Julie Hilden

Writing materials used by inmates to write to pen pals.

Last year, on December 22, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a federal district court’s grant of summary judgment in a case involving prisoners’ First Amendment and due process rights.  In this column, I’ll argue that the court made the wrong call.

Published in Prisoner Support


Florida Prison Guards Monitoring Prison Inmates

Posted on 12 December 2011

Tallahassee, FL - The results are in: the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is corrupt, according to its former chairwoman, a former Republican State Senator. Former chairwoman Nancy Argenziano says that corporate interests have turned the PSC into a cash machine to the great expense of friends and families of those incarcerated within the state of florida.

In Septemeber 2010, Argenziano resigned in disgust at what the Public Service Commision had become after S.B. 2626 removed the caps on the state’s phone service providers (“operator services”).

Published in Inmate Telephone News

U.S. Bureau of Prisons and companies claim practice 'helps' prisoners

By Steve Johnson
June 03, 2011

 Female inmates answering phones in a prison system call center
News reports indicate that some materials used by the U.S. military during its May bombing campaign against Libya were made with the labor of prisoners in the United States. The parts were made in federal prison workshops run by the U.S. Bureau of Prison’s UNICOR division.

According to the government’s own website about UNICOR and Federal Prison Industries: “ Its mission is to employ and provide job skills training to the greatest practicable number of inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons; contribute to the safety and security of our Nation’s Federal correctional facilities by keeping inmates constructively occupied; produce market-priced quality goods and services for sale to the Federal Government; operate in a self-sustaining manner; and minimize FPI’s impact on private business and labor.”


Published in Current Events
By Tom Brown
MIAMI | Thu May 12, 2011 10:57am EDT

(Reuters) - Florida has opened the doors to one of the biggest prison privatization programs in U.S. history, as the cash-strapped state looks to cut the cost of keeping more than 100,000 people behind bars.

The privatization plan, touted by the industry as "an important milestone" for the private prison business, was approved by the Republican-dominated Florida legislature as part of a budget deal hammered out last week.

Private prison operators have already made big inroads in states like Texas and New Mexico. But Florida has the third largest state prison system in the United States, and no other state has sought to privatize so many lock-ups at any one time.

Published in Prison Legal News

Tier of Prison Cells
Posted: 10:46 AM May 5, 2011
From civil citations for juveniles instead of lock-up to loosened restrictions allowing former inmates to find work, bills aimed at decreasing Florida’s prison population are sailing toward passage.
Reporter: Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florid

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 4, 2011.....After more than a decade during which the Republican mantra was to get tougher on criminals, measures aimed at more gently helping some criminals and ex-offenders break a cycle of incarceration and recidivism – while saving the state money – are quietly becoming law this year.

From civil citations for juveniles instead of lock-up to loosened restrictions allowing former inmates to find work, bills aimed at decreasing Florida’s prison population are sailing toward passage.

Published in Prison Legal News
By Travis Pillow | 02.08.11 | 7:50 am
Published in Prison Legal News

Those who attempt to smuggle cell phones into Florida prisons could end up spending up to five years in one under a new law enacted October 1, 2008 making the introduction of cell phones into prison a third degree felony.

On Tuesday, October 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Broward Correctional Institution (CI), Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil will speak about the implementation of the new legislation that takes aim at those smuggling a cell phone, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), Blackberries and similar devices into prisons statewide. News media are also invited to view a canine drug and cell phone detection demonstration. Debuting during the demonstration will be canine RAZOR, the first cell phone detection dog to work in Florida prisons. RAZOR is taking a break in her eight week training to demonstrate her skills thus far.
Published in Inmate Telephone News