Prison News

Virginia Expands Defendants’ Access to Prosecution Evidence

After considering for years whether to revise its criminal procedure rules to broaden defendants’ access to information that will be used to prosecute them, the Virginia Supreme Court has decided to expand defendants’ pre-trial access to prosecutors’ evidence. An order issued September 5 by the top state court will require state prosecutors (known locally as…

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Is It Curtains For The First Step Act?

Back in February, the House of Representatives by a 360-59 margin passed H.R. 5628, the “First Step” Act – an acronym for the “Formerly Incarcerated Re-enter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.” With bipartisan co-sponsors, Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the bill had cleared the House Judiciary Committee by a 25-5…

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Texas Governor Issues Proposal to Revise Bail Procedures

On August 7, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced a new package of proposals intended to reform the state’s bail system. Together the collection was named the “Damon Allen Act,” to commemorate a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty last Thanksgiving. During a traffic stop, Trooper Allen was ambushed and fatally shot…

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Lawsuit Over GEO Group “Voluntary” $1 a Day Work Program Survives Motion to Dismiss

A federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging private prison company GEO Group’s “Voluntary Work Program,” which pays detained immigrants $1 per day for cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and otherwise running the facility in which they are held. The December 6, 2017 order rejected GEO’s arguments that federal law preempts any attempt to force…

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Ohio Experiences Continued Problems with Aramark Over Alleged Food Fraud

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) over­paid food service giant Aramark $57,193 for food provided to nonexistent prisoners, investigators found. The overpayment was uncovered by the state Office of the Inspector General (OIG). According to a June 15, 2017 report, the OIG began investigating Aramark after learning of a dispute between the company…

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The Insanity Defense: It’s Not What You Think

In the American criminal justice system, a defendant who commits a crime while “insane” cannot be held legally responsible for that crime. In such cases, legal guilt is not established, and the defendant may not be punished. Instead, a defendant who is found not guilty by reason of insanity (“NGRI”) is involuntarily committed to a…

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