Corizon Lied to Families of Deceased Rikers Island Inmates

Corizon Health Services, inc. (formerly known as Prison Health Services, Inc.) routinely lied to families of deceased Rikers Island inmates about their cause of death — including incidents for which the company may have been responsible. A spokesperson for Corizon told reporters that the death investigations were not technically kept secret from the families because they were always available through public records requests– an extremely difficult and time consuming [Continue reading]

Rumor Has It That NYC May End Corizon Contract on Rikers Island

For years, the nation’s largest for-profit prison healthcare provider — Corizon Health Services, Inc. — has repeatedly won lucrative government contracts despite numerous appalling reports and hundreds of lawsuits for inmate abuse and employee misconduct. But with the possibility of a federal intervention looming over their heads, NYC officials are considering revoking their contract with Corizon. The AP reports that anonymous leaks from the de Blasio [Continue reading]

New Report Shows Juvenile, Mentally Ill Abuses Continue Under NYCDOC Commissioner Joseph Ponte

The Bronx Defenders recently put out a report on the use of solitary confinement at Rikers Island amid a growing number of reports of violence, abuse and mismanagement at the facility. The study, titled Voices from the Box (PDF), surveyed 59 inmates between July 2013 and August 2014 and it confirms the horrifying and widespread use of solitary confinement against adolescent and mentally ill inmates. Researchers found that half of Rikers prisoners in solitary were between the ages of 16 [Continue reading]

Damage Control Threatens Change at Rikers Island

On September 29th, the New York Times reported that the New York City Department of Corrections was eliminating solitary confinement for 16 and 17-year-old inmates at Rikers. The department claimed it would be the “first round of changes” and “solitary confinement [would] be replaced by ‘alternative options, intermediate consequences for misbehavior and steps designed to pre-empt incidents from occurring.'” New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner [Continue reading]

Why Does Corizon Still Have a Contract for Rikers Island?

Two new lawsuits, filed by the relatives of deceased Rikers inmates, point to more atrocious conduct by employees of Corizon Health Services, Inc. Yet, despite their growing rap sheet, few have spoken out to demand the DOC end its contract with the troubled for-profit health care contractor. Rikers has come under increased scrutiny since July, when the New York Times covered the violent conditions facing mentally ill inmates who are routinely brutalized by guards and neglected by [Continue reading]

Mentally Ill School Shooter TJ Lane Escapes Violent, Overcrowded Ohio Prison

#TJLane I've been asked whether he is a danger. Answer is no one ever wants to return to prison for a life sentence. Plus, case facts speak. — Ian Friedman (@IanNFriedman) September 12, 2014 UPDATE: Lane has been captured. What’s next? — In April, Ohio’s Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) inspected the Allen Oakwood Correctional Center. They found the facility overcrowded and over capacity, but still gave it ‘high marks.’ The committee [Continue reading]

Prisons Are Obsolete: California Mental Health Edition

California corrections officials have reached an agreement on changes to the treatment of mentally ill inmates held in solitary confinement at their facilities. The special attention is long overdue. The mentally ill are some of the most vulnerable people within the American prison system, and the abuse that prompted U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton to rule California’s treatment of mentally ill inmates was ‘cruel and unusual’ typifies the prison system’s failures to [Continue reading]

Florida Announces ‘Sweeping Changes’ After Mentally Ill Inmate Burned to Death in Shower by Prison Guards

NBC Miami is reporting that the Florida Department of Corrections has announced ‘sweeping changes’ to the state’s treatment of mentally ill prisoners. The reforms come after the horrific murder of Darren Rainey: a developmentally disabled man who died after prison guards locked him in a scalding hot shower. Among the changes are: expanded training for officers to deal with emergencies; specific centers where inmates can get specialized counseling for life after incarceration; [Continue reading]

The Weak Pursuit of Accountability for Rikers Island’s ‘Culture of Brutality’

The New York Times’ reporting work on Rikers Island is starting to make some government officials squirm. But at the end of the day, emerging punishments and accountability measures seem to fall painfully short of addressing the devolving health and safety situation there. The Times first covered the rise in assaults on civilian employees working at the facility back in May, and then followed up in July with a brutal portrayal of life for its prisoners. Now the Occupational Safety and [Continue reading]

Another Mentally Ill Inmate Dies in Restraint Chair, Sparking Lawsuit

On Wednesday, the Tri-City Herald reported that Franklin County, Washington is being sued for allegedly ‘inhumane and barbaric practices’ that have put mentally ill inmates in harms way. The suit is being brought by Columbia Legal Services, a Seattle-based legal aid organization that is working on behalf of mistreated inmates at Franklin County Jail. Lawyers allege that Franklin County is one of the worst jails in the country. The mental health needs of inmates are ignored and they [Continue reading]
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