• Blogs

    December 4, 2009

    Grim details emerge in prison death of sex offender

    Inmates claim Ronald Ferguson had been in the unit only a few hours when he was killed.​Last week, we reported on the bludgeoning death of inmate Ronald Ferguson, a convicted child molester, at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility outside of Canon City. A fifty-year-old habitual off ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2009

    MSNBC's prison-reality show and the death of a pedophile

    Ronald Ferguson, 50, beaten to death at Territorial prison last week. ​Lockup, MSNBC's voyeuristic peek at life inside America's nastiest prisons, launched its new season Sunday night with some cell floodings and tough talk by thick-necked inmates at Colorado's own Limon Correctional Facility. ... More >>

  • Film

    October 29, 2009
  • News

    October 22, 2009
  • Blogs

    October 13, 2009

    For sale: supermax prison, like new

    ​State representative Glenn Vaad was appalled to discover recently that corrections officials have delayed opening a $200-million supermax because of Colorado's fiscal woes. There's nothing that offends Vaad, a Republican who represents the Greeley area, more deeply than the idea of a brand-ne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2009

    In the Florence pen, it's risky not to join the riot

    ​The dysfunctional high-security federal penitentiary in Florence has been the scene of all sorts of gang-related mayhem, from the grisly 1999 disembowelment of inmate Joey Estrella to the 2008 racial uprising in the yard, in which guards fired on brawling prisoners and killed two (as reported ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2009

    Male guards and female prisoners -- a brilliant idea!

    Photo by John Johnston There's plenty to get disgusted about in the story of a Colorado female inmate who was awarded $1.3 million in damages for two years' worth of sexual assaults by a male guard. As this report in the Denver Post recounts, federal judge David Ebel blasted the Colorado Department ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2009

    So... you want to contact Joe Nacchio in prison?

    The Federal Correctional Institution in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, where Joe Nacchio will be staying for quite a while. Today's a big day for former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio -- the day when he must report to the Federal Correctional Institution in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania and begin serving his six-year ... More >>

  • Calendar

    November 13, 2008

    Om Time

    The Dhamma Brothers tells a tale of meditation and redemption in prison.

  • News

    November 6, 2008
  • Blogs

    July 11, 2008

    Kudos for "The Caged Life"

    Earlier this year, "The Caged Life," Alan Prendergast's feature story about lockdown procedures at ADX Supermax, published last August, won a prestigious Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award as the top feature in the country during 2007 for a newspaper with a circulation under 1 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2008

    Death of a Cowboy

    Robin Carole Gall, 38, was in jail in Canon City Monday night after Fremont County sheriff's deputies found her husband, Brent Thomas Gall, 40, dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. Brent Gall was a federal correctional officer. He was also a defendant in the infamous "Cowboys" case, in which seve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2008

    A Prison Murder on the Web?

    On May 20, a federal jury decided to give Rudy Sablan a life sentence rather than the death penalty for the gruesome 1999 slaying of another inmate at the high-security penitentiary in Florence. That same day, Prison Legal News filed suit in Denver federal court, seeking the release of the videotape ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2008

    Swapping One McPrison for Another

    On May 14 the Colorado Department of Corrections announced that it would be bringing nearly 500 state prisoners back from Sayre, Oklahoma, where they'd been stored in a private lockup like so much toxic waste for months because of a lack of bedspace in Colorado prisons. At first glance, this is goo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2008

    Life in the Florence Prison: It's a Riot

    Note to self: Avoid extended stays in federal high-security penitentiaries, especially on weekends. Most prison riots tend to happen on weekends, when staffing is bare-bones and the week's grievances have heated to a boil. Last Sunday's melee at the U.S. Penitentiary Florence, in which guards fired ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2008
  • News

    April 10, 2008

    Bad Execution

    A judge removes DA Carol Chambers from a death-penalty case -- and blasts prosecution misconduct.

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2008

    Profiles in Snitching

    At the moment the jury is still out in the first-degree murder trial of David Bueno, an inmate at the Limon state prison accused of killing another prisoner. Bueno and Alejandro Perez (who has yet to go to trial) face possible death sentences in the slaying, the prosecution of which is being bankrol ... More >>

  • News

    February 28, 2008

    Arapahoe County DA Charges Death-Penalty Fees to the State

    How does DA Carol Chambers beat the high cost of a death-penalty prosecution? By billing the prison system.

