News

Transfer Van Takes 18 Days to Move Inmate from Virginia to Texas

While at a convenience store in Winchester, Virginia in September 2016, Edward Kovari was arrested by a local police officer who had been checking out-of-state license plates and found an outstanding warrant from Texas accusing Kovari of having stolen the car he was driving. A waiter in his upper-30’s, Kovari had recently moved from Houston

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$4.5 Million to Widow of Man Shot by Police

Naily Nida, the widow of Michael Nida, who was allegedly shot in the back by Downey, California police officer Steven Dean Gilley, settled a wrongful death lawsuit May 9, 2013 for $4.5 million. On October 22, 2011, Michael Nida and his wife were stopped at a gas station in Downey. While Naily pumped the gas,

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Airing Florida’s dirty prison secrets

By Christopher Zoukis A recent investigation of the country’s largest women’s correctional facility has revealed levels of corruption and inhumanity that don’t simply border on the illegal, but have placed individuals working there firmly into the category of criminals themselves. Through a telling new series of articles, Julie Brown of the Miami Herald has revealed

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Prison Legal News battles DOC censorship of important information on sexual violence in prisons

By Christopher Zoukis Prison Legal News has launched an important lawsuit against Arizona’s Department of Corrections over the withholding of their publication from prisoners. The editions in question discuss documented cases of rape and sexual violence perpetrated by prison staff against inmates—one of which took place in an Arizona prison and was heard in federal

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When is sexual abuse not sexual abuse? When it happens to a prisoner.

This past week saw the handing down of an important ruling in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the rights of prisoners; specifically a prisoner’s right not to be sexually abused by prison officials. If you’re questioning how this could even have been a question before the Supreme Court, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

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Prisoners bearing the brunt of institutional incompetence over escapes

The escapes and ultimate death and capture of inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat, respectively, were supposed to have prompted a clean-up in the Clinton Correctional Facility. There were suspensions, leaves, and retirements aplenty as myriad failures in prison protocol were revealed. The FBI also launched an investigation into the facility’s operations over accusations of

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Female Prison Inmates Struggle at Alabama Prison for Women

By Christopher Zoukis

When you put any human being in a box and put others in charge, you create an environment that is ripe for abuse without strict oversight.  Unfortunately, because prisons are supposed to be a punishment for law breakers (and those confined therein have left victims in their wake), there is often very little sympathy for inmates, and that means that millions of inmates are placed in prisons that are matrices for abuse.

Female prison inmates are especially prone to abuse from prison guards and other prison employees, because it is more difficult for them to defend themselves against such abuses.  The United States Department of Justice is currently investigating one of the worst cases of this abuse at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Alabama, where rapes and harassment have been common occurrence for almost two decades.

Years of Abuse in Alabama Prison for Women

It is estimated that over 33 percent of the female prisoners at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women have been forced into sexual relations with employees of the prison, often for basic necessities such as toilet paper.  The New York Times reports that this type of abuse has not only been active for over 18 years, but that prison officials knew of the abuse early on and did nothing to put a stop to it.  They simply turned a blind eye.

While abusive prison employees are, and have been, an ongoing problem at the prison, local lawmakers argue that there are three other reasons responsible for these abhorrent conditions:

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Hot Texas Heat Kills Prisoners In Their Cells, So What? Say Lawmakers

Lawmakers in Texas on Tuesday defended the lack of air-conditioning in state prisons after a report linked 19 inmate deaths to extreme heat. A study released by the University of Texas Law School’s Human Rights Clinic warned that the state was violating the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and the human rights of

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