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Prison News Archive

Latest news, organized by topic (below) or region/state (right), concerning a range of issues in the corrections industry. Comments, suggestions and contributions (below) appreciated.

Prison News by Topic

Alerts

  1. FBI Most Wanted Fugitives

Education & Rehabilitation

  1. Holder attends 'graduation' at sentencing program
    LOS ANGELES — Six men and women who faced federal prison time for felonies walked free from court Friday with graduation certificates and the personal praise of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder congratulated graduates of a novel alternative sentencing program that he said was a model for helping criminals rebuild their lives while also keeping the public safe from felons who repeat their crimes after being released from prison...[more]

  2. What will happen to the Drug Clemency Program when Holder leaves?
    “Under criteria announced in April 2014, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the Justice Department will consider for early release inmates who have served at least 10 years in prison, are low-level offenders, would have received a substantially lower prison term if sentenced under laws today, don’t have a significant criminal history, and have no history of violence before or since their incarceration.”...[more]

  3. Dr. Bryant advocates higher education for convicts
    On Oct. 10, Dr. Maxine Bryant held a lecture at the Ogeechee Theater. She discussed some ideas concerning the future of Armstrong. Bryant wants the school to “open it’s doors to convicts.” Citing ASU’s mission statement, particularly it’s aim for a “diverse learning experience,” Dr. Bryant wants to use “higher education as a desistance factor.”...[more]

  4. County Celebrates Water-Saving Landscaping, Composting Project By Jail Inmates
    Inmates dressed in prison stripes mixed with Santa Clara County officials Friday at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas where the Sheriff's Office unveiled water-saving landscaping projects created by teams of male and female convicts.

    The minimum-security inmates were taking part in the county's Sustainability in Jails Project to recycle water, install mulch, drought-resistant plants and drip irrigation systems and convert the jail's food and other waste into compost, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said. ...[more]


  5. Panel Discusses Link Between Education, Incarceration and Job Opportunities
    On Friday, September 12, a distinguished panel of guests and academics gathered at the Helen Bader Foundation in downtown Milwaukee to discuss the economic and social issues faced by incarcerated men and women in the state of Wisconsin....[more]

  6. Symposium addresses inmate reintegration Performances and discussion focus on importance of restoring Pell Grants to prisoners
    “Our beginnings have already been established, but our ends are nowhere in sight,” voiced performers from the College and Community Fellowship’s Theater for Social Change in a call for prison inmates to gain greater access to education at a symposium Tuesday....[more]

  7. Substance abuse programs, under fire at Northampton County Prison, to be reviewed
    Northampton County officials agreed this week that a closer overview of the county prison's multimillion-dollar substance abuse programs was needed after an audit called their success rate into question.

    Controller Stephen Barron reviewed for county council an audit of the Community Education Centers programs offered at the prison. According to the company's own statistics, about 40 percent of graduates wound up back in Northampton County Prison, he said Thursday....[more]


  8. We can’t afford to ignore drug addiction in prison
    Many states have shortened prison time for drug crimes, and the federal system is inching toward doing the same, with new guidelines that will be effective Nov. 1 and retroactive releases starting a year later....[more]

  9. Ex-offenders get help to make most of their freedom
    Up to 500 people on parole or probation are expected to attend the Summit of Hope, where state and social service agencies and employers will try to link up those who’ve had scrapes with the law with services or jobs, officials said....[more]

  10. Poll: Prisons struggling with inmate rehabilitation
    The poll released last week asked 804 registered Wisconsin voters to rate how they think the system is doing at turning inmates into contributing members of society. A little more than 41 percent said the system was doing a fair job and 31 percent said the state was doing a poor job. Almost 18 percent said it was doing a good job and 3.6 percent said it was doing an excellent job....[more]

See more in Education & Rehabilitation

Executions, Death Row & the Death Penalty

  1. Amnesty International slams US in death penalty report for executing mentally disabled prisoners
    Human rights group Amnesty International has published a report criticizing nations, including the United States, for allowing inmates with mental or intellectual disabilities to be executed — a violation of international standards, the group wrote.

    The report, released on this year’s World Day against the Death Penalty, said nations that flout international law must reorient - if not outright abolish - capital punishment laws to protect vulnerable inmates....[more]


  2. Oklahoma prison officials unveil fancy newly renovated $100,000 death chamber
    MCALESTER, Okla. — Prison officials unveiled the renovated execution chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Thursday and expressed confidence that the agency would be ready for the state’s next scheduled execution in November.

