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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. 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]

  2. 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]

  3. 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]

  4. Program Aims To Make Inmates Better Fathers
    WINDHAM, Maine (AP) — A program at the Maine state prison in Windham is trying not just to make inmates better citizens when they’re released, but better fathers as well.

    The InsideOut Dad program at the Maine Correctional Center was developed by the nonprofit National Fatherhood Initiative....[more]


  5. Jail inmates volunteer in cemetery cleanup
    JOPLIN, Mo. — Everyone working to clean the overgrown Alexander Cemetery on Wednesday was there as a volunteer.

    The crew included three inmates at the Jasper County Jail, who had volunteered for the workday, and four members of the Jasper County Cemetery Preservation Committee....[more]


  6. Inmates grow roses in horticulture program
    PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Many of the women at the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center expressed skepticism when they first laid eyes on a shipment of what appeared to be nothing more than twigs.

    “They were just these spindly, little Charlie Brown things,” Dina Tyler, a deputy director for the Department of Community Correction, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette....[more]


  7. Justice Department's new rules would offer clemency to inmates with no violent history
    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced new rules on Wednesday that potentially would make thousands of federal inmates eligible for presidential grants of clemency, including a requirement that candidates must have served at least 10 years of their sentences and have no history of violence....[more]

  8. 3 in 4 Former Prisoners in 30 States Arrested Within 5 Years of Release
    An estimated two-thirds (68 percent) of 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within three years of release from prison, and three-quarters (77 percent) were arrested within five years, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today....[more]

  9. State opens probe of work release program
    COVINGTON, La. (AP) - The state inspector general's office has opened an investigation into Northshore Workforce LLC, a privately run work-release program that was shut down by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain in March....[more]

  10. College for Criminals
    IN February, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced plans to underwrite college classes in 10 state prisons, building on the success of privately funded and widely praised programs like the Bard Prison Initiative. Mr. Cuomo pointed out that inmates who got an education had a much better chance of finding a job and were much less likely to menace their neighbors after release. He noted that the cost — $5,000 per inmate per year — would be a bargain compared with the $60,000 it costs to incarcerate a prisoner for a year....[more]

See more in Education & Rehabilitation

Executions, Death Row & the Death Penalty

  1. 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]

  2. Death row odds: innocents executed
    An estimated 4.1 percent of all death row inmates are innocent, according to a study published in the April Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers Samuel Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, and Edward H Kennedy, from the University of Michigan Law School, the Michigan State University College of Law, the American College of Radiology Clinical Research Center, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, respectively, came up with this stunning figure by using the exoneration rate on death row and extending it to inmates whose capital punishment has been replaced by life imprisonment, at which point efforts to exon...[more]

  3. Slow executions could affect Nevada cases
    The cases could be used to pile on to the ever-growing number of legal challenges to capital punishment in the Silver State, adding the argument that the use of lethal injection should be considered a cruel and unusual form of punishment, said Clark County Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee....[more]

  4. History Of Lethal Injection Problems In US Executions
    Since Texas became the first state to use lethal injection as its execution method on Dec. 7, 1982, some problems have been reported during the process nationwide. Those include delays in finding suitable veins, needles becoming clogged or disengaged, and reactions from inmates who appeared to be under stress. Some examples:

    • July 23, 2014. Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half after his execution began in Arizona......[more]


  5. Appeals Judge Says Guillotine 'Probably Best' for Executions
    A federal appeals judge issued a blistering dissent in a death-row case on Monday, declaring that an execution system that relies on drugs is doomed and the guillotine would be better.

    "Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote....[more]


  6. EX-ILLINOIS GOVERNOR EMERGES, TALKS DEATH PENALTY
    In this July 3, 2014 photo, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan speaks at his home in Kankakee, Ill. Ryan, who served a five federal prison term for corruption, a year of home confinement, and has just completed another year of supervision, is eager to pick up where he left off when he left politics for prison in 2006 - campaigning for the end of the death penalty in the U.S. While in office Ryan put a moratorium on the death penalty after numerous cases were overturned exonerating inmates who collectively spend decades in prison. Ryan spoke extensively about the current state of Illinois and national politics, the death penalty and about the cr...[more]

  7. Areli Escobar seeking new trial
    Lawyers for death row inmate Areli Escobar are seeking to overturn his conviction, contending that one of the jurors who sentenced him in May 2011 hid the fact that he had once worked with the defendant before his murder trial....[more]

  8. 3 inmates set to die; previous execution botched
    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Convicted killers in three states were facing executions within a 24-hour period starting Tuesday night, potentially the first lethal injections in the nation since a botched execution in Oklahoma seven weeks ago....[more]

  9. Death penalty’s decline Society increasingly aware of shortcomings
    Article I, Section 18 of the state constitution declares: “The penal code shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice.”

