Justice Department Probing Orange County’s Use of Jailhouse Informants

By Christopher Zoukis On Dec. 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its Office of Civil Rights has launched an investigation of the sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office in Orange County, California, over repeated claims law enforcers there have systematically used jailhouse informants in ways that violate defendants’ rights. Authorized by a 1994 […]

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Does the Eighth Amendment Require Air-Conditioned Prisons?

By Christopher Zoukis As summer temperatures rise beyond uncomfortable to approach dangerous, state prisons and local jails increasingly face court challenges which claim failure to protect inmates against temperature extremes amounts to “cruel and unusual” punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. In Texas, state prisons are facing numerous lawsuits, including a large federal class-action […]

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Federal Prison Guards Now Armed With Pepper Spray

A new federal law, passed by Congress without a dissenting vote and signed by President Barack Obama, directs the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide pepper spray to corrections officers in all federal prisons except minimum- or low-security facilities. The measure (S. 238, the “Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act”) cleared both chambers of Congress […]

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The decay in prison dental care

Many Americans forget that, in fact, Guam is a territory of the United States. Indeed even the federal government seems to forget that, as was the fact that while the people of Guam serve in the American military they are often excluded from services for veterans, was highlighted.  That’s why it’s unsurprising that developments in their […]

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Mental illness and slow death by solitary confinement

On June 7th, the American prison system took another life. Kalief Browder had not been confined behind the walls of a prison for several months, but the system remains largely responsible for his death nonetheless. On that Saturday afternoon, Kalief’s mother made the discovery that no parent should have to endure: he had hanged himself […]

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