Ghislaine Maxwell complains that NYC jail staff shine flashlight in her cell every 15 minutes
NEW YORK — Ghislaine Maxwell, in quarantine in a Brooklyn federal jail due to coronavirus exposure, has endured a flashlight shined in her cell every 15 minutes while she sleeps, according to her defense attorney.The new details from Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim came in response to the government’s claim the British socialite was still able to prepare a defense while in quarantine for at least 14 days at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of grooming victims of Jeffrey Epstein in the mid-1990s.“The government highlights what Ms. Maxwell is permitte...
New York Daily News
Supreme Court declines to order virus safety steps for vulnerable Texas inmates
AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to order Texas officials to beef up safety measures at a Southeast Texas prison where 20 inmates have died from COVID-19.Two at-risk inmates at the Wallace Pack Unit, which houses geriatric and medically vulnerable prisoners, asked the high court to reinstate a trial judge’s September order requiring safety steps that included disinfecting common areas, providing inmates with cleaning supplies, conducting weekly testing and enforcing social distancing and a face mask mandate.The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay blocking the ...
Pennsylvania prisons face a deadly 'full-blown resurgence' of COVID-19
PHILADELPHIA — As the coronavirus shut down Pennsylvania in March, state prisons slammed into lockdown. Prisoners got 45 minutes a day for showers, phone calls, and fresh air — and spent the other 23 hours and change in their cells, waiting out the pandemic.It seemed to work: By late May, there had been fewer than 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases among state prisoners. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ strategy was lauded as one of the most successful in the country, and some restrictions there were relaxed over the summer.Now, though, advocates and prisoners are ringing alarm bells abou...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
COVID outbreak infecting hundreds at Fort Dix is 'escalating crisis,' NJ senators warn
On Oct. 29, the prisoners of building 5812 at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix, the low-security prison in central New Jersey, were invited to a town hall meeting about the COVID-19 outbreak raging through the facility.A list of about 70 names had been posted behind Plexiglas. The remaining 150 men who could not find their names on the list were told to assume they had tested positive, advocates said. Their cell block was now a quarantine unit.One, Troy Wragg, whose complex medical conditions had already left him wheelchair-bound, had been the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
How 5 women are working to turn a building into a place of healing for people leaving prison
SEATTLE — Carolyn Presnell began serving her second, 15-month stint at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in October 2015, after pleading guilty to selling cocaine to an undercover Seattle cop, then leading police on a high-speed chase and crashing her car in Seattle’s Meadowbrook neighborhood.Fast forward to today: Presnell is the director-in-waiting of the 1426 Project, a collaborative partnership of local nonprofits, governmental entities and corporate sponsors aimed at providing housing, jobs, treatment and therapy to people reentering the community after being incarcerated in sta...
The Seattle Times
Dozens of inmates test positive for virus at San Diego federal jail, defense attorneys say
SAN DIEGO — At least 56 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus last week at a privately run federal jail in downtown San Diego that houses mostly pretrial inmates, according to defense attorneys briefed on the matter.The GEO Group, which contracts with the U.S. Marshals Service to operate the Western Region Detention Facility, is in the process of testing all inmates there “whether or not they are showing any symptoms,” according to Kathy Nester, executive director of Federal Defenders of San Diego.“Today we received confirmation of a large number of positive tests arising from that ongoi...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Philly man held in solitary confinement 33 years must be let off death row, court rules
PHILADELPHIA — Ernest Porter spent 33 years in a 7-by-12-foot cell with a roughly 6-inch-wide window. He was allowed out for 10 hours a week — but leaving the cell meant being strip searched and then shackled. Exercise meant time spent in a cage, alone or with one other prisoner.That was life on death row in Pennsylvania state prison. And Porter’s was among the longest stints in solitary confinement on record, though his death sentence was vacated in 2003.But now, Porter and six other prisoners have been moved out of death row solitary into general population, following a precedent-setting 3rd...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Lori Loughlin surrenders to California prison, but COVID-19 will keep daughters away
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Lori Loughlin is finally facing the hard consequences of her role in the college admissions scandal by reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin Friday to begin her two-month sentence.The former “Full House” star surrendered to authorities at the Dublin facility several weeks early, NBC News reported. A federal judge had ordered her to report to the prison by Nov. 19.Loughlin, 56, will serve out her time in the same prison where “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman served her 11 days last October. Huffman also was one of the wealthy parents, includi...
The Mercury News
Editorial: Lethal indifference to Florida prisoners dying of COVID-19
Florida used to confine its road-gang prisoners in old wooden barracks that it intended to replace sooner or later. On July 16, 1967, that became too late for 38 men who died when flames swiftly devoured one of those firetraps in a remote corner of the Panhandle. Only 13 inmates were saved.No one in authority had wanted that, but indifference can be just as deadly as intent.That long-ago tragedy comes to mind with the recent news that COVID-19 has killed 154 Florida prison inmates. That’s second, but not by much, to the 161 deaths in Texas.Texas, however, has about twice as many prisoners, giv...
R. Kelly lawyers denied chance to question inmate who attacked singer in federal lockup
CHICAGO — Attorneys for R. Kelly will not get the chance to question an inmate who confessed to attacking the singer at a downtown jail in August, a federal judge ruled Monday.And Kelly’s beating behind bars is not enough, on its own, to merit his release from the Metropolitan Correctional Center, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber wrote.It was the latest rejection of Kelly’s many attempts to be released from custody while he awaits trial in several jurisdictions on sweeping charges related to sexual abuse.Despite pleading poverty after he was charged last year, bank records show Kelly has ...