Inmate claims bias in denial of visits from same-sex spouse

 Discrimination against the LGBT community is apparent in many arenas of American society. Prison is no exception. Chris Yates is a inmate serving a sentence  at the Kansas Department of Correction’s Norton Correctional Facility. Yates is claiming that the Norton Correctional Facility staff is discriminating against him and his co-defendant husband, by not allowing Yates’s husband to come see Yates in prison   The Department of Corrections says that allowing co-defedants to visit each other in prison is “just something we don’t do,”.  Read more here.

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Missouri Switches to New Execution Drug


Photo Courtesy of U.S News on NBC 

 The Missouri Department of Corrections, a state that allows the highly controversial death penalty, is switching from its previous execution drug, propofol, to the widely used  pentobarbital. Limits where being placed on the export quanaities of the Eurpoean made propofol by the European Union. To combat this, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon  is allowing  the state to  construct compounding pharmacies who have the ability to make pentobarbital within its prisons. These pharmacies , however,  do not ahere to the US Food and Drug Adminsitration regualtions Read more here

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 Criminal offenses do not always invole prison or jail  Occasionally a monetary fine is the punishment.  Less fortunate citizens often do not have the resources to pay these fines. A growing trend amongst court systems nationwide is to hire private probation companies to supervise these indigent defedants who in turn charge them daily fees. If a defendant cannot pay, the court systems put them in jail while still making money. Read more about this potential consitituional crisis here.

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Bastoy: the Norwegian prison that works

Arne Kvernvick Nilsen, the governor of the Norwegian Benstoy prison island,  reflects on a long and productive career in human services. Nilsen reveals his philospohy on corrections and rehabilitation which advocates for  a “healing” based  approach instead of a “revenge” based approach. Read more about Arne Kvernvick Nilsen and Benstoy prsion island here

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Judges Order California to Free Prisoners

The ongoing battle between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the federal court system continues  when three federal judges ordered California to start releasing low risk offender immediatley. Read more in the New York Times article “Judges Order California to Free Prisoners”

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Incarceration Rates for Blacks Have Fallen Sharply, Report Shows

Photo courtsey of The Black Educator blog

In the decade starting in 2000 and ending in 2010, the incarceration rate for African Americans dropped, according to a new report released by the Sentencing Project, a prison research and advocacy group based in Washington, DC. Read more in The New York Times story “Incarceration Rates for Blacks Have Fallen Sharply, Report Shows“.

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A disciplinary hearing for a transgender prisoner

At the end of the Spring Semester, just before the exam period, student attorney Fan Li (second from left) represented a transgender prisoner who was facing a “tool to escape” charge. Read more about the disciplinary hearing here.

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Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval


Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approval. Read more about the story here.



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A warm welcome to PLAP’s Joel Thompson

Joel Thompson, a former member of PLAP, has returned to serve as the interim supervising attorney while John Fitzpatrick is on deployment. Read more about Joel’s return here.

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Summer PLAPer Feautured on Clinical Blog

Summer PLAPer and former police officer Tom Koglman was recently feautured on the HLS Clinical blog.  Read more of his interview here.

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