    Is the death penalty reformative or vindictive? It’s a question that has been debated since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1977. What’s more vexing is state law ...[more]


  10. Ex-inmates testify in Hawaii death penalty case
    HONOLULU (AP) - Two former inmates who spent time with a man facing a death sentence for killing his 5-year-old daughter said Tuesday he avoided trouble while behind bars in Honolulu....[more]

See more in Executions and Death Row

Gangs in Prison

  1. 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]

  2. 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]

  3. 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]

  4. Gang dragnet sweeps up 72 of LA's hard-core Crips
    For more than two decades, a street gang known as the Five Deuce Broadway Gangster Crips has terrorised the territory it calls its own in South Central Los Angeles, while profiting from the sale of drugs to vulnerable, homeless addicts in the city’s blighted Skid Row district. But this week, 50 suspected members – almost one third of the entire gang – found themselves behind bars following a major bust by the FBI and LAPD....[more]

  5. Saginaw 'Gang Task Force' back on city streets through FBI, Michigan State Police partnership
    SAGINAW, MI — After nearly two years on the shelf, the police agency commonly known as Saginaw's Gang Task Force is back on the streets.

    "Our job is to disrupt and dismantle," says FBI Senior Resident Agent Steven T. Flattery.

    The multi-agency force, which has operated in various incarnations since its inception in the mid-1990s, began working Saginaw's streets on May 12....[more]


  6. Report shows Las Cruces inmate stabbed 43 times Autopsy: Las Cruces inmate was stabbed more than 40 times in gang-related attack
    LAS CRCUES, N.M. (AP) — An inmate killed in a gang-related attack at a Las Cruces state prison was stabbed more than 40 times, according to an autopsy report released this week.

    The Las Cruces Sun-News reported (http://bit.ly/1xoHzFV) Friday that the state Office of the Medical Investigator found 34-year-old Javier Enrique Molina suffered 43 stab wounds and five other cuts....[more]


  7. In violent Honduras, soccer offers the young an escape from gangs, drugs and early death
    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — From where he sits on a dusty soccer pitch between the fetid Choluteca River and four-lane Armed Forces Boulevard, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala can see only two ways out of the gang-controlled slums of the capital: on a professional soccer team, or in a cheap coffin....[more]

  8. EASTSIDE CHURCH IS CHANGING IN A 'POST-GANG ERA'
    Pastor Pete Bradford, a reformed "dope fiend" from San Diego, went out into the streets of Boyle Heights looking for gang members to pray over. Finding them wasn't hard....[more]

  9. Is ‘Polar Bear’ on ice as alleged fellow skinheads face prosecution in 1998 slayings?
    The public is quietly being kept in the dark about the whereabouts of the neo-Nazi skinhead convicted of the 1998 execution-style slaying of two Las Vegas residents who fought racism....[more]

  10. Fifty-Five Charged in Massive Crackdown on West Coast Crips Street Gang and Others
    SAN DIEGO, CA—Thirty-five people, many of whom are alleged members and associates of the West Coast Crips criminal street gang, are charged in complaints unsealed today with participating in three drug- and gun-related conspiracies, including one that alleges a racketeering enterprise with execution-style murders, a takeover-style robbery, high-speed chases, witness intimidation, and other acts of violence....[more]

See more in Prison Gangs

Health & Medical Treatment


  1. 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]


  2. 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]


  3. 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]

  4. California Revises Policy on Mentally Ill Inmates
    The changes, which were introduced on Friday, were set in motion after videos showed corrections officers in state prisons dousing severely mentally ill inmates with pepper spray and forcibly removing them from their cells. The videos drew public outrage and were called “horrific” by a federal judge who ordered the footage made public last year....[more]

  5. State urges court to review prison health ruling
    PHOENIX (AP) — The state of Arizona has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling nearly two months ago that concluded about 33,000 inmates could join a lawsuit protesting the quality of health care in the state's prisons....[more]

  6. Thousands of prisoners treated for mental illness
    Nearly 10% of the 216,000 inmates are receiving medications designed to treat an array of illnesses, from depression and bipolar disorder to acute schizophrenia. The BOP's disclosure comes as government officials have raised questions about the costs of confining such large populations, while advocates for the mentally ill argue that prisons and jails have become the new repository for people with mental illness....[more]

  7. Mental illness cases swamp criminal justice system -- ON AMERICA'S STREETS, POLICE ENCOUNTERS WITH PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES INCREASINGLY DIRECT RESOURCES AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY ROLES.
    NEWPORT, R.I. — Inside a cluttered downtown apartment that she shares with a cat, the 57-year-old woman is in the midst of a near-meltdown.

