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News in Brief

AZ: On October 20, 1996, six Alaska prisoners at the Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence, a private prison operated by Corrections Corporation of America, escaped by cutting through three wire fences. Four prisoners were recaptured shortly afterwards and the warden insisted the prison was secure. Leslie Simpson and Edward martin remain at large as we go to press.

Bangladesh: On December 11, 1996, 90 prisoners were freed under an amnesty celebrating the country's 25th anniversary. Angry at remaining locked up, prisoners in the Jessore and Tangail jails rioted and seized the jails. The prisoners demanded freedom for some and better treatment and food for the remainder.

CA: In November, 1996, a Santa Ana jury found Jose Bernal and Shawn Choate had been beaten with a pipe, brick and board, then kicked by sheriff deputies Brian Scanlan and Kurt Bourne. The jury awarded them $6,000 in damages. Superior court judge David Brickener, referring to the plaintiffs as "notorious local hooligans" then ordered them to pay $241,000 in attorney fees for the deputies. The plaintiffs' attorney, Thomas Beck, said his clients wouldn't pay and it was a travesty. 'It was bad enough that they had to get beat up and hurt. How do I explain to my clients what happened, that they have to pay the money even though they won." Beck said he would appeal.

CA: On November 25, 1996, a state appeals court unanimously upheld a jury award of $1.3 million to former San Quentin prison guard Lisa Pulido who proved she had been sexually harassed by her supervisor, George Mosqueda. Pulido proved that Mosqueda had called her a "ghetto bitch," commented on her breast size, pressured her for sex and tried to kiss her. The CDC later tried to cover up the harassment and punish Pulido for reporting it. In addition to the damage award Pulido received $582,000 in attorney fees.

CA: Sandra Carey, a DOC personnel manager, was charged in October, 1996, with stealing $500,000 in retirement funds from state employees in 1985-86 when she worked for the Dept. of Personnel Administration. Carey would set up bank accounts and then funnel retirement funds and benefits belonging to state employees into the account. The theft came to light when the IRS attempted to collect taxes on the stolen funds and the account owner had no knowledge of the money.

D.C.: On November 8, 1996, supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had her purse snatched while out walking with her husband and daughter. The purse snatcher was not caught.

FL: In November, 1996, Glades county jail guard David King was fired and charged with official misconduct for having sex with jail prisoner Apryl Ange. In exchange for sex King gave Ange special treatment, including Burger King lunches, magazines and a furlough.

FL: Thomas McCarthy, owner of Police Equipment Suppliers, a Lady Lake company that sold police equipment to prisons and police agencies, pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing counterfeit postage. McCarthy used a color photocopier to make more than 14,000 counterfeit stamps which he then used to mail letters and catalogs to his many law enforcement customers.

Mexico: On October 21, 1996, hundreds of prisoners at the Barrientos jail in Mexico City rioted, seized two guards as hostages and burned and smashed the jail. The rebelling prisoners demanded better living conditions and protested torture and corruption by jail staff. Police later reported that five policemen and twenty prisoners were injured when police stormed the jail, which was largely destroyed.

MO: The state has refused to reimburse 20 employees at the Central Missouri Correctional Center whose cars suffered deep scratches on the hoods and roofs when sniffed by drug dogs at the prison. Prison officials at first claimed the dogs were released as part of a training program but later acknowledged it was part of a drug investigation.

OH: In July, 1996, Thurman Green was involved in a fatal traffic accident. In the course of investigating the incident prosecutors discovered that Green had been released from prison several years before he should have because someone had placed forged court papers in his prison file reducing the charges he had been convicted of. State police were investigating.

OH: On October 29, 1996, Tonja White, a guard at the London Correctional Institute was caught bringing a fixed blade knife into the prison. On December 11, 1996, she was charged in court with falsification stemming from the false and misleading statements she made about the incident to state police.

Philippines: On October 10, 1996, a fight between rival gangs in the Manila city jail left two prisoners dead. The fighting prisoners were armed with knives and arrows, no cause was given for the fight.

South Africa: In December, 1996, president Nelson Mandela officiated at a ceremony which marked the closing of the prison on Robben Island and its conversion into a museum. Under the apartheid regime the Island became notorious as a brutal dungeon housing thousands of political prisoners opposed to apartheid, including Mandela who spent 18 years imprisoned on the island.

TX: On December 13, 1996, Steven Russell, serving a 45 year sentence for theft and escape, colored his white prison uniform with a green felt tip marker to make it look like hospital scrubs and walked out of the Huntsville prison. Russell was mentioned in last month's NIB as the Houston jail detainee who called court clerks posing as a judge to have his bail reduced, which he promptly posted then jumped. As we go to press Russell remains free.

TX: On November 22, 1996, Roy Rios, a former case manager at the Eden Detention Center, a private prison, was indicted in federal court and charged with providing food, drugs and liquor to federal prisoners in exchange for money. The incidents were alleged to have occurred between May 20 and July 24, 1996.

WA: Effective January 1, 1997, Andrea Brynum will be the warden of the Stafford Creek Correction center, a 2,000 bed minimum, medium and maximum security prison which is currently under construction. Brynum was previously assistant director in the division of prisons.

WA: Island County district court judge Merle Wilcox resigned from the bench and agreed never to serve in a judicial position. The resignation ended Wilcox's dispute with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct amidst claims that Wilcox beat his wife and molested his three stepdaughters.

WA: On July 16, 1996, John Lamb, a prisoner at the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) at Walla Walla attempted to escape by ramming a truck through a fence. Lamb pulled a knife on Michael Roy as the latter was delivering supplies for Correctional Industries and demanded the truck keys. Lamb then rammed the truck into a fence, the fence held and rendered the truck inoperable. The prison closed its industries operation while the fence was repaired and the incident investigated. WSP Spokeswoman Mary Christiansen said this was the first serious escape attempt at the prison.

WI: In October, 1996, the state legislature budgeted $3.8 million to send 700 prisoners to county jails in Texas to ease overcrowding in Wisconsin prisons.

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