2012 August

28 August 2012
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Rockland County Times

No Excuse for Cruel and Unusual Prisoner Punishment

If you are reading this anywhere in America, you know firsthand that this summer has been a record-breaking sizzler. We could be living though the hottest summer season ever.

Think about what you’ve done to keep cool. You’ve turned on your air conditioner, or (if you don’t have one) maybe you’ve gone to the movies to cool off. You probably drink lots of ice-cold beverages or jump into a swimming pool or coo


27 August 2012
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Sacramento County signs off on settlement to allow distribution of jail publication

A federal judge signed off Monday on the settlement of a lawsuit that will cost Sacramento County taxpayers $300,000 because the Sheriff’s Department was not allowing distribution to inmates of a legal publication designed for prisoners.

The county has agreed to pay that amount to Prison Legal News within 60 days.

In addition, the monthly journal will be delivered to inmate subscribers at the Main Jail and Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center. The department, however, will remove staples that bind the magazines and the address labels before delivery.


27 August 2012
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Texas prison officials struggle with high turnover rates, staff shortage

The state’s prison system is offering a $3,000 signing bonus for new guards in hopes of filling latest in series of shortages


27 August 2012
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Man Accuses Prison of Violating His 13th Amendment Rights (You Know, The One That Banned Slavery)

It’s been 147 years since slavery was abolished in the United States, but one man believes a Vermont prison treated him as if he were back in the 1800s. Finbar McGarry has filed a lawsuit against the state’s prison system and a number of prison officials, alleging they violated his 13th Amendment rights — under which all Americans are guaranteed freedom from “slavery or involuntary servitude.”
McGarry, in the $11 million lawsuit, claims he was forced to work for hardly any pay under unsafe conditions at a Vermont jail. According to CBS, he was arrested for a domestic disturbance in December 2008. He spent six weeks in prison


26 August 2012
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Rights group joins case over solitary confinement cells in CA where prisoners kept for years


26 August 2012
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Patrick Earl Conely, Appellant v. Texas Board of Criminal Justice et al., Appellees

Appellant Patrick Earl Conely, an inmate confined in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), who is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis, appeals the dismissal of his suit against the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and Candace Moore.   Because we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Conely’s suit pursuant to chapter 14 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, we will affirm.   See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.Code Ann. §§ 14.001–.014 (West 2002).


26 August 2012
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Inmates sue over Pelican Bay ‘sensory deprivation’

Ten inmates held in isolation at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison for more than a decade sued the state Thursday, saying their conditions – which deprived them of virtually all human contact and any meaningful chance for release – violate international standards against torture and inhumane treatment.
The prolonged solitary confinement in the North Coast prison’s Security Housing Unit is the harshest anywhere in the nation and “strips human beings of their basic dignity and human


25 August 2012
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Struggle for prison health care enters new phase

A new phase opened May 7 in the long-running struggle to provide adequate health care for California prison inmates and to end conditions a federal judge said in 2005 were leading to the unnecessary death of one inmate a week.
The State of California, the attorneys who brought the lawsuit on behalf of prison inmates, and the receiver now in charge of prison health care filed a joint report in court this week, setting forth their differing – in some cases opposing – views on how to end the receivership while assuring adequate treatment for the state’s current inmates.
The state claims prison health care has been “totally transformed,” w


25 August 2012
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In Jackson, tourists pay for the chance to experience life behind bars

Tours are booming for Michigan’s most famous lockup city, with visitors coming from across the state and beyond to go on the Jackson Historic Prison Tour.
Its highlight: the infamous 7-Block at the former State Prison of Southern Michigan. It closed in 2007.
The eerie 7-Block, still part of a razor-wire enclosed ca


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