    The $71,000 reconstruction of the death chamber and adjacent witness rooms gives executioners more space in which to operate. Department of Corrections also spent about $34,000 on new medical equipment, including $12,500 for a surgical table and $6,000 for an ultrasound machine to help locate veins....[more]


  3. Federal suit seeks to block Alabama execution
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama death row inmate has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the state's new lethal injection drug combination has never been tried on any prisoner in the United States and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

    Boston attorney Aaron Katz filed the suit Wednesday night in Mobile on behalf of inmate Christopher Lee Price....[more]


  4. Oklahoma prepares to have executions resume
    Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Prison officials have renovated the death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, ordered backup medical equipment, and developed new procedures for carrying out executions since a lethal injection went awry in the spring.

    The state hopes to avoid a repeat of the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who clenched his teeth, moaned and writhed on a gurney before a doctor noticed a problem with the intravenous line and the execution was called off before Lockett died anyway....[more]


  5. Oklahoma Unveils New Execution Procedures
    Oklahoma prison officials unveiled new execution procedures Tuesday to replace those used in April when an inmate writhed and moaned before being declared dead 43 minutes after his lethal injection began — a situation that renewed debate over what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

    ...[more]


  6. State Supreme Court postpones Irick execution
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A death row inmate has been granted a reprieve from an Oct. 7 execution date.

    On Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Billy Ray Irick's (EYE'-riks) execution should be put on hold pending a legal challenge to the state's lethal injection and electrocution procedures....[more]


  7. Gruesome Buddies: ISIS Beheadings And the American Death Penalty
    We are going to war again in Iraq and expanding the bombing to Syria, the seventh country in the Middle East to be graced with American bombings since 2001 (not including Gaza-Palestine, where American bombs are piloted by Israeli largesse). We’re doing this why? Because two Americans and a Brit were beheaded and American media whipped public opinion into a frenzy over it. The same media shrugged when 200,000 Syrians were butchered over the past three years, most of them by the same guy to whom the U.S. Air Force is about to give aid and comfort. The same media chest-thumped and encouraged the butchery of 2,000 Palestinians in July, about a q...[more]

  8. Death row inmate’s lawyers urge court to halt execution, cite drug question
    ST. LOUIS

    Attorneys for a condemned Missouri inmate have asked a federal court to postpone his lethal injection, claiming two top officials with the Department of Corrections lied under oath about use of the sedative midazolam in executions....[more]


  9. Death penalty debate isn’t simple for families of victims
    Botched executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona and continuing problems with lethal-injection drugs have put the death penalty back in the news. After a brief moratorium following Oklahoma’s debacle, my state, Missouri, has resumed executing its death-row prisoners. One of the condemned men there murdered the wife of the man I would later marry....[more]

  10. Arizona Loose With Its Rules in Executions, Records Show
    PHOENIX — In an execution in 2010 in Arizona, the presiding doctor was supposed to connect the intravenous line to the convict’s arm — a procedure written into the state’s lethal injection protocol and considered by many doctors as the easiest and best way to attach a line. Instead he chose to use a vein in an upper thigh, near the groin....[more]

See more in Executions and Death Row

Gangs in Prison

  1. Feds dismantle powerful cocaine, heroin rings in Pittsburgh
    Forty people have been charged this week in six indictments after a two-year narcotics investigation by an FBI task force focused on East End dealers supplied from California through a middle man in Cleveland....[more]

  2. Rollin 60s Busts: See 25 Aurora Indictees Allegedly Tied to Notorious L.A. Street Gang
    Yesterday morning, members of the Aurora Police Department and law-enforcement agencies throughout the metro area busted two dozen men and women as part of what's described as a two-year investigation into the activities of the Rollin 60s, an Aurora street gang whose lineage can be traced back to Los Angeles. Continue to see those taken into custody -- and the one person who's thus far eluded authorities -- and get details about the allegations that led to a 73-count indictment also on view below....[more]

  3. Jury Convicts Ex-Guard Of Taking Bribes From Hawaii Prison Gang
    HONOLULU (AP) — A former guard was found guilty of taking bribes from a Hawaii prison gang to smuggle drugs and cigarettes to prisoners, while an inmate was convicted of leading a brutal attack to maintain his position in the gang.

