Prison Reform and Redemption Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

An overhead view of the U.S. House of Commons, with the American flag in the centre

By Christopher Zoukis Introduction On July 24, 2017, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives titled the “Prison Reform and Redemption Act” (PRRA).1 The bill is co-sponsored by nine members of the 115th Congress, four of whom are fellow Republicans. According to the text of the…

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As BOP Plans Staff Reductions, Does “Augmentation” Show Efficiency or Understaffing?

us-prison-guards-greeting

By Christopher Zoukis In February 2018, federal union officials from across the nation met with legislators in Washington to lobby against proposed cuts in the fiscal year 2019 federal budget that would prevent the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from filling an estimated 7,100 currently vacant staff positions in federal…

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Oklahoma Plans First U.S. Execution with Nitrogen Gas

A green gas chamber is pictured inside an Oklahoma prison

By Christopher Zoukis Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and Director of Corrections Joe Allbaugh on March 14 jointly announced the state plans to adopt an execution method never before used in the United States: asphyxiation by nitrogen gas. In 1977, Oklahoma’s medical examiner devised a multi-drug lethal injection protocol, as…

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Study Says Official Misconduct Was Leading Cause of Inmate Exonerations in 2017

By Christopher Zoukis The Registry of National Exonerations has monitored and analyzed over 2,100 instances since 1989 in which inmates were later found not to have been guilty of the crimes for which they were incarcerated. A new report from the group says at least 139 inmates were exonerated last…

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Trump Administration Reportedly Eyeing Death Penalty for Drug Dealers

Trump and Singapore PM shake hands

By Christopher Zoukis President Trump has sent several recent signals supporting making drug dealing punishable by death. The Washington Post reported March 9 that both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Domestic Policy Council are looking at legislative proposals to let prosecutors seek the death penalty in federal drug-dealing…

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$170,000 to Man After Detective “Went Too Far”

Truck driver Frank McClellan, 36, was awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages and another $20,000 in punitive exemplary damages against a Rensselaer, New York police detective for numerous Fourth Amendment violations. The detective plans to appeal the verdict. On November 16, 2000, McClellan was unloading his vehicle when, he claimed, Detective…

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