NIJO Case Brief: Barnes v. Ahlman , 591 U. S. ____ (2020)

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director   Case Title and Date: Barnes v. Ahlman , 591 U. S. ____ (2020), No. 20A19; Application for emergency stay to the United States Supreme Court; Decided August 5, 2020. Facts:   The administration and operations of Orange County Jail is overseen by Sheriff Don Barnes (Defendant, et al.). …


Changing for the Better by Understanding Where We Are Now: Salt Lake County Jail Dashboard

Years of data, and months of development in the making, the Criminal Justice Advisory Council team and Sheriff Rosie Rivera of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office have collaborated together to create a Jail Dashboard. The dashboard is an interactive tool that displays information collected from the Salt Lake County jail data system.  The dashboard…


Knowing the Differences Between National Standards, Contract Agreements and Legal-Based Guidelines

By Tate McCotter, NIJO Executive Director A September 12, 2018, headline from the Huffington Post stated “Muslim Inmate Claims Kansas Prison Officers Harassed Her Over Headscarf.”1  The news article explains how the national legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates notified the Leavenworth Detention Center (LDC), the Department of Justice and the US Marshals Service the “actions…


Prisoner Recreation: Right or Privilege?

A participant in a corrections law training session once asked me in frustration why prisoners should be entitled to recreation. He pointed out he had to pay $75 a month to belong to an exercise club,while his county had just consented to build a fully-equipped exercise room for the inmates in the jail.

Is recreation or exercise a right,or a privilege? 


Using Solitary Confinement as an Inmate Management Tool – Part II

An important discretionary tool in maintaining safety and security is solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a highly effective tool needed and utilized by jail and prison administrators.  This allows for the separation of inmates who have demonstrated,through their actions,that they pose a threat to the safety of inmates,staff and the public. Administrators have no option but to isolate inmates who continue to engage in criminal activities while being incarcerated.


Using Solitary Confinement as an Inmate Management Tool – Part I

Corrections professionals are encountering an increasing trend challenging the use of solitary confinement.  The conflict is mostly being stirred up by the media,legislatures,inmate advocate groups and the public. Some have tried to link isolated incidences where solitary confinement was in use with an in-custody death and or other situations regarding an inmate’s behavior,often tied to mental health issues.