    "There's three of them,'' she tells two police officers, referring to "these predators who won't leave me alone. Those sons of bitches won't let me go. ''...[more]


  8. Mental Illness Soars In Prisons, Jails While Inmates Suffer
    Armando Cruz tied a noose around his neck and hanged himself from the ceiling of his prison cell. He left a note that ended in two chilling words....[more]

  9. Behind the yellow door, a man’s mental illness worsens
    Everyone is worried about the man in the house.

    His ex-wife, his mother, his father, his neighbors, the psychiatrists he has seen and no longer sees, they are all concerned because he has been alone in the house in suburban Maryland for two years....[more]


  10. Mentally ill Philly man leaves prison after seven years of waiting for a trial
    Marvae Dunn was wheeled out of the Philadelphia Detention Center on Monday morning, ending a remarkable seven-year stay that advocates said underscores how the prison system has become a de facto hospital for elderly and mentally ill inmates....[more]

See more in Health & Medical Treatment

Policy & Decision-Making

  1. Oregon’s prison population beginning to decrease -- Study suggests additional reductions would not increase crime rate
    In November 2008, there were 13,615 inmates in Oregon prisons. Five years later, the number of Oregon inmates reached its all-time high of 14,707. Since then, thanks in part to 2013 legislative reforms easing mandatory minimum sentences on certain drug and property crimes, the total has gradually ticked down to 14,632 as of July 1....[more]

  2. 'Empty' Prisons Dotting the USA
    After reading the recent story about a "correctional officer" intimidating a network news reporter for accidentally filming an empty prison at Wilton, NY, I googled "empty prison."

    As it turns out, there are several around the USA....[more]


  3. Packing our prisons isn't making us safer: Robert Mann
    We have the nation's worst murder rate - 10.8 per 100,000, 45 percent higher than runner-up Mississippi - and the nation's highest gun-death rate. Overall, we have the seventh highest crime rate. Just tossing more and more people into prisons (with longer sentences for more crimes) has not made us safer....[more]

  4. Prison Hunger Striker's Wife: Denial of Visits Unconstitutional
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit frequently hears cases brought by prisoners complaining about abuse or facility conditions or seeking to overturn their convictions. On Wednesday a three-judge panel of the court heard a more unusual prison case—one brought by the wife of a Georgia prisoner....[more]

  5. Justice Department data: More than 3,300 federal inmates have sought clemency since April
    WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 3,300 federal inmates have applied to have their prison sentences cut short in the months since the Justice Department rolled out a new clemency initiative, according to data provided to The Associated Press....[more]

  6. Mass Incarceration: 21 Amazing Facts About America’s Obsession With Prison
    Nobody in the world loves locking people behind bars as much as Americans do. We have more people in prison than any other nation on the planet. We also have a higher percentage of our population locked up than anyone else does by a very large margin. But has all of this imprisonment actually made us safer? Well, the last time I checked, crime was still wildly out of control in America and for the most recent year that we have numbers for violent crime was up 15 percent. The number of people that we have locked up has quadrupled since 1980, but this is not solving any of our problems. Clearly, what we are doing is not working....[more]

  7. Reform of harsh sentences in drug cases is both a just and practical step forward
    Few would argue at this point that the nation’s decades-old war on drugs has been anything but a wretched failure. It has cost uncounted millions of dollars, sent tens of thousands of people to prison (disproportionately African-American) and helped give this country the world’s largest incarceration rate – and all without putting a dent in drug use....[more]

  8. European court says CIA ran secret jail in a Polish forest
    WARSAW, July 24 (Reuters) - The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday, piling pressure on Poland, one of Washington's closest allies, to break its long silence about the global programme for detaining al Qaeda suspects....[more]

  9. Schuette urges changes after prison break
    FILE- This file photo provided by the LaPorte County, Ind., Sheriff's Department shows Michael Elliot, who was arrested Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 in LaPorte County, Ind., more than 150 miles from the Ionia, Mich., Correctional Facility he escaped from on Feb. 2. On Monday, July 21, 2014, the Michigan Attorney General?s Office released a report of its findings in the Michael Elliot escape from the Ionia Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich. Feb. 2, 2014. Many of the AG?s recommendations to prevent another escape echo what MCO has been saying for years: staff the gun towers to deter escapes and prevent the introduction of contraband; restore the ful...[more]

  10. Arnold Schwarzenegger hits back at prison lawsuit
    A group of 22 current and former inmates are suing state officials over an outbreak of Valley Fever at Pleasant Valley prison, and Schwarzenegger - who was in office at the time of the incident in 2009 - is among the targets of the lawsuit.

