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Article • December 11, 2017
Fifth Circuit Allows Intervention by Sierra Club in Reverse FOIA Suit by Christopher Zoukis By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has allowed Sierra Club to intervene in a reverse Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request lawsuit. The dispute stemmed from FOIA requests ...
Article • December 11, 2017
$5,000 to Transgender Prisoner in Maryland Sexual Harassment Lawsuit by Lonnie Burton By Lonnie Burton On August 17, 2015, an administrative law judge in Maryland ruled that state prison officials were guilty of sexually harassing and mistreating a transgender prisoner and awarded her $5,000 in damages. The ruling was the ...
Washington State Prisoner Settles Mailroom/Public Records Lawsuit for $750 by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton On September 25, 2016, the state of Washington finalized a settlement agreement with a prisoner who had sued for public records act violations and for improper prison mail rejections. The parties agreed to a $750 ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Federal Judge Orders Cook County to Correct Courthouse ADA Violations by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman issued an injunction on May 2, 2017, holding the Cook County Sheriff’s Office accountable for insufficient efforts to accommodate the needs of disabled prisoners who must access ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Montana County Settles Suit over Prisoner’s Rape for $125,000 by In November 2016, Jefferson County, Montana agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed by a prisoner who was allegedly raped in the county jail. Audemio Orozco-Ramirez was being held on immigration charges when he claimed he ...
Prisoners and Disabilities: The Legal Landscape by Christopher Zoukis by Christopher Zoukis Incarceration in a state or federal prison is bad. Incarceration in a state or federal prison while disabled is much worse. Consider the numbers. According to a recent Vice.com article, 31 percent of prisoners in state facilities reported ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Visitors to USP Leavenworth Turned Away Due to Disabilities by A December 2016 news report by FOX 4 Problem Solvers in Kansas City, Kansas found that visitors at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth were sometimes unable to see their loved ones because the facility failed to accommodate their disabilities. Despite ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Filed under: Voting, Voting Rights Act
New Zealand Court Decision: Voting Ban Violates Human Rights of Prisoners by Monte McCoin by Monte McCoin On May 26, 2017, the Court of Appeal of New Zealand issued a decision in the case of Attorney General v. Taylor, which upheld High Court Justice Paul Heath’s July 25, 2015 determination ...
Article • December 1, 2017
California Attorney Invoices Not Categorically Exempt from PRA Disclosure by Mark Wilson by Mark Wilson The California Supreme Court held that legal billing statements in closed cases are not categorically exempt from disclosure under California’s Public Records Act (PRA). Modeled after the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the California ...
Article • November 28, 2017
Arkansas Supreme Court: Accident Report Information Not Exempt from FOIA Disclosure by by Mark Wilson The Arkansas Supreme Court held that the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) does not prohibit public disclosure of information contained in vehicle accident reports from being released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). ...
Article • November 28, 2017
Report Finds Medical Professionals Facilitated Torture of Alleged Terrorists by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres issued a report slamming health care professionals voluntarily working with the military and intelligence communities who “[p]articipated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment ...
Publication • November 17, 2017
Progress Report DOJ Prison Rape Elimination Act Office of the Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice Progress Report on the Department of Justice’s Implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act WORKING DRAFT Evaluation and Inspections Division 15-1 October 2014 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) required ...
Five Years after Implementation, PREA Standards Remain Inadequate by Derek Gilna “We should not be tolerating rape in prison.” – President Barack Obama, July 2015 by Derek Gilna The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), passed unanimously by Congress in 2003, was a rare instance of bipartisan cooperation, and its passage signaled ...
Article • November 7, 2017 • from PLN November, 2017
Lawsuit Over 22 Years of Continuous Segregation Reinstated by Second Circuit by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton On January 24, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a ruling by a New York federal district court that dismissed a lawsuit brought by a prisoner who had challenged ...
Article • November 7, 2017 • from PLN November, 2017
Fourth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Deaf Prisoner’s Civil Rights Claim by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna Thomas Heyer, who is completely deaf, was initially convicted of possessing child pornography, then violated his supervised release and was imprisoned for eighteen months in 2007. Before he was released from federal prison, prosecutors ...
Alabama DOC: Partial Settlement on ADA, Mental Health Claims; $1 Million in Attorney Fees Awarded by David Reutter by David M. Reutter The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) has agreed to a partial settlement to ensure prisoners with disabilities receive treatment and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ...
Fatal Tasering at North Carolina Jail Results in $350,000 Settlement, Investigation by Federal authorities are eyeing North Carolina’s Harnett County Sheriff’s Office for civil rights violations. Their attention was drawn to the Harnett County Jail (HCJ) after a video showed guards Tasering a pre-trial detainee three times and leaving him ...
From the Editor by Paul Wright by Paul Wright By now all PLN subscribers should have received our fundraiser mailing which includes our 2016 annual report and details our many activities, ranging from publishing and litigation to advocacy and media outreach. This provides a great overview of the depth and ...
Article • October 10, 2017 • from PLN October, 2017
Eleventh Circuit: Florida Prisoners Must be Provided Kosher Meals by David Reutter by David Reutter The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) must provide prisoners with the option of receiving kosher meals, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in affirming a district court’s grant of summary judgment and a permanent ...
Article • October 9, 2017 • from PLN October, 2017
Environmental Protection Agency Finally Recognizes Prisons in Screening Tool by Panagioti Tsolkas by Panagioti Tsolkas Two years ago, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), which publishes Prison Legal News, introduced the concept of prison environmentalism, building off the work of jailhouse lawyers, scholars and activists around the country. On many ...
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