Prison News Round-up for Oct. 28, 2014

There are far too many stories out there that I want to write about, but I just don’t have the time to fully cover them. So occasionally I’ll be posting a collection of important stories from around the country with some thoughts and notes where appropriate.

This week:

1. Vermont Lawmakers Quiz the State’s Private Prison Company
2. Lawsuit accuses Aurora private prison of paying immigrants $1 a day
3. Meet the controversial private prison corporation, Geo Care, that may run Terrell State Hospital
4. Prison panel suggests broader menu, more recreation for inmates at Ohio facility
5. Pope Francis blasts life sentences as ‘hidden death penalty’
6. 19-year-old dies naked on cell floor of gangrene; lawsuits target deaths in Madison County jail
7. Senators ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Plans to Detain More Immigrant Women and Children
8. Virginia prison system faces $45 million shortfall in inmate health care
9. 10-Year-Old Murder Defendant Shows Failure of U.S. Juvenile Justice System

Here’s my take on these stories… Continue reading

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Did a New Mexico County Commissioner Make House Arrest Inmates Do His Yard Work?

Back in July, New Mexico’s KRQE News reported that officials in Bernalillo County were “scrambling to resurrect a long-dormant investigation into why a group of jail inmates on house arrest was sent to the upscale South Valley homes of Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz and some of his friends with weed whackers, rakes and hedge trimmers to do some clean-up work.”

Bernalillo officials were also supposed to examine why this ‘clean team’ spent so much time in Cruz’s district as compared to others in the state. According to KRQE, the clean team spent “more than 70 percent of its work time in Da La Cruz’s district, one of five in the county, during the past year.”

This was not the first time De La Cruz has been alleged to have abused his position and, unsurprisingly, he vehemently denied the accusations outright. He specifically claimed that “No one (from the clean team) ever stepped on my property.” Continue reading