    ...[more]


See more in Policy & Decision-Making

Prison Conditions & Corruption

  1. The criminal justice system disproportionately punishes Black and Hispanic men, but, as Vox reports, a new study shows that underscoring that inequality can make White people less willing to change it.
    Stanford University researchers conducted experiments in California and New York to study how white people respond to racial inequality in the justice system when given the opportunity to oppose specific policies.

    In the first experiment, White commuters in San Francisco were shown a video with inmate mugshots and told about California’s three-strikes law, which requires harsher sentencing for repeat offenders....[more]


  2. Violence on inmates by Rikers Guards Grew Under Bloomberg
    The portrait that emerged from the report on Rikers Island by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan last week was of a place with almost medieval levels of violence, meted out with startling ferocity by guards and their superiors....[more]

  3. Solitary confinement limited inmate's access to legal advice, lawyer says
    ELIZABETH — The lawyer for a prison inmate who spent three years in solitary confinement said in court today that his client was denied access to legal advisers during that time....[more]

  4. Private Prisons House More Latinos Than Do Public Ones, Study Finds
    In March, Rina Palta reported for Code Switch on a study that found private prisons were disproportionately filled with inmates of color. A broader recent study of federal data from 2005 has revealed something similar: The proportion of white inmates was significantly smaller in private prisons than in public ones, and the proportion of Latino inmates was larger....[more]

  5. Feds say NYC jails extremely violent, unsafe for teenage inmates and that reforms are needed
    NEW YORK, N.Y. - New York City's juvenile jails are extremely violent and unsafe, the result of a deeply ingrained culture of violence in which guards routinely violate constitutional rights of teenage inmates and subject them to "rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force," the federal government said in a scathing report released Monday....[more]

  6. Crowded Prisons in California
    Re “Strong Steps on Sentencing Reform” (editorial, July 22):

    The United States Sentencing Commission’s vote to give nearly a quarter of federal prisoners the chance to reduce their sentences is a tribute to the tireless work of former prisoners, family members and other advocates to end the peril of mass incarceration....[more]


  7. Idaho teen charged with murder held in solitary confinement for over 70 days "-- He's being punished before he's been convicted," public defender argues.
    Prosecutors say Eldon Gale Samuel III, then 14, admitted to fatally shooting his father before brutally hacking his 13-year-old brother to death. The incident came after Samuel's father, Eldon Samuel Jr., beat the teenager and kicked him out of their home....[more]

  8. Hot Prisons Could Be Deadly For U.S. Inmates, Advocates Warn
    Earlier this year, a prisoner with severe mental illness died in an overheated cell at Rikers Island, the biggest jail in New York City. The exact cause of Jerome Murdough's death is still under investigation, but the temperature in the cell when he was found was at least 100 degrees. His death called renewed attention to a long-standing problem: maintaining reasonable temperatures in jails and prisons....[more]

  9. New York City Reviewing Injuries Dealt by Rikers Correction Officers
    The city’s Department of Investigation has begun a review of scores of cases of serious injuries suffered by inmates at Rikers Island during assaults by correction officers last year....[more]

  10. New York City settles inmate death lawsuit for $2.75 million
    (Reuters) - New York City has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a jail inmate who claimed guards beat him to death.

    A spokesman for the city's Law Department on Monday confirmed the settlement with the estate of Ronald Spear, 52, who died in December 2012 at the city's Rikers Island jail....[more]


See more in Prison Conditions & Corruption

Prison Life & Culture

  1. Colorado prisons chief orders Sterling review after 6th inmate killed
    Colorado prison chief Rick Raemisch has ordered a review of the circumstances leading to the murders of six inmates at Sterling Correctional Facility over the past four years, officials said Wednesday. Cody Gray, who was serving a life prison sentence for a sex offense, was the latest casualty. He killed Monday morning in a general population cell, said Adrienne Jacobson, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections. The review will consider whether mistakes have been made in the classifications of inmates, which dictates whether they are placed in secure prisons. “It’s a high number,” Jacobson said, referring to the six murders. “M...[more]

  2. New York inmates riot over missing favourite TV shows due to early bedtimes
    A riot broke out inside one of America’s toughest prisons after an early bedtime prevented inmates from watching their favourite TV shows.

