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News in Brief

Seychelles : This island nation in the Indian ocean has announced that for $10 million it will provide citizenship and a guarantee that persons taking advantage of this offer won't be extradited to any other country on criminal charges. The law states that $10 million buys citizenship and "immunity from prosecution for all criminal proceedings whatsoever." The only exception is violence and drug trafficking within the Seychelles. So far at least four people have come forward to take advantage of this offer.

Chile : On November 30, 1995, a group of 20 prisoners took 5 guards hostage after an escape attempt failed. The prisoners later released 2 of the guards who were suffering from gunshot wounds and shock. The prisoners complained of prison conditions and had four firearms.

WA : In September, 1995, George "Black" Johnson, the recently retired parole board member, won $100,000 in the state's Kino lottery.

MI : The state appeals court upheld the demotion of Travis Jones, a former warden at the Huron Valley Men's Facility, who lost a master key to almost all the prison's locks. Jones was demoted after breaking a directive requiring staff to promptly report any unusual incident which might attract media attention. Jones claimed he awoke, nude, at the home of a female prison guard and discovered his clothes, wallet and keys missing. Jones told no one the keys were lost for four days and did not report the loss to his immediate superiors for two weeks. Jones was suspended for 3 months without pay and demoted one civil service grade.

Columbia : On January 13, 1996, Marta Elena Sanchez, warden of the maximum security Palmira prison on the outskirts of Cali, was killed when four unknown attackers opened fire on her car. No motive was given for the attack.

OH : On November 11, 1995, Marion Correctional Institution guard Kevin Hairston was arrested for buying an ounce of crack from an undercover cop. Another Marion guard, Wayne Stevens, was also indicted for drug trafficking. Both guards are accused of smuggling drugs into the prison for sale to prisoners.

MS : On January 10, 1996, two burglars in the Perry County jail escaped because a new rear door in the jail had been hung upside down, so the lock didn't work. The enterprising prisoners escaped by prying the door open with a light fixture.

IL : Peter Saunders, an Illinois state prisoner, was indicted in November, 1995, for sending a mail bomb to Chicago federal judge Blanche Manning. The bomb was disarmed by police after being discovered by a courthouse x-ray scanner.

OH : Becky Mozena went for a job interview at the Belmont Correctional Institution. A routine search disclosed a vial of cocaine in her purse. She pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges. She had applied for a secretarial job.

CA : On January 17, 1996, about 1,800 black and Hispanic prisoners battled each other with broomsticks, knives and improvised weapons in a riot at the Los Angeles county jail in Saugus. 143 prisoners were injured as were several deputies. The corporate media described racial tension as the cause of the conflict. This jail, like most others, is massively overcrowded, particularly with "Three Strikes" defendants awaiting trial.

WA : On November 8, 1995, an unnamed woman was arrested attempting to smuggle three grams of pot and 30 morphine sulfate tablets to her boyfriend at the McNeil Island prison. The woman, unidentified in newspaper reports, had been employed as a pharmacy technician at the prison earlier in the year. Prison investigators confronted the woman when she arrived at the prison, having been tipped off that she was smuggling drugs.

CA : Maliu Mafua escaped from the San Mateo County jail on January 6, 1996. He was caught the next day when he dialed 911 and hung up after realizing he had the wrong number. Police policy required a check on emergency call hang ups. When police arrived Mafua was still at the phone wearing a shirt imprinted "Property of San Mateo County Honor Camp."

CA : Richard Oliver shot his testicles off while fleeing police when a sawed off shotgun he had tucked in his pants discharged while he climbed over a storage facility fence. Oliver escaped from a hospital emergency room, minus testicles, before receiving treatment. Police speculated he escaped because he had a lengthy criminal history and faced a "Three Strike" sentence if convicted.

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