    Jurors reached their verdicts Friday after deliberating for about five hours in a federal trial that has offered an inside look at the operations of the "USO Family" prison gang....[more]


  4. Convicted priest says El Salvador backed gang work
    MADRID (AP) — Those who love Antonio Rodriguez know him affectionately as "Father Tony," the Roman Catholic priest who spent 15 years working in El Salvador's roughest neighborhoods to get vulnerable young men out of a gang lifestyle that often ends in death....[more]

  5. Prosecutor: Hawaii prison gang 'kings of castle'
    HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii prison gang formed out of a need for inmate protection evolved into a violent organization whose members are "kings of their castle," a federal prosecutor told a jury Wednesday at the start of a racketeering trial for a former prison guard and an inmate.

    ...[more]


  6. 31 indicted in NYC gang crackdown
    The affiliated street gangs are called SNOW, Loyalty Over Everything and Young Bosses.

    They've operated primarily in the Rosedale, Laurelton and Rochdale Village neighborhoods.

    The defendants range in age from 15 to 22.

    The case was announced Wednesday by District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Police Commissioner William Bratton....[more]


  7. For St. Louis Gangs, Ferguson Has Become a Recruiting Tool
    As they ran through a cloud of tear gas during demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday, Andre Ellis, 17, linked arms with Graig “Shine” Cook, a self-identified Bloods gang member who’d befriended him two nights earlier.

    “What we doing now that they gassed us?” asked Ellis, the Bloods’s newest recruit, half his face covered with a red handkerchief traditionally worn by the gang’s members. “Should we go home?”...[more]


  8. Obama/ Democrats Importing MS-13 Gang Members
    Known for their identifying tattoos and violent mottos like “Mata, roba, viola, controla” (“Kill, steal, rape, control”), members of MS-13 are known for executing their victims with machetes and blunt objects like baseball bats. (AP File Photo)...[more]

  9. Federal trial underway for four members of violent 10th Street Gang Four stand accused of murder, conspiracy
    Shortly after midnight on Easter Sunday of 2006, in a working class West Side neighborhood, the bloody feud between members of the Seventh and 10th Street gangs spilled over into the world of two innocent bystanders....[more]

  10. Jailed ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez briefly hospitalized: Report
    Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who is in a Massachusetts jail awaiting trial on murder charges, was removed from his cell for a brief hospital visit over the weekend, a local TV station reported on Sunday....[more]

See more in Prison Gangs

Health & Medical Treatment


  1. Corrections department worries about health care costs
    ?Virginia’s prison system faces a $45 million shortfall in inmate health care through next year, even as the corrections department bears the brunt of the latest round of cuts in the two-year state budget.

    The shortfall emerged this year after a private company that had provided health care to inmates at 17 prisons in hard-to-serve areas ended its contract with the state at the end of September, according to Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke in a presentation Monday to the House Appropriations Committee....[more]


  2. Arizona Agrees to Fix Prison Health System
    (CN) - Arizona must reform its prison health care system and pay more than $5 million in attorneys' fees under a class action settlement announced Tuesday.

    The stipulation of settlement filed in Federal Court in Phoenix cancels a trial that was set to start this month in a class action against the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) by inmates at 10 state prisons....[more]


  3. Pennsylvania courts struggle to intervene early with heroin addicts
    The state won't pay to send addicts who have committed low-level crimes and have scant or no criminal records to drug court, which would provide treatment when they have the best chance, experts say, of turning their lives around.

    The state's Intermediate Punishment grant focuses on more serious offenders.

    ...[more]


  4. Judge denies order for mentally ill in jails
    SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge said Wednesday she has serious constitutional concerns about the way the state handles mentally ill people waiting in jails for competency evaluations and treatment, but she denied a temporary restraining order, saying she needs more information before making changes to Washington's mental health system....[more]

  5. Counselor strives to help inmates with mental health
    Tate, treatment supervisor at the Blair County Prison, and others associated with lockup have vowed to do something to address the burgeoning number of inmates with mental health conditions who are entering the prison system or who develop symptoms behind bars....[more]

  6. Mentally ill North Carolina inmate held in solitary confinement dies of thirst -- Medical Examiner’s Office said Anthony Michael Kerr died of severe dehydration in March of this year
    A North Carolina inmate with mental illness who had been held in solitary confinement died of thirst, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

    Anthony Michael Kerr, 53, was found unresponsive in the back of a van on 12 March after being driven roughly three hours from Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to a mental hospital at Central Prison in Raleigh....[more]


  7. Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown
    Day or night, the lights inside cell 135C of central New Mexico's Valencia County Detention Center were always on.

    Locked inside, alone, for months, Jan Green — a 52-year-old computer technician with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — rocked on a bench for hours, confiding in an imaginary companion.