    More than 60 prisoners inside New York’s notorious Rikers Island facility refused to comply with a newly introduced 9pm curfew on Monday night....[more]


  3. A tour of Old Montana State Prison reminds you that life is better on the outside
    Located about three quarters of the way along the I-90 between Missoula and Butte, Deer Lodge is a quiet town that was home for more than a century to the Montana State Prison, a troubled institution that was perennially overcrowded and the sight of several riots, culminating in one that took the life of a deputy warden....[more]

  4. America's convicted juveniles: The stories of those growing up behind the razor wire
    Jesus Macedo-Perez was out driving with friends in his neighbourhood of Elkhart, Indiana, an industrial city on the banks of the St Joseph River known as the "RV capital of the world", but locally renowned for high crime rates, unemployment and communities ravaged by drugs....[more]

  5. Eastern State Penitentiary Hosts "Family Weekend: Pets in Prison" on Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10
    PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern State Penitentiary will host "Family Weekend: Pets in Prison" on Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10 and again on September 27 and 28. The event, designed for kids and adults of all ages, will feature interactive and educational activities all weekend long. Visitors can learn about the role of animals throughout Eastern State's history, meet (and adopt) shelter dogs from a local prison-training program, and participate in animal-themed activities. ...[more]

  6. Inside Oregon prisons: Most inmates at Two Rivers never see the horizon
    Two Rivers Correctional Institution sits about 100 yards from a bucolic bulge in the Columbia River called Lake Wallula. But prisoners inside seldom, if ever, see this grand green pool of water and the irrigated crops beyond....[more]

  7. John Oliver Brilliantly Tears Apart America's Broken Prison System
    The growing population of prisoners in the U.S.: America's prison population has been exploding since the war on drugs led to tough-on-crime laws being implemented in the 1980s and 1990s. The new mandatory minimums for even low-level drug offenses helped America's prison population grow to be the biggest in the world. As Oliver points out, the U.S. now has more prisoners than even China, whose population is four times that of the U.S....[more]

  8. Church bell at Angola prison has its own criminal past, a Lake Charles newspaper reports
    The bell that hangs in the chapel of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has a criminal record to match that of the inmates who pray here, according to a Lake Charles newspaper....[more]

  9. Serial killer Alfredo Prieto is still claiming he’s intellectually disabled. Seriously?
    Alfredo Prieto has been convicted of murdering three people, raping two of them, and DNA or ballistics link him to another six homicides and two rapes. That is nine slayings in a little more than two years. Four of his victims were in Northern Virginia. He is one of the “great” unrecognized serial killers of our time. Yet a recent Supreme Court ruling has revived the prospect that he could avoid the three death sentences he currently faces, because his defense raised the possibility that he was intellectually disabled, and the news media have begun discussing Prieto as a serious candidate for post-conviction relief. Specifically, Virginia law...[more]

  10. 3 Inmates Escape in Quebec In Latest Helicopter Jailbreak
    OTTAWA — Three men escaped from a Quebec jail on Saturday night aboard a helicopter, the second aerial breakout in the province in 15 months.

    The Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police force, said the men fled about 7:45 p.m. local time in a green helicopter after it landed in the courtyard of a detention center in suburban Quebec City. The aircraft then flew west, in the general direction of Montreal....[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. 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]

  2. 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]

  3. 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]

  4. 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]

  5. 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]


  6. 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]

  7. Former staffer shoots herself at Nebraska prison
    YORK, Neb. (AP) — Authorities are investigating why a former staffer at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women walked into the state prison with a rifle and demanded to be let inside before shooting and injuring herself....[more]

  8. Sheriff Pioneers New Secure Technology for Effingham Jail -- All at No Cost to Taxpayers!
    EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA. — This year marks a new era for Effingham, as they became the first county in the Southeast to install wireless inmate tablet technology....[more]

  9. Corruption and the Maryland public-sector prison guard union
    Readers of this blog are familiar with my writing on public-sector prison guard unions. In Privatization and the Law and Economics of Political Advocacy, my article in the Stanford Law Review, I discussed the often-heard critique of prison privatization that charges that privatization will distort criminal law because private prison firms will have an incentive to lobby for greater criminal penalties. But, I argued, this charge ignores the massive role already played by public-sector prison guard unions like the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which has been very active in pro-incarceration lobbying....[more]

  10. Company aims to unlock jail software market with biometric expertise Northern Irish firm breaks into US prison market with new technology for inmates to communicate with family
    Not so long ago, working in the security sector in Northern Ireland could have got you killed, according to Patricia O’Hagan, managing director of Belfast-based Core Systems....[more]

See more in Workplace & Industry Issues

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