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In this section you'll find recent developments and news stories that are relevant to our work.

Lawsuit Filed to Restore Former Felons’ Voting Rights in Florida From the Fair Elections Legal Network

On Monday, March 13 the Fair Elections Legal Network and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC filed a class action lawsuit that seeks to automatically restore former felons’ voting rights and eliminate Florida’s arbitrary process for re-enfranchisement. The plaintiffs include seven former felons who have applied for restoration of voting rights and have been denied […]

Dubious Data Belies Supreme Court’s Stance on Repeat Sex Offenders From the New York Times

Last week at the Supreme Court, a lawyer made what seemed like an unremarkable point about registered sex offenders. “This court has recognized that they have a high rate of recidivism and are very likely to do this again,” said the lawyer, Robert C. Montgomery, who was defending a North Carolina statute that bars sex […]

‘Horrific’ conditions at Florida prison languish until legislator shows up and asks why From the Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE When the inmates at Columbia Correctional Institution started shouting at him during one of his surprise prison inspections, Rep. David Richardson knew something was amiss. “I’ve done this long enough to know adult males never want to talk to an outsider in a group setting,” said the Miami Beach Democrat. The fear of retaliation […]

Inside Lewisburg Prison: A Choice Between A Violent Cellmate Or Shackles From NPR

On Feb. 3, 2011, corrections officers at the Lewisburg federal penitentiary in central Pennsylvania arrived outside Sebastian Richardson’s cell door. With them was a man looking agitated, rocking back and forth and staring down at Richardson, who at 4 feet, 11 inches was nicknamed “Bam Bam.” The man, officers told Richardson, was his new cellmate. […]

Why Prisoners Across the Country Have Gone on Strike

Following a call for a nationwide prison strike that began September 9, inmates in at least three states have organized work stoppages or staged protests in support of improving their wages and working conditions. Here’s the latest on the strike and the issues behind it: How many prisoners are on strike? The strike’s organizers had […]

As Florida inmate begged for help, guards gassed him to death, suit says From the Miami Herald

A 27-year-old prisoner who died at Franklin Correctional Institution in 2010 was killed by corrections officers who tortured, gassed and beat him, according to a 33-page federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday. The inmate, Randall Jordan-Aparo, suffered from a genetic blood disorder that had flared up in the months before his death. As his condition […]

Florida should follow U.S. lead, shed private prisons From the Orlando Sentinel

By Paula Dockery The U.S. Department of Justice announced it was ending its use of private prisons. The agency’s Office of Inspector General released a critical report that found the private-run prisons do not provide the same level of service, do not save on costs and do not maintain the same level of safety and […]

My Life as a Blind Inmate From the Marshall Project

By Burl Washington as told to Christie Thompson. This article was published in collaboration with Vice. I wasn’t blind when I entered federal prison. In fact, at the time of my arrest on April 19, 2006, I was driving my car. But I have glaucoma, and my eyesight began to fade once I was inside. […]

Guards Offer Snack Bounty To Beat Up 13-Year-Old Boy In Detention From Think Progress

A juvenile detention center in Fort Lauderdale is under fire for offering food as a reward for beating up a teenager in its custody. A 13-year-old identified as A.R. was hospitalized for three weeks after staff at the Broward Juvenile Detention Center offered a “snack bounty” in exchange for beating him up. After A.R. was […]

Florida prisons a ‘time bomb,’ union delegate tells lawmakers From the Miami Herald

BY JULIE K. BROWN Calling Florida prisons “a ticking time bomb,” members of the union representing state corrections officers called on Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers on Wednesday to convene an emergency legislative session to address the state’s prison crisis. One recent riot, several inmate uprisings, and widespread attacks on officers and inmates have alarmed […]

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