    "I would talk and hold conversations just in my little crazy world, I guess you would say, just to keep me company," Green says....[more]


  8. Ala. prisons hit with worst TB outbreak in 5 years
    BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Alabama's prison system, badly overcrowded and facing a lawsuit over medical treatment of inmates, is facing its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years, a health official said Thursday.

    Pam Barrett, director of tuberculosis control for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said medical officials have diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons so far this year....[more]


  9. Orleans sheriff plan OKd for mentally ill inmates
    U.S. District Judge Lance Africk's order calls for the city to spend more than $400,000 on the plan initially for renovations and supplies at the state's Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, where the inmates will be housed. The city also will be required to supply more than $200,000 monthly for security and mental health staff at Hunt, and food for inmates.

    Africk's ruling is the latest in the court-ordered jail reform effort. The city, which funds the jail, and the sheriff, who manages it, have been at odds over how to fund the changes....[more]


  10. California Prison Officials Rethink Use of Force on Mentally Ill Inmates -- Prison Guards Would Be Required to Consider Mental-Health Status Before Using Force
    California prison officials have proposed new policies regarding the use of force after videos of prison guards dousing mentally ill prisoners with pepper spray surfaced during a civil trial last year....[more]

See more in Health & Medical Treatment

Policy & Decision-Making

  1. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CAUGHT LYING ABOUT RELEASE OF CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIENS
    In this case, it’s about illegal immigrants, a subject upon which it is extremely difficult to find a single instance of the Administration telling the truth. Citizenship is being stolen from you, my fellow Americans, and the thieves’ contempt for you is so complete that they don’t feel obliged to give straight answers to any questions… not even when the truth is printed on documents that are bound to come to light eventually, not even when their actions put our lives at risk....[more]

  2. Proposal to house inmates in Ky. on ‘back burner’
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With inmate populations trending downward, and with opportunities for several new in-state facilities, a proposal to house state prisoners at a private, for-profit prison in Kentucky is no longer a priority, West Virginia’s corrections commissioner told legislators Monday....[more]

  3. Official: Heineman wasn't told of prisons program
    Corrections Director Mike Kenney also defended the temporary placement program in a letter to the legislative committee that's investigating Nebraska's prison problems, saying he alone created it while state officials rounded up hundreds of inmates who were released too early because their sentences were miscalculated....[more]

  4. Local jails refusing to hold illegal immigrant offenders, forcing feds to track them down
    Local police agencies across the country are frustrating efforts at the federal level to detain and deport criminal illegal immigrants, leaving immigration officials scrambling to track them down.

    In the last nine months, 275 counties have refused to honor requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that they be notified before releasing an illegal immigrant from custody....[more]


  5. Report: Mississippi Incarcerates More People Per Capita Than Russia and China . . . Combined
    There is a rather shocking statistic out of the International Centre for Prison Studies this week: Mississippi locks up more people per capita than China and Russia combined. It turns out the “Hospitality State” may continue to have one of the lowest rankings in public education and employment but they will put you in jail faster than Vladimir Putin can say do svidaniya....[more]

  6. Lawyer's Book Says Conn. Should Slash Prison Population Lawyer says reforms should emphasize support programs over incarceration
    But the author of a new book calling for a mass overhaul of Connecticut's criminal justice system says that Connecticut should adopt some of the best practices that have helped Texas reduce its prison population. Texas has reduced the number of inmates so much that the Lone Star State is closing prisons.

    Brian Moran, a partner at Robinson & Cole in Stamford, is the principal author of the book: "The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream."...[more]


  7. What Happens When A City Decides to Offer Addicts Services, Not Prison Sentences?
    For decades, the United States has tried to punish and shame people out of drug addiction with courts, jails and criminal records. It has been massively unsuccessful, as the nationwide rise in opiate addiction over the last few years demonstrates, and few people are more aware of its failure than the police officers tasked with arresting addicts....[more]

  8. Texas succeeds with new laws intended to disrupt school-to-prison pipeline
    Discovering the (perhaps somewhat unexpected) success of reforms in (perhaps somewhat unexpected) states is one of the great joys of following closely state-level criminal justice policy and practice. For example, this new local article showcases how Texas is achieving success at addressing problems often stressed by juvenile justice advocates. The piece is headlined "New laws drastically cut prosecutions of Texas students," and here is how it starts:...[more]

