Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

The Blog Is Back in Town

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Here’s a roundup of all the news you might have missed or, anyway, all the news I missed while I was on hiatus. No SCOTUS decision on Plata yet, of course — I’m thinking this may be one of those hard cases they save for the very last minute, and hey, no rush! What’s another couple months to the 160,000+ people housed in unconstitutional conditions? It’s not like people are getting killed, or anything.

  • One reason why it’s so stupid that counties and states systematically underfund public defender offices is that providing defendants with public defenders as early as possible actually saves money.
  • Atlanta 17-year-old found dead in South Georgia jailThe GBI is investigating. (Yes, there is a GBI. It’s sort of like the FBI, but not.) As a former Atlanta 17-year-old myself, I hope his family sues the hell out of everyone they can. Sorry for dropping the “objectivity” veil on this one.
  • And then there’s Mississippi, where the GEO Group makes a tidy profit off a prison where people’s teenage sons get beaten into severe brain damage. The prison houses 22-year-olds alongside 13-year-olds because teenagers alone weren’t profitable enough. That is literally in the article. Meanwhile the parents of these children find the fortitude to testify calmly at hearings about the abuses. I don’t know how they do it. Oh, also the prison pays for the town of Walnut Grove’s police department, so there is some vicious cycle craziness going on here that I can’t even begin to unpack.
  • New York commission finds 19-year-old who hung himself with a shoelace in the Downstate prison received “grossly inadequate” mental health care while incarcerated. Corrections spokesperson responds that mentally ill get better treatment in prison than they would in the community. Which, even if true, is not what I would call “a good thing.” More on New York’s prison suicide problem here.
  • Washington State prison guards will get panic buttons in wake of inmate killing of a guard.
  • Seventh Circuit may yank watchdog administrator out of Cook County juvenile jail. In other news, did you know that the Cook County jail guards are Teamsters?
  • The Minnesota Sex Offender Program is kind of like the Hotel California. You can never leave. (Hint: That wasn’t the legislature’s intent in setting up the program. Well, or was it?)
  • The headline is unfortunate, but this is actually a well-reported piece on prisoners’ rights litigation in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and how the county makes settlement decisions.
  • Minnesota prison chaplain who was fired after criticizing an evangelical Christian program as unconstitutionally coercive settles with the state.
  • If you ever get arrested in Austin, try to be white, because you’ll be a lot more likely to get bail that way.
  • The 20-year lawsuit over conditions at California’s Pelican Bay supermax comes to a close.
  • A California prisoner’s perspective on the inmate grievance process.
  • California’s 1940s experiment with a “prison without walls.”
  • And also, McNeil Island, the fed’s experiment with a “prison without walls.”
  • New head of corrections is shaking things up in Florida. And banning smoking.
  • No. 1 in… incarcerating women, Oklahoma tackles prison reform.
  • Indiana prosecutors throw wrench in sentencing reform; Mitch Daniels vows a veto. Good for him.
  • Colorado county settles over short-lived postcard-only jail correspondence policy.
  • DOJ sues California over no-beard policy, on behalf of Sikh inmate.
  • ACLU of Alabama sues for access to Birmingham county jail inmates.
  • In wake of lawsuit, Canada says it will eliminate its solitary-confinement protocol for women.
  • EU warns France over its alarmingly high prison suicide rate.
  • Attn law students: Here’s a good topic for a student Note. Do prisoners have a First Amendment right to Facebook? To get you started: Ohio, South Carolina. And online dating in Tennessee.

Written by sara

March 28, 2011 at 7:22 am

Posted in Friday Roundups

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