Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

October 2019
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: inmates

Justice Department to Investigate Conditions at Prisons in Alabama

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department plans to investigate conditions at Alabama’s prisons for men following a work strike by guards.

“The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions,” the DOJ said in its statement.

A week ago, guards at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility staged a work strike to call attention to prison overcrowding and safety issues, the Root reports. http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/10/justice-department-investigates-alabama-prison-conditions/

Robert Council, a 42-year-old serving life without parole at Holman, said prisoners are almost always on lockdown and not allowed out of their cells for months.

“The Constitution requires that prisons provide humane conditions of confinement,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “We hope to work cooperatively with the state of Alabama in conducting our inquiry and ensuring that the state’s facilities keep prisoners safe from harm.”

AG Loretta Lynch Wants Newly Released Inmates to Be Issued ID Cards

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an effort to make transition from jail to freedom easier for convicts, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is urging governors to provide parolees with state identification cards.

The announcement is part of the nation’s first National Reentry Week, which began Sunday, the Christian Science Monitor reports. 

“National Reentry Week highlights the many ways that the Department of Justice – and the entire Obama Administration – is working to tear down the barriers that stand between returning citizens and a meaningful second chance – leading to brighter futures, stronger communities, and a more just and equal nation for all.”

The move is part of a bigger push for justice reform intended to make it easier for convicts to land jobs and thus stay out of trouble.

FBI Widens Investigation of Inmate Abuse at New York State Prison System

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is widening its investigation into inmate abuse in the New York state prison system following the death of a mentally ill inmate last April.

Now the bureau has opened a probe into the alleged 2014 beating of an inmate at Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill by officers, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports. 

Less than 2 miles away is another prison where officers allegedly beat to death Samuel D, Harrell III in a vicious attack. His death prompted a federal wrongful-death lawsuit.

The latest case involves Kevin Moore, who was allegedly beaten so badly that he suffered a collapsed lung, socket fractures, bruised legs, five broken ribs and blurred vision, the Times-Union reports. 

Moore’s assaulted spared a grand jury investigation in Jun 2015 but nothing resulted at the time.

“We reached a point where it became apparent that the investigative resources of the U.S. attorney’s office coupled with the federal grand jury rules of evidence would enhance our ability to conduct a more thorough investigation,” Dutchess County District Attorney Bill Grady said Sunday. “Therefore we, as an office, joined with the U.S. Attorney’s office a number of months ago. And this joint investigation is currently ongoing along with the (Samuel) Harrell case.”

FBI Investigates 4 Cases of Alleged Inmate Abuse at Hands of Guards

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating allegations that guards physically abused inmates at a Jackson County jail.

The Kansas City Star reports that the probe is focused on four recent cases involving male inmates who received injuries ranging from stitches and bruises to a broken neck.

Four guards accused of playing a role in the injuries no longer work at the jail.

Race didn’t appear to play a role, the newspaper reported, because two of the victims were white and two were black.

Jackson County also is investigating.

Federal Prison Population Drops for First Time in Decades Under AG Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the first time in several decades, the federal inmate population has decreased, the Associated Press reports.

The Justice Department revealed that roughly 4,800 fewer inmates were incarcerated last year than the year before.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he anticipates the inmate population to be about 250,000 next week, which is the end of the budget cycle.

“This is nothing less than historic,” Holder said, addressing a conference at the New York University School of Law that was hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice. “To put these numbers in perspective, 10,000 inmates is the rough equivalent of the combined populations of six federal prisons, each filled to capacity.”

Holder has been working to reduce the prison population, saying its costly and contains too many nonviolent offenders.

Justice Department Finds Alabama Failed to Protect Female Inmates from Sexual Abuse

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department leveled serious allegations against Alabama officials, saying the state failed to protect female prisoners from being sexually assaulted and harassed by correctional staff, Fox 6 WBRC reports.

“Tutwiler has a history of unabated staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and harassment,” the department wrote in a report to Gov. Robert Bentley. “The women at Tutwiler universally fear for their safety. They live in a sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior, including: abusive sexual contact between staff and prisoners; sexualized activity, including a strip show condoned by staff; profane and unprofessional sexualized language and harassment; and deliberate cross-gender viewing of prisoners showering, urinating, and defecating.”

The governor’s office expressed support for the investigation.

“Governor Bentley has been supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ proactive measures to address the needs and issues in our prison system. The Department of Corrections has been putting recommendations from the NIC report in place since last January. It is important to ensure safety of inmates and staff inside our prisons, and the Governor is supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ efforts to do just that.”

Feds: 18 Charged in Sweeping Case of Abuse in L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Eighteen current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are accused of misconduct and abusing inmates in county jails, the New York Times reports.

Feds charged the defendants Monday with excessive use of force and obstruction of justice at the nation’s largest county’s jail system.

The charges follow countless complaints from inmates who say they were mistreated behind bars.

To make matters worse, two lieutenants are accused of trying to hide an FBI informant by releasing him and then rebooking him under a different name, the Times reports.

“Certain behavior had become institutionalized, and a group of officers considered themselves to be above the law,” André Birotte Jr., the United States attorney for Los Angeles, said. “Instead of ensuring the law is defended, they are accused of taking steps to prevent that.”

 

Rumor Mill Works Overtime in Controversy Between FBI and LA County Sheriff’s Dept.

 
Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The rumor mill has been working overtime involving the controversy between FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Lee Baca is fuming that the FBI didn’t tell him about its investigation into inmate abuse, or the fact that the FBI, in an undercover sting, paid a sheriff’s deputy about $1,500 to sneak a cellphone into an inmate who happened to be an FBI informant. When  Baca learned of it all, he was none too happy.

The sheriff announced an investigation into the whole matter and into the sheriff’s deputy who snuck the phone in the jail. The deputy has since resigned, the LA Times reported. It is a crime to sneak a phone into the jail.

Things have been heating up.

A source tells ticklethewire.com that sheriff’s deputies on Monday night visited the home of the FBI case agent in the matter and told her they planned to arrest her. They did not on Monday. On Wednesday, after ticklethewire.com reported the incident, Sheriff Baca told the Los Angeles Times of the possibility of charging the agent:  “No, I don’t think so. It’s not worthy of pursuing, in view of the greater good.” He said the agent directed the deputies’ questions to her supervisor,and Baca dismissed suggestions the visit by deputies was intended to intimidate the agent.”

At the same time, word began circulating this week that the case agent’s supervisor,  Victor Cockrell, an FBI supervisor in the Los Angeles civil rights division, which was handling the case, suddenly decided to retire. Some suggested there might be a connection between the retirement and the case.

But Cockrell told ticklethewire.com on Wednesday that his decision to retire has nothing whatsoever to do with the case.

“It was time to retire,” he said. “I have served my country and it’s time to do something else.”

He declined to comment on the case, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on any case.

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI Los Angeles office, told ticklethewire.com on Wednesday via email: “Mr. Cockrell’s comment speaks for itself and we wish him the very best.”

Regarding the overall investigation, she told the Times: “With regard to the investigation, FBI agents at all times were acting within the course and scope of their duties and were in compliance with FBI policy and practices.”

Whatever the case, people in law enforcement in Los Angeles have been talking about the controversy, which is sure to percolate  for a while.