  9. NYC jail boss questioned at oversight hearing
    NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the city's troubled jail system was barraged with questions from lawmakers Wednesday about what he is doing to improve conditions for 16- and 17-year-old Rikers Island inmates following a scathing federal review that found that guards often use excessive force against them....[more]

  10. Surprise! Conservatives and Liberals Are Backing a Law to Reduce Some Prison Sentences
    Cocaine and heroin possession are felonies in California, whereas those found with ketamine or “bath salts” only face misdemeanor charges—but this could change if a bipartisan-backed proposition to change some crime classifications succeeds on November’s ballot....[more]

See more in Policy & Decision-Making

Prison Conditions & Corruption

  1. Rethinking solitary confinement
    EVERY DAY, state and federal prison authorities subject tens of thousands of inmates to solitary confinement, a psychological and physical hell resulting from near-total isolation in often tiny and windowless cells. Those who go in can come out disturbed. Those who go in with preexisting mental illnesses often get worse. The result is hypertension, panic attacks, self-mutilation and suicide, not to mention extreme difficulties reintegrating into the prison population or society at large. Damon Thibodeaux, who spent 15 years alone in a Louisiana state prison before being exonerated, explained to a congressional committee this year that solitar...[more]

  2. Mississippi ranks near top for inmate deaths
    Daniel Cottrell committed suicide on Oct. 14, 2011, in his cell at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian just six years into his 20-year prison sentence for racketeering.

    He was 26 years old.

    From the time Cottrell entered state custody on Sept. 26, 2005, until the day he hanged himself, at least 373 other state inmates also lost their lives behind bars and helped push Mississippi's prison mortality rate to one of the highest in the nation, according to data from the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics....[more]


  3. Students Hold Vigil To Protest Solitary Confinement
    Past midnight on Wednesday morning, Rachel P. Thompson ’16 sat outside the Science Center with nothing but an empty square of blue tape pasted on the ground behind her....[more]

  4. Two more inmates dead at Lowell Correctional Institution
    Two inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution, a women’s prison north of Ocala, have died in the past week.

    So far this month, three women have died at LCI.

    Jessica Cary, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections, identified the inmates as 80-year-old Jane C. Taylor, who died at 2:22 a.m. Monday, and 48-year-old Michelle Tierney, who died at 9:20 a.m. Thursday....[more]


  5. Federal lawsuit alleges Alabama prison is dangerous and out of control
    The Equal Justice Initiative, known for advocating for the civil and constitutional rights of prisoners, filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday that makes claims of violence and lack of institutional control inside St. Clair Correctional Facility....[more]

  6. Restraints cited in three deaths at Bridgewater -- State hospital’s harsh patient care raises questions about health care provider
    BRIDGEWATER — Bradley Burns let out a gut-wrenching howl as he lay strapped hand and foot to a small bed, his torso bound by a tightly wound sheet, his head and eyes covered with a helmet and goggles.

    Burns had spent 23 hours a day like that — almost completely immobilized — for 16 months because medical staff at Bridgewater State Hospital felt it was the best way to prevent the sometimes-violent patient with paranoid schizophrenia from hurting himself, or others, as he had in the past. Even for visitors, he was placed in a tiny cell with barely enough room to stand or sit....[more]


  7. Passaic County Jail inmate sues over medical treatment
    A former inmate at the Passaic County Jail says he had to wait 12 days before being taken to a hospital after breaking a foot — so long that doctors had to rebreak the bones so they could heal correctly.

    In a lawsuit, Martin Bosland, 46, of Ringwood said he broke four bones in his left foot while getting down from the top bunk of his cell on Oct. 6, 2012....[more]


  8. Kids Shouldn't Be at Rikers, Period
    New York State's top corrections official said this week that he supports moving all adolescent inmates off Rikers Island. His statement raises hopes for an end to what the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a scathing recent report, called a "deep-seated culture of violence" against youth in the United States' second-largest jail, where the vast majority of inmates are adults....[more]

  9. Head of Jails Is Criticized On Violence At Rikers
    New York City lawmakers sharply criticized the city’s correction commissioner on Wednesday, raising pointed questions about his ability to curb pervasive violence against inmates at Rikers Island....[more]

  10. Advocate: Fill empty jobs in wake of inmate death
    RALEIGH, N.C. — Following the death of an inmate from dehydration, advocates for people with mental illness are calling on North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to authorize emergency measures to fill large numbers of vacant staffing positions in the state prison system.

