Happy Friday, folks — the blog should be up and running again at full speed starting after Labor Day. In the meantime, some articles for you to read over the long weekend. As you may have noticed, Prison Law Blog now features handy buttons making it easier for you to share on Facebook, tweet, or email my posts (thanks, WordPress!) — so I hope you’ll share whatever you find interesting with your friends and family.
I’d also like to throw out a plug for the Crime Report, a project of John Jay College’s Center on Media, Crime, and Justice and UPenn’s Criminal Justice Journalists that aggregates news reports on a range of criminal justice issues and also provides original commentary. Currently the site features a number of prison- and jail-related stories that are well worth reading.
- One wife’s story: Or, if your husband with cancer were in California prison and transported for chemotherapy, the state wouldn’t necessarily tell you where they had taken him.
- Eleventh Circuit rules that the use of chemical agents to subdue mentally ill prisoners violates the Eighth Amendment, in lawsuit brought by the Florida Justice Institute on behalf of two inmates.
- In a tentative ruling, federal judge Charles Breyer (brother o’ Stephen) decries California’s treatment of disabled inmates: Inmates “are regularly verbally, physically, and sexually assaulted, exploited, and discriminated against … Developmentally disabled prisoners are punished for violating prison rules that they do not understand, and are punished at hearings which they cannot comprehend.”
- Virginia federal judge sides with pro se inmate, overturns prison ban encompassing Ulysses and D.H. Lawrence and gives state officials 60 days to write a constitutional policy on reading material.
- Federal criminal charges filed against St. Louis jail officials accused of using inmates to brutally attack each other. One corrections official has pled guilty to obstructing justice and is awaiting sentencing; the other, her father, who ran the jail, has pleaded not guilty to various civil rights charges. More here.
- Parents of inmate who died in jail sue the Snyder County (Pa.) jail officials, claiming their son was killed (rather than hanging himself as the jail reported) and that the death was inadequately investigated.
- ACLU files suit on behalf of John Walker Lindh and other federal inmates in heavily restrictive Communications Management Units, arguing they should be allowed to pray as a group.
- “Too much time in prison“: Federal defender Stephen R. Sady on losing Barber v. Thomas, and why Congress should amend how the Bureau of Prisons calculates good-time credits. (Or, how taxpayers could save themselves $951 million.)
- Wisconsin settles lawsuit over conditions for inmates with severe mental illnesses (or as the AP calls them, “dangerous and worst-behaving”).
- Prison Legal News sues for access to litigation records of the private company Prison Health Services. (More here.)
- Pennsylvania outlaws the shackling of women inmates while giving birth.
- Well, the feds have sued Sheriff Joe.