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News in Brief

WA: Bob Conklin, the former chief of Corrections for Chelan county was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of four counts of third degree child molestation and one count of indecent liberties. The former FBI agent, King County prosecutor and special forces soldier was convicted of performing "medical examinations" of the genitals and rectums of young boys. Conklin has no medical training and admitted to performing some 70 such "examinations" over the past 20 years.

MA: Several years ago DOC dog handlers requested, and received, permission to keep their DOC trained dogs at home. Three years later they sought that the DOC pay them for "overtime" for having fed, groomed and cared for the dogs.  Already paid $17 an hour the guards seek an average three to four hours overtime a day for the past three years. They also want to be paid for the time they spent driving the dogs to work. The DOC refused to pay them overtime and they filed suit in federal court. If they win the guards will soak tax payers for some $1.4 million dollars, plus attorney fees.

CA: Pelican Bay State prison, the notorious maximum security prison, was built in Trinity County at the urging of "liberal" former state senator Barry Keene and Assemblyman Hauser. Responding to complaints from rural cops that Pelican Bay prisoners released from the prison and suddenly thrust back into real life after years of cruelty and deprivation in the modem torture chamber "have made for some thrilling Greyhound rides for unsuspecting passengers when they boarded the southbound bus in Crescent City" Hauser has introduced legislation requiring that all prisoners released from Pelican Bay be transported back to the county of commitment by the DOC in armored vehicles.

WA: In early March, 1995, the Yakima County jail announced that it was going to remove all televisions from the jails prisoner housing units. Jail officials claim the measure was designed to cut costs because it supposedly costs about $10,000 a year to repair, replace and operate 30 TVs in the jail.

F L: Two prison guard brothers, Tim and Joseph Register, were target shooting outside their mother's home when Tim emptied his gun and began to playfully dry-fire his pistol at Joseph. Joseph returned his brother's fire, supposedly thinking his gun was empty. Joseph's pistol fired and instantly killed Tim. Tim was employed at Gulf Correctional Inst. And Joseph was employed at Waiton Correctional Institution.

MI: On December 26, 1994, Vitomar Hinic was shot and killed by guards at the Adrian Correctional Facility while scaling a fence and refusing orders to climb down. On January 20, 1995, Robert Rose was shot while scaling a fence at the State prison in Jackson.

Dominican Republic: Hundreds of prisoners rebelled and seized La Victoria national prison on April 10, 1995, to demand better prison conditions. One prisoner was killed and 19 injured. The prisoners complained of overcrowding and frequent beatings. The prison was built to house 500 prisoners and currently holds over 4,500. The prisoners demanded closure of the prison's dining hall and permission to receive food sent by relatives.

IL: On February 4, 1995, more than 24 guards and prisoners at the Cook County (Chicago) jail were injured during a protest against bad conditions in the maximum security section of the jail. Prisoners used homemade knives, water bottles in socks and slicked down the floors with soap in the struggle against guards. The protest began when 60 prisoners refused to return to their cells.

CA: Stacey Koon, the former Los Angeles cop who gained notoriety for savagely beating Rodney King and who was subsequently convicted has been imprisoned in a federal prison in Boron, CA.  Since being convicted Koon has raised more than $4.7 million through direct mail fund raising to pay for his legal bills and support his family. Needless to say, the "tough on crime" crowd has been suspiciously silent about Koon beating and begging his way to fame and fortune.

Chile: On April 3, 1995, 72 political prisoners in the recently built maximum security prison began an indefinite hunger strike to protest the discovery of more than 150 hidden microphones inside the prison. Their strike was also being supported by hunger-striking relatives outside the prison. Prison minister Claudio Martinez has sought a court order to force-feed the hunger-striking prisoners. A prisoner's wife said "They found microphones everywhere, including in cells, showers and rooms where prisoners meet their lawyers. Most were hidden in light fittings and plugs." Martinez claimed the microphones were installed but never used. Attorneys for the prisoners have filed suit claiming that the bugging violated the prisoner's right to counsel. This hunger strike is the latest in a series of protests against the harsh control unit prison which houses only leftist political prisoners.

TX: Maurice Andrews, a death row prisoner since 1932, was stabbed and killed by fellow death row prisoners on April 5, 1995.  Prior to being killed Andrews had succeeded in obtaining five stays of execution.

VA: Robert Brock, a state prisoner, filed suit for 55 million against himself claiming he had violated his own civil rights by getting arrested. He claimed he drank alcoholic beverages which violated his religious beliefs. He was then arrested and convicted of breaking and entering and grand larceny. His complaint, filed in federal court, stated "I want to pay myself five million dollars, but ask the state to pay it in my behalf because I can't work and am a ward of the state." Judge Rebecca Smith dismissed the suit as frivolous and noted that the claim and relief sought, though creative, were "totally ludicrous."

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