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2008

    The Pen is Mightier Than the Pen

    Back in November Westword published "The Poisoned Pen of Fort Lyon," which examined the toxic history of Fort Lyon, a frontier fort turned veterans' hospital turned prison. Since the place was turned over to the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2001, there have been numerous instances of inmate ... More >>

  • News

    December 6, 2007

    Death Sentence

    A bureaucratic loophole limits halfway house residents' access to health care, making it harder to survive on the outside.

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2007
  • News

    November 15, 2007

    The Poisoned Pen of Fort Lyon Prison

    Bought by the state for a dollar, Fort Lyon is rich in history, asbestos, sick inmates — and trouble.

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2007
  • Blogs

    August 28, 2007
  • News

    August 16, 2007

    Fortress of Solitude

    The Bureau of Prisons is as good at keeping prisoners in as it is at keeping reporters out.

  • News

    August 16, 2007

    The Caged Life

    Is Thomas Silverstein a prisoner of his own deadly past — or the first in a new wave of locked-down lifers?

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2007

    Reporting Live from Supermax

    Thursday's decision by U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger that the Bureau of Prisons can't stop even high-security prisoners from publishing under a byline may not mean much to the public at large. Is there anyone out there clamoring for dating advice from Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski or a Forbes colum ... More >>

  • News

    June 14, 2007

    Sex Marks the Spot

    Numbers can lie, as shown by estimates of Mexican sex offenders.

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2007

    Muzzling the Messenger: A Supermax Story

    The shackled plaintiff testified by video hookup from a holding cell in the control unit of the highest security federal pen in the country. His lawyers were students from the University of Denver who haven’t yet passed the bar. But Mark Jordan was determined to have his day in court. Three days ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2007

    Pass the Liver, Hold the Fava Beans

    The Sablans channeled Hannibal Lecter. This morning's guilty verdict in the murder trial of William Concepcion Sablan -- a federal inmate who, assisted by his cousin, slaughtered and gutted another prisoner named Joey Estrella -- wasn't a surprise to anyone familiar with even the barest details o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2007
  • Blogs

    February 22, 2007

    Don't Fence Me In

    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales walked the buttoned-down halls of the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence yesterday, then announced that all was super at the federal supermax. No need for more staff or monitoring at the high-tech prison, a repository of terrorists and superfiends. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2007

    Coming Home

    Casey Holden was sixteen years old when he got locked up on juvenile drug and theft charges. A series of problems while serving his time, including two assaults and cutting off his ankle bracelet when he was almost done, has kept him behind bars most of the last decade. For the past four years, he's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2007

    Coming Up Short

    President Dubya wants to send more troops to Iraq, but he doesn't seem to be paying much attention to federal employees who say we need more boots on the ground right here --— specifically, more correctional officers in federal prisons, where the level of assaults is rising as staffing rosters ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2006

    Trouble in Mind

    According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice study, more than half of all state prisoners in America reported some kind of mental health problem last year. At least one in every five inmates in Colorado's prison system is seriously mentally ill -- and, as this week's cover story, "Head Games," m ... More >>

  • News

    September 21, 2006

    Head Games

    At least one out of every five Colorado prisoners is mentally ill -- some violent, some undetected or untreated. How did the Big House become the Bug House?

  • News

    August 10, 2006

    Colorado Prison Blues

    Eric Reynolds was thirteen the last time he tasted freedom.

  • Film

    April 13, 2006

    Barred Bard

    Who knew Shakespeare was so good at rehabilitation?

  • News

    March 16, 2006

    Follow That Story

    A Man Out of Time

  • News

    December 15, 2005

    Grape Expectations

    The monks have moved on, but it's another vintage year in Cañon City.

  • News

    December 8, 2005

    Book Them

    Pen and stink in the Jeffco jail.

  • News

    November 24, 2005

    Checking Out of Lockdown

    Inmate suicides put the spotlight on medical care at Colorado's supermax.

  • News

    November 3, 2005

    The Price You Pay

    The cost of sending money to prisoners just went up -- way up.

  • News

    August 25, 2005

    "What You Deserve"

    A lawsuit claims brutal treatment of prisoners after last year's riot.

  • News

    May 12, 2005

    If the Shoe Fits

    Did prison officials look the other way while a guard's fetish turned violent?

  • News

    May 5, 2005

    Bringing Down the Brotherhood

    Inside the feds’ war on the country’s deadliest prison gang: 16 murders, 21 death-penalty cases, and snitches galore.

  • News

    February 17, 2005

    Starved for Attention

    How do you break a high-security hunger strike? Put a lid on it.

  • News

    January 13, 2005

    Letters to the Editor

    From the week of January 13, 2005

  • News

    January 6, 2005

    Letters to the Editor

    From the week of January 6, 2005

  • More >>