Marcia Moore

Lawyer will be working with Lewisburg inmates

December 6, 2017 | Marcia Moore | The Daily Item

A staff attorney is once again working at the Lewisburg Prison Project more than nine years after the position was eliminated.

James Davy stepped into the role Nov. 20 working with the nonprofit inmate advocacy group that serves in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project.

“There are a lot of claims that exist that I’ll get to assist,” he said, including two class-action lawsuits against the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg alleging mistreatment of mentally ill prisoners and excessive use of restraints in the Special Management Unit (SMU) of the prison.

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Lawsuit: Mentally ill inmates are being mistreated

June 13, 2017 | Marcia Moore | The Daily Item

Seriously mentally ill inmates at the U.S. penitentiary at Lewisburg are being given word games and Sudoku puzzles instead of treatment and medication, according to a class action lawsuit filed against the federal bureau of prisons.

The suit, filed by the DC Prisoner’s Project of the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, claims prisoners received minimal interaction with counselors, often just a minute or two each week and through cell doors.

Men with lifetime histories of schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar disorder, depression and other serious mental conditions often receive no treatments at all and are held in cells, often with another inmate, for 23 hours or more a day. Instead of treatment, the suit alleges, these inmates receive Sudoku puzzles, word games and coloring pages.

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Federal penitentiary inmates down by 500

February 4, 2017 | Marcia Moore | The Daily Item

Due to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons' plans to limit the time inmates can spend in the SMU program, the Lewisburg Penitentiary now houses about 500 fewer inmates. Dave Sprout, a paralegal with the Lewisburg Prison Project, believes that this change will lower the number of violent incidents that take place due to the amount of cell space this change frees up. 

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NPR report thrusts Lewisburg Penitentiary into national conversation on prison reform

November 1, 2016 | Marcia Moore | The Daily Item

A joint National Public Radio and Marshall Project report on alleged abuse of inmates inside the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg is prompting members of an interfaith organization against torture to call on the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to investigate.

“We are gravely concerned about this,” said the Rev. Laura Markle Downton, director of U.S. prisons policy and program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

The NPR/Marshall Project report, “Inside Lewisburg Prison: A choice between a violent cellmate or shackles” includes claims The Daily Item has written about for years regarding inmate allegations of mistreatment at the federal prison since it was converted in 2009 into a Special Management Unit (SMU).

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