    Disability Rights North Carolina Executive Director Vicki Smith said Friday that the state prison system must fill widespread vacancies among mental health, medical and correctional workers to address deficiencies that contribute to poor treatment. Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of the March 12 death of inmate Michael Anthony Kerr, a 54-ye...[more]


See more in Prison Conditions & Corruption

Prison Life & Culture

  1. Finding Hope After Prison -- An East Bay writer and social justice advocates document the struggles and accomplishments of formerly incarcerated people.
    Yema Lee grew up surrounded by crime in West Oakland. Members of her family started selling cocaine and heroin when she was eleven years old. At twelve, she committed her first burglary. Lee, now 41, spent a total of eight years in jail and prison during her twenties and thirties. Each time she was released, it seemed impossible not to return....[more]

  2. Montana jail that once sought Guantanamo detainees filling empty beds with American Indians
    HARDIN, Mont. — A Montana town that once offered to take in suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay out of desperation to fill an empty, $27 million jail has finally started to fill its cells with American Indian inmates from across the Northern Plains.

    The Two Rivers Regional Detention Facility in Hardin was built in 2007 on hopes it would boost an economically-depressed area of southeast Montana bordering the Crow Indian Reservation....[more]


  3. Letter: He objects to too-free use of the term ex-convict
    Wiping the slate clean for ex-cons: In recent days, there were reports about a deranged person gaining access to the White House, with a follow-up story about a contractor being in an elevator, having a concealed weapon, with the President of the United States....[more]

  4. Convicted killer launches online petition to gain Facebook access for inmates
    Frenchis Abraham doesn't cotton to the idea of the government interfering with his ability to keep up with family and friends on Facebook, and he's trying to rally people to oppose such intrusions by the state....[more]

  5. Jailbreak in Washington state goes unnoticed for two days
    (Reuters) - A Washington state man jailed on robbery charges managed to slip away from a detention facility last week in an escape that went unnoticed for two days until his lawyer arrived for a visit, officials said on Tuesday....[more]

  6. Ohio prisons, private vendor, developing new menu
    Inmates and staff were surveyed about current foods they like and dislike, along with items they want eliminated or added, according to a list of responses by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to recommendations by a legislative oversight committee.

    The agency also said it has raised the bar for determining when Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services must take action based on evaluations. Previously, action plans were required if evaluation scores fell below 80 percent. The agency has raised that to 84 percent, according to the recommendations provided by agency director Gary Mohr....[more]


  7. Attica Prison Riot’s 43rd Anniversary a Special One
    ATTICA, N.Y.—Hundreds of personal items collected after the 1971 Attica prison riot have been returned to their owners and families.

    New York corrections officials, members of the guards’ union, and family members of those killed marked the 43rd anniversary of the nation’s deadliest prison uprising with a series of events Saturday in front of the western New York prison....[more]


  8. Vegas jail visits halted for 9-11 anniversary
    LAS VEGAS — Clark County Detention Center is putting social visits to inmates on hold for a day because it's the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Las Vegas Police Officer Laura Meltzer says the move is a precaution due to the significance of the date, and in light of recent world events....[more]


  9. ‘Lockup’ off to solid start in portraying life in Fairfax County jail
    The fruits of spending four months, day in and day out, in the Fairfax County jail were unveiled Saturday night when “Lockup: Fairfax” premiered on MSNBC. The show did a fine job capturing slices of life in a jail in one of America’s wealthiest counties, particularly in portraying the professionalism of the deputies here, but it will be interesting to see how deeply they dig into the one issue that bedevils corrections officials everywhere: mental health. It was hinted at in Episode One, but we’ll see how far they go. Some viewers also expressed concerns about the exploitation aspect of the show. It’s a legitimate concern....[more]

  10. Graying of SC prisons will cost state’s taxpayers
    An inmate at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution for women keeps a wheelchair tucked away in the corner of her small, cinder-block cell.

    She has a walker, too.

    The wheelchair and walker are just two of the signs of the exploding population of aging inmates in South Carolina’s prisons.

    Another sign? The dollar sign, as in the increasing cost that S.C. taxpayers will have to pay to care for those aging inmates....[more]


  11. Public Protest at "Easy Life" Inside Wymott Prison
  12. Scottish Prison Service introduces week-long home leave
  13. 50% Canadians believe prison life "too cushy"
  14. Life in prison made falsely-accused Milgaard question own innocence
  15. Do Women Have it Better than Men in Prison?
  16. What do Wardens Think of Prison Sex?
  17. "Make-Believe" Family Relationships exist among Female Texas Prisoners
  18. Study on Inmate Assaults Clears Up Some Myths About Institutional Conditions
  19. Poorer Outlook on Race Relations in Some British Prisons Rather than Others
See more in Prison Life & Culture

Riots, Lockdowns, and Escapes

  1. Two inmates apparently slain at federal prison in VictorvilleTwo inmates apparently slain at federal prison in Victorville
    VICTORVILLE >> Two inmates died Saturday night at a federal prison here, the victims of an apparent homicide, the Justice Department reported Sunday.

