The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center have joined to file a federal civil rights and anti-racketeering class-action lawsuit which claims a Louisiana district judge, the East Baton Rouge sheriff, and a firm that monitors criminal defendants released on bail while awaiting trial acted together to force defendants to pay hundreds…

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By Christopher Zoukis Rick Raemisch, Colorado’s new chief of the State Department of Corrections, decided that he wanted to better understand the experience of solitary confinement; so he decided to spend the night in segregation in one of the prisons he oversees. Raemisch had been on the job for seven months when he decided to…

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By Prison Legal News

Alabama’s prison system is the first – and currently only – in the nation to require visitors to be fingerprinted. In late 2012, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) implemented the new policy due to what officials claimed was a need for greater efficiency. A new computer system had the capacity to scan fingerprints, something the old system was not able to do. The fingerprinting procedure was “part of the upgrade” and the brainchild of the ADOC’s IT department, according to prison system spokesman Brian Corbett.

The old system required guards to review each visitor’s driver’s license to verify their identity before allowing them into a state prison.

“That was a time-consuming task,” Corbett told the Montgomery Advertiser. “Now, the verification process is much faster, so visitors are moved through the process much faster.”

“We still require visitors to have a government-issued photo ID, and that requirement will remain in place,” he added. “But there are times when someone else resembles the photo on an ID. Scanning the fingerprint of visitors verifies they are who they say they are.”

The program prompted an immediate response from the American Civil Liberties Union. David Fathi, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project, didn’t buy the ADOC’s purported security concerns.

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By Christopher Zoukis For the past several months those of us in the prison litigation realm have watched the battle over prisoners’ voting rights unfold in the United Kingdom and the European Union.  Now we enjoy the ability to participate in our own such discussions, albeit not for current prisoners, but former prisoners in California.…

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