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News in Brief

Albania: On January 26, 1997, two prisoners were killed in a riot at the Bardhor jail as part of a wave of protests that swept the small Balkan nation as pyramid savings schemes collapsed. At the jail prisoners set fire to their cells and battled guards and police.

CA: On December 12, 1996, Joseph Lewis was sentenced to 26 years to life as a three strikes offender for possessing 3 ounces of marijuana at the Folsom State Prison. Lewis was already serving a life sentence for murder when prison guards found the marijuana in his pants after a visit and Lewis confessed it was his. The sentences will run consecutively.

CA: On November 18, 1996, Los Angeles county agreed to pay $30,000 to Candice Sue Penn to settle her lawsuit against the county. Penn sued after being arrested and then being mistakenly jailed as a man and forced to undress before male prisoners and deputies. The sheriff's department claimed it had trouble distinguishing between male and female prisoners. Penn's lawyer ridiculed this claim by noting that Penn was not a transsexual and is clearly a woman.

Canada: South African legislator Ahmed Kathrada was denied a tourist visa to visit Canada by the Canadian embassy in South Africa because of his "criminal record." Kathrada spent 18 years in prison on Robben Island with South African president Nelson Mandela for opposing the apartheid regime. He described the incident as humiliating, noting "we've never regarded this kind of conviction as a stigma. In fact, most of our people are proud of it." Kathrada canceled his Canadian visit.

OH: In January, 1997, Julie Dickerson, a teacher at the Southeastern Correctional Facility, was indicted on four counts of sexual battery and arrested. The charges stem from allegations that Dickerson had a sexual affair with a prisoner.

OH: On January 6, 1997, former Mansfield Correctional Institution pharmacist Daniel Zachman pleaded guilty to charges of theft in office and falsifying drug documents arising from his theft of drugs from the prison pharmacy. When hired to work at the prison Zachman was already on probation for stealing painkillers from a previous employer.

OH: On January 6, 1997, Mansfield Correctional Institution guard Howard Eubanks pleaded no contest to two charges of aggravated trafficking for selling crack cocaine in a school zone. This is Eubanks' second felony drug conviction. In 1994 he was convicted of drug abuse charges and sentenced to probation. Fired from his job as a prison guard, his union appealed and Eubanks was rehired. The prison fired Eubanks again after his latest arrest and said it would not rehire him.

OR: State supreme court justice Edward Fadeley was accused on January 13, 1997, of sexually harassing his law clerks, administrative assistants and veterinarian. According to law clerk Lana Traynor, Fadeley would shout obscenities at her; disparage Catholics and Mexicans and demand sexual favors. Several employees testified against Fadeley at a Judicial Fitness and Disability Commission hearing. One former assistant had already received $62,500 to settle her suit that Fadeley had given her a poor performance evaluation after she ended their sexual relationship. Fadeley said the allegations, dating back to 1989 when he was first elected to the supreme court, are too old to be credible.

PA: On January 2, 1997, Lawrence Baker, a prisoner at the Allegheny County Prison, was electrocuted when he sat on a stainless steel toilet in his cell while wearing a set of homemade headphones. Prison officials could not explain how the electrocution occurred but state police blamed it on bad wiring in the headphones.

PA: On January 5, 1997, six prisoners at the Pittsburgh state prison tunneled their way to freedom by digging a 70 foot tunnel under the prison wall to a prison warehouse outside the perimeter. News reports state that the escapees used prison blueprints, a jackhammer, power saw, power drill, two way radios and lighted hard hats in their digging project. All of the escapees were recaptured without incident three weeks later in Houston, Texas.

Russia: On December 27, 1996, a Siberian court in Barnaul sentenced Andrei Maslich to death for killing and eating his cellmate. At the time of that murder Maslich was already awaiting execution for having killed and eaten yet another prisoner. Prison psychiatrists have found Maslich fit to be shot, claiming he is feigning insanity to avoid the death penalty.

TX: On December 3, 1996, Harris county (Houston) deputy prosecutor Kristen Pain was arrested by the FBI on drug charges and charged with cocaine possession. Police recovered 9.8 grams of cocaine from Pain when they arrested her at an apartment equipped with FBI surveillance cameras.

TX: The state bar of Texas is seeking disbarment of state representative Senforia Thompson (D-Houston) after she accepted $21,200 to represent the son of Abelardo Campos, who is serving time on federal drug charges. Thompson told Campos that she would use her influence as a legislator to get his son paroled, which she did not do. She also did not report the payment to the IRS as required by law. Thompson denied any impropriety and vowed to fight the disbarment proceedings.

VA: Eight marines employed as guards at the Quantico Marine Corps base brig were charged with drug use and arrested on December 28, 1996. The investigation began when a guard enrolled in a drug treatment program and then began accusing his co-workers of drug use.

WA: In January, 1997, Thomas Nielsen, the former president of Edmonds Community College (ECC) was sentenced to two years in prison and $131,048 in fines for accepting bribes from Asian businessmen in setting up an ECC campus in Japan. ECC is also the community college that the WA DOC contracts with for the provision of educational services at the Washington State Reformatory and Twin Rivers Correction Center in Monroe.

WA: On February 5, 1997, Washington DOC guard Cindy Boskofsky, 30, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment after being convicted of first degree murder in the shooting death of her former roommate, DOC guard Teresa Shannon. Both Shannon and Boskofsky were employed at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton when Boskofsky shot Shannon through the head as the latter returned home from the prison. Shannon had previously obtained a restraining order against Boskofsky. DOC officials stated that Boskofsky will serve her sentence out of state because she had also worked at the women's prison in Purdy.

WA: On November 30, 1996, Seattle municipal court judge Stephen Schaefer was arrested while shoplifting three neckties worth $184 and a bottle of hair gel worth $15 from Nordstrom's department store in Seattle. Schaefer was charged with third degree theft and took a leave from the bench. Schaefer is paid $81,300 a year as a judge.

WA: The city of Ephrata has erected a year round tent jail housing 60 prisoners to ease overcrowding in the city jail. The military surplus tents are heated and waterproof.

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