19 Feb 2015

Former Corizon Doctor Accused of Molesting Scores of Prisoners Served With Two New Lawsuits

With the filing of two new lawsuits in New Mexico this week, Dr. Mark E. Walden stands accused of sexually assaulting scores of prisoners while working for inmate healthcare contractor Corizon Health Services inside two different GEO Group for-profit prisons in the state.

Filed on February 13th and 16th, the lawsuits are the sixth and seventh to be brought against Dr. Walden in the past three years, and raise the total number of Walden’s known and alleged victims to around 50.

Walden is accused of fondling prisoners’ genitals and conducting superfluous, aggressive rectal exams for ailments like tooth aches and toe fungus. Walden has denied any and all wrongdoing, and Corizon and GEO Group have so far refused to speak with the press on these matters.

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18 Feb 2015

Former State Department Adviser Prosecuted for Leak Recounts How His Life Was Utterly Destroyed

Former State Department adviser Stephen Kim, who was prosecuted and sent to jail after pleading guilty to violating the Espionage Act, has confessed that the United States government effectively destroyed his reputation, wrecked his marriage, jeopardized his relationship with family members and transformed him into “property of the state.”

Kim was sentenced to 13 months in prison on April 2, 2014, after he accepted a plea deal. He reported to the Cumberland minimum-security camp a few months later.A major story by journalist Peter Maass for The Intercept features the first public statements from Kim on what he experienced. His statements remind one of the ruthless Espionage Act prosecutions against former NSA senior officer Thomas Drake and former CIA officer John Kiriakou.

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18 Feb 2015

Report: Incarcerated People More Likely to Suffer from Chronic Illness and Infectious Disease Than Public

The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics released a new report (PDF) this month on the health of incarcerated people in state and federal lock-ups from 2011-12. The study focused on both prisoners (i.e. people serving longer sentences) and jail inmates (i.e. people awaiting trial or serving shorter sentences), and found they were not only more likely to have had chronic medical conditions and/or infectious disease than the general population, but were also often denied prescription medication after admission. The report also mentions that incarcerated women and prisoners over 50 suffered at disproportionately higher rates from chronic and infectious medical conditions than the rest of the population.

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17 Feb 2015

In New York City, Ending Youth Solitary Confinement Comes With A Complicated Price Tag

Under Mayor de Blasio’s new preliminary budget, 282 correction officers would be brought on to oversee New York City’s juvenile prisoners as funding for staff and alternative programming doubles to $25.3 million in 2016 — the year NYC is scheduled to end solitary confinement for 18-21 year olds. The mayor’s

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16 Feb 2015

New Wrongful Death Lawsuit Raises More Questions About Coming Rikers Island Reforms

Over 40% of Rikers inmates have diagnosed mental illness, and Offley and Ballard are just two of far too many people who have been maimed or killed by the prison’s pathetic delivery of medical care. Corizon has lied to families of deceased Rikers inmates, and is under scrutiny in other states for similar misconduct.

How many more reasons will the city need before it is willing to re-assess its relationship with Corizon and take prisoners out of harms way?

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07 Feb 2015

Conflict of Interest Brewing as Ohio Confronts Prison Overcrowding

Ohio’s prison system is facing a severe overcrowding crisis. With facilities hovering around 130% capacity, prison chief Gary Mohr considered declaring an overcrowding emergency for the first time in the state’s history. This would have granted early release to prisoners nearing the end of their sentences, but those plans were inexplicably scuttled less than a month

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28 Jan 2015

Report: For-Profit Medical Provider Killed Mentally Ill Inmate in Solitary Confinement on Rikers Island

The New York State Commission on Correction released a new report this week, detailing the findings from its investigation into the horrific and preventable death of mentally ill black inmate, Bradley Ballard. Ballard was left in his cell for six days straight in September, 2013. Guards shut the water off to his cell for over four

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23 Jan 2015

Emergency Early Release Taken Off The Table as Ohio Considers Options for Overcrowded Prisons

As prisoners, advocates and journalists warned of deteriorating conditions in Ohio’s prisons over the past year, the inmate population slowly crept back up to around 30% over capacity.

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22 Jan 2015

New Rules For Solitary Confinement On Rikers Island Attempt To Fix What Must Be Replaced

Would New York City’s new rules for solitary confinement have saved the life of 19-year-old Andy Henriquez? Henriquez was brought to Rikers Island when he was only 16. Three years later, he was still awaiting trial when he was placed in isolation. Henriquez had complained of chest pains for seven months before being thrown in ‘the bing,’ but no

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