    The FBI is investigating the deaths of the inmates, whose names have not been disclosed pending notification of family members....[more]


  2. VINSON: Jailhouse brawl: A matter of ‘perception’
    A few months back, I went to a local jail to visit a good friend, at that time incarcerated for a driving infraction. It had been several years since I had visited anyone at this particular jail, so I had to re-acclimate to the current protocol for those visiting inmates.

    The last time I’d visited someone at this jail — which was years ago — visitors and inmates could visit face-to-face in an open-space area, with a deputy/jailer monitoring the situation, of course....[more]


  3. Inmate withholds guilty plea in prison riot
    NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — An inmate charged in the May 2012 prison riot that resulted in the death of a correctional officer in Adams County appeared ready to plead guilty to conspiracy of murder before changing his mind in the courtroom....[more]

  4. Inmate dies after fight at Wilkinson County prison
    WOODVILLE, Miss. (AP) - A prison official says one inmate has died and several were injured in a fight at a prison in southwestern Mississippi that resulted in the facility being put on lockdown....[more]

  5. Pa. inmate charged with strangling cellmate
    WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) - A prison inmate has been charged with criminal homicide in the strangulation death of his cellmate at a western Pennsylvania prison earlier this year....[more]

  6. Inmate dies at minimum-security prison in Machiasport - The death is under investigation, and a spokesman refuses to say whether it is considered suspicious.
    Phillip Kay, 32, died at 3:15 p.m. Friday, the department said. Spokesman Scott Fish said Maine State Police and the state medical examiner are investigating the death and no other information could be released immediately....[more]

  7. Suit alleges man beaten to death in parish jail
    FRANKLIN, La. (AP) — A lawsuit filed in St. Mary Parish district court alleges that a 41-year-old Baldwin man was beaten to death in the parish jail in April 2013....[more]

  8. NE Ore. prison on lockdown after inmate fight
    UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon Corrections Department spokeswoman says a northeast Oregon prison is on lockdown after a fight involving two dozen inmates broke out Wednesday in a housing unit....[more]

  9. Inmate dies after assault at jail
    DAYTON — An inmate who suffered serious injuries in an assault at the Tri-County Jail died early Friday morning at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton....[more]

  10. Punjabi men go on hunger strike in U.S. detention facility
    Over hundred Punjabi men were said to be held in detention facilities for undocumented immigrants in El Paso, Texas, this week, with 42 of them continuing with their hunger strike for the fourth consecutive day to protest against authorities’ alleged denial of access to outside resources to the inmates....[more]

See more in Riots, Lockdowns & Escapes

Suicides in Prison

  1. Orleans Parish Prison inmate's suicide was preventable, civil rights lawsuit claims
    The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in federal court on Monday, claims Gusman's office was on notice about inadequate handling of mentally ill inmates by the time Clifton Morgan killed himself in the troubled lockup. A consent decree mandating widespread changes was in place three months before Morgan's Sept. 28, 2013 death....[more]

  2. Washington Prisons Will No Longer Punish Inmates For 'Self-Harm'
    Washington’s prison system has announced a major policy change when it comes to inmates who harm themselves. The Department of Corrections said Thursday that it will no longer sanction inmates for cutting or other acts of self-injury....[more]

  3. Federal lawsuit over inmate’s suicide in 2008 at Portland jail to go forward
    PORTLAND, Maine — A portion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the mother of an inmate who committed suicide while incarcerated at the Cumberland County Jail in 2008 will go forward after the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month upheld a decision by a federal judge in Maine.......[more]

  4. Leslie Schuler, Worcester man who killed son, kills self in prison
    WORCESTER — Leslie G. Schuler, the Worcester man convicted of beating his 7-year-old son to death on Father's Day 2009, committed suicide in prison this morning, according a spokesman for the state Department of Correction. ...[more]

  5. British former public school boy serving life for beheading U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl attempts to commit suicide in Pakistani prison
    A British man serving life imprisonment in Pakistan for the killing of American reporter Daniel Pearl has tried to commit suicide, police have said....[more]

