. Microsoft Invests in Digital Incarceration (p 58)
  48. Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Lawsuit in Prisoner Overdose at San Diego Jail (p 58)
  49. Resources for Understanding Today’s Prison System (p 59)
  50. Staff Shortages in Georgia Prisons Reach Crisis Levels (p 60)
  51. NC Prisoner Survives Summary Judgment for Two Excessive Force Claims (p 60)
  52. Colorado Grants COVID-19-Related Clemencies (p 61)
  53. News in Brief (p 62)
  54. U.S. DOJ Statistics on Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Perpetrators (p 62)

The 10 Worst Sheriffs in America

In a job with virtually no oversight, abuse of power runs amok

From the Editor

Auditor Slams California ICE Facility That Released Detainees With COVID-19

Sen. Warren Investigation Exposes Broken Prison Accreditation System

Kentucky Consolidated Local Government Entitled to Sovereign Immunity

The court’s December 17, 2020, opinion was issued in an appeal brought by the Estate of James Hatcher. ...

25 Years of the AEDPA: Where do We Stand?

Prisoners Released Without COVID Tests Face Difficult Reentry

Pandemic Medical Update

Course of the Pandemic

Some of the worst surges of the pandemic are occurring in Brazil, India, and Uruguay. The surges seem to be driven in part by bad policies, like relaxing restrictions too soon. The surges also appear to be driven by variants of ...

Former Georgia Sheriff Deputies Denied Immunity in Criminal Case for Taser Death of Unarmed Man

Law Passes Requiring Parents in New York Prisons to be Housed Close to Their Children

Mentally Ill Alabama Prisoner Dies in 101-Degree Cell

Trump Pardons Highlight System’s Flaws

Prioritizing Incarcerated People for Vaccine Quickly Reduced COVID in IL Prisons

Massachusetts Medical Parole Cases and COVID-19 Prisoner Deaths

Class Action Lawsuit Over COVID at Chesapeake, MD Jail Reaches Settlement

It alleged that, in less than one month, ...

DOJ: Florida Women’s Prison Subjects Prisoners to Unconstitutional Risk of Sexual Abuse

Rep. Diane Hart filed legislation in January 2021 to create a volunteer Citizens Oversight Council ...

New Hampshire Prisoner Sues to Enforce Conditions of Consent Decree

Connecticut Supermax Closing After Lawsuit Filed Seeking to Reduce Use of Solitary

The announcement came just days after a lawsuit was filed on February 4, 2021, by Disability Rights Connecticut ...

Court Orders In-Person Inspection of Michigan Facility to Determine COVID-19 Policy Compliance

“Through filings submitted as part of the bail process and supplemental briefing, the Court has repeatedly received information suggesting ...

Inspection Reports Reveal Filthy Conditions In Arizona Prison Kitchens

“At first there were little baby field mice in the dorms,” which Hunt said the women would catch and release into the nearby farmland of ...

NY Prisoner Entitled to Release Upon Reaching Conditional Release Date

Prison Overcrowding Continues During COVID-19 Pandemic

Prisoners Find Their Voice in Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

Of the ...

Kentucky Leases Closed Private Prison to Use as State Facility

Texas Republican Representative Proposes Renaming Prisons With Names Honoring Enslavers, Oppressors and Convict Leasers

On ...

Draconian Use of Solitary Confinement in North Carolina

Inspector General Calls California Prison Reform Efforts a $10 Million Failure

The report documents the latest round ...

New Jersey Man Dies Soon After Exonerated of Sex Offense

This ...

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Extend Bivens to BOP Prisoner’s First Amendment Claims

Federal prisoner Scott Callahan is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, ...

Activism and Art Team Up to Abolish Mass Incarceration

Connecticut Prisoner Population Lowest in Over Three Decades Due to Coronavirus

DWN Report Shows ICE Facilities Were Community Superspreaders of COVID-19

State Prison System Takes Over County Jail

The board announced its move on Monday, November 30, 2020, ...

PA Lawsuit Claims Allegheny County Jail Sergeant Brutalized Disabled Women

GEO Group Puts Money, Lobbyist into Defeating Bill to Prohibit Private Prisons in Virginia

Virginia has one private prison, Lawrenceville Correctional Center (LCC). The GEO ...

Guard Commits Suicide Amidst Allegations in Federal Prison

Joe Rojas, a spokesperson for the AFGE Council of Prisons union, said Tippett had been under investigation due to an inmate ...

Six Howard County, Indiana Jail Guards Fired Over Sexual Assaults and Harassment of Prisoners

Of the six terminations, two occurred on the same day ...

Federal Agencies Rack Up Nearly One Thousand Arrest-Related or In-Custody Deaths in Two Years, DOJ Report Finds

The DOJ report was ...

Fourth Circuit Holds Immigrant Children’s Mental Health Care Should Be Up to Professional Standards

The court’s January 12, 2021 decision was issued in an appeal brought by a ...

Pew Study Shows Crime Falls but Spending on Jails Soar

Amending the 13th Amendment

State Auditor Report Critical of Texas Prison Agribusiness

Auditor Appalled at Lack of Spending Controls in Mississippi Prison System

MDOC has been plagued with violence, staff shortages, and deplorable conditions. MDOC sought an additional $78 million from legislators for 2021 to ...

Washington Gives Right to Vote to 20,000 People Previously Incarcerated

Pushing Back on Prison Labor

Public institutions often have ties to state-run prison labor companies. Students at one university system are trying to challenge that.

by Lilah Burke, Inside Higher ED

New York governor Andrew Cuomo walks past cells in Clinton Correctional Facility in 2014.

Lots of furniture at City University of New York institutions is made ...

Fourth Circuit Holds Deaf Federal Civilly Committed Sex Offender Has First Amendment Right of Access to Point-to-Point Videocalls in BOP Prison

The appellate court ordered ...

Microsoft Invests in Digital Incarceration

Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Lawsuit in Prisoner Overdose at San Diego Jail

Resources for Understanding Today’s Prison System

Staff Shortages in Georgia Prisons Reach Crisis Levels

According to the Southern Center for Human Rights, in 2020 alone, there were an estimated 25 ...

NC Prisoner Survives Summary Judgment for Two Excessive Force Claims

The court’s January 4, 2021, opinion was issued in an appeal brought by North Carolina prisoner Willie James ...

Colorado Grants COVID-19-Related Clemencies

News in Brief

Australia: A February 2021 ruling by the Supreme Court in the Australian province of Victoria presented “a rare win” for a prisoner contesting prison procedures, according to a report by The Conversation. The convict, 56-year-old Craig Minogue, argued that Barwon Prison’s random drug testing and strip-searching policies violated protections of ...

U.S. DOJ Statistics on Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Perpetrators

Based on data compiled by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, it found that while Black ...