  6. State to pay cost of Cleveland kidnapper autopsy
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state prisons agency has agreed to reimburse county taxpayers for the autopsy of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro after his prison suicide last year....[more]

  7. Coroner: Montgomery man convicted in parents' murders killed self in prison
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say a man convicted of murdering his parents in Montgomery almost nine years ago committed suicide in prison....[more]

  8. Ohio death row inmate called suicide inevitable
    COLUMBUS, OHIO — An Ohio death row inmate who killed himself just days before his execution called his suicide inevitable in a three-page note and expressed resentment that Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro got a life sentence, according to a police report released Thursday....[more]

  9. Inmate awaiting trial in Kentucky HOA deaths kills himself
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An inmate awaiting trial on charges of killing two men at a homeowners association meeting committed suicide by hanging himself from a bed sheet in his cell, jail officials said....[more]

  10. Ariel Castro 'died of auto erotic asphyxiation' and NOT suicide. Had pants round his ankles when guards cut him down
    Ohio officials suggest in a new report it's possible Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died of auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide....[more]

  11. Prison suicide questions institutional conditions
See more in Prison Suicides

Workplace and Industry Issues

  1. What a Struggling Jail Means for Investors, Small Towns
    Rhode Island’s Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility has struggled since officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pulled out their detainees in 2008, following the death of a Chinese national held there. That pullout happened shortly after the facility expanded to hold 770 detained people....[more]

  2. Jail officials hope new body scanners will cut back on contraband
    SOUTH SALT LAKE — The image is quite clear.

    The X-ray quality picture showed that hidden inside the inmate's body was a knife. It's something that likely would have gone undetected if not for a new body imaging machine....[more]


  3. Florida Fires 13 Prison Employees In Crackdown
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — State prison officials did some major house cleaning this week, firing a total of 13 people, in the wake of widespread abuse allegations.

    The Florida Department of Corrections on Friday announced the dismissal of three officers and two sergeants for punching and kicking a prisoner at Lancaster Correctional Institution....[more]


  4. Male Guards Can Sue Over Jobs At Women’s Prison
    PITTSFIELD TWP. (AP) - The Michigan appeals court on Wednesday cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit by dozens of male guards who said they’ve been denied overtime and job assignments at the state’s only prison for women solely because they’re men.

    The court, 3-0, affirmed the decision of a Washtenaw County judge....[more]


  5. Aramark facing $200,000 fine; prison union official calls penalty a 'slap on the wrist'
    LANSING — The state will fine Aramark an additional $200,000 and upgrade monitoring of its prison food service, but it has no plans to cancel the controversial contract, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday....[more]

  6. Guest: The havoc of competing for jail contracts
    COMPETITION and the profit motive is the foundation of the American economy, but should it drive the delivery of sensitive government services such as adult detention? For decades, detention policy was pretty simple: Counties operated jails, felons went to county jails, and cities contracted with counties to house their misdemeanants. Some cities operated very small jails but, for the most part, counties provided jail services....[more]

  7. Pot-selling police officer gets 18 months in jail
    As a Buffalo police officer, James Hamilton Sr. was caught in November selling a quarter-pound of his homegrown marijuana to an informant. He pleaded guilty three months later in a deal that would give him somewhere between 18 and 24 months behind bars....[more]

  8. Sheriffs weigh selling e-cigarettes to inmates
    AUSTIN, TEXAS (Texas Tribune) - As a way to allow some inmates to get their nicotine fix and sheriffs to shore up tight budgets, county jails across the country have begun selling electronic cigarettes. Though the trend has largely bypassed Texas, jail officials say that could change as sheriffs begin to warm up to the smokeless technology. ...[more]

  9. Female wardens avoid their desk to walk cell block
    DAYTON, Texas (AP) — An ominous warning is posted in red and white on a thick steel door flanked by fences topped with razor wire: "No hostage shall pass through this gate."

    It is a standing order to this prison's staff and an advisory to any visitors who enter this penitentiary that is home to some of the state's more dangerous sex offenders....[more]


  10. Prison Officers Need Help, but They Won’t Ask for It
    Norman Seabrook, president of the New York City Corrections Officers’ Benevolent Association, is recounting a phone call he received two weeks ago from a distraught woman named Melanie. After almost 20 years working under the relentless stress of a New York City jail, Melanie’s corrections officer girlfriend had had enough....[more]

See more in Workplace & Industry Issues

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