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News in Brief

AZ: On January 30, 1999, prisoners Jeffrey Camper and John Lofton escaped from the state prison in Douglas by cutting through two perimeter fences with wirecutters from the prison's yard. Both men were serving life sentences for murder. They were recaptured five hours later by police and Border Patrol agents.

Columbia: On June 25, 1999, 150 Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Columbia (FARC) guerrillas attacked the federal prison in Neiva with explosives and automatic weapons, blasting holes in the prison's walls. One prisoner was killed, one guard wounded and at least 15 FARC prisoners freed in the attack.

Columbia: On June 29, 1999, 290 Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Columbia (FARC) guerrillas attacked a prison in Palmira, blasted a hole in a prison wall and freed seven jailed FARC members.

FL: On December 10, 1998, Bennie Hugh Frazier, the chief of U.S. district court pretrial services in Miami, was arrested after buying a gram of cocaine from a street drug dealer. Frazier's duties included supervising an office of 50 pretrial service officers who recommend bail amounts for all defendants accused of federal crimes in South Florida.

FL: On November 30, 1998, Brevard Correctional Institution Work Center prisoners Robert Holt and Gregory Boswell broke into the evidence room of the Florida Highway Patrol station in Cocoa. They had been doing landscaping at the station. The enterprising landscapers made off with one pound of marijuana and a pound of cocaine. The theft was discovered after Boswell was hospitalized from a cocaine overdose that evening and state police found muddy footprints in the evidence room. None of the drugs were recovered even though guards searched the prison.

France: On June 26, 1999, several prisoners escaped from the Baumettes prison near Marseille when a helicopter swooped into the prison's yard dangling ropes and took off with prisoners hanging from the ropes. Two of the escapees were wounded when guards opened fire on the helicopter. Both of the wounded prisoners and another one were recaptured that same day.

Honduras: 2,600 rioting prisoners held the National Penitentiary in Tegucigalpa for nearly a month. By the time police regained control of the prison on December 21, 1998, 15 prisoners had died. This included one who was decapitated, one who was castrated and two who had their limbs chopped off with machetes. The prisoners had rioted over bad conditions and overcrowding. The prison was built in 1996 to ending crowding and riots. Police reported confiscating 9,000 weapons, including 6,000 machetes and 80 pistols. Police also found a marijuana plantation growing and four tunnels.

IA: On January 11, 1999, Jose Lores-Guerra, 41, escaped from the Fayette County jail in West Union by using a toothpick to pick the lock of his cell door and then jumping out of a window. Lores-Guerra was wearing only socks and sandals on his feet when he escaped. He walked more than three miles in sub zero wind chills and hid in a barn for almost two days. After he was recaptured both of his legs were amputated at mid calf due to severe frostbite. Lores-Garcia was awaiting trial on burglary charges.

LA: In May, 1999, two pistols were found hidden in different locations at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. A .22 caliber pistol was found in a food waste barrel next to the prison's administrative offices and the prison's lockdown/death row unit. A .357 magnum revolver was found in a can under the Ash Dormitory in the main prison.

MA: On March 4, 1999, Taunton police captain Richard Pimental was sentenced to two years of probation after being convicted of stealing a gun from the police department. Pimental was known as "captain good" on the crime stoppers show he hosted on cable TV. A show where he referred to criminals as "toilet licking maggots."

Mexico: On May 4, 1999, 77 prisoners escaped from a prison in San Cristobal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas. The jailbreak started as a protest against plans to transfer eight prisoners to different prisons. The prisoners overpowered guards, seized the prison armory and took 23 rifles and shotguns. In a brief shootout, one prisoner was killed and one wounded. The shooting ended when two prison secretaries were taken hostage. The prison had reopened in 1998, after being destroyed by the Zapatista Liberation Army in 1994 when they seized the prison and freed its 180 prisoners.

MI: Janie Kushniruk, a registered nurse employed by Correctional Medical Services (CMS) at the Macomb county jail has sued CMS. She claims she was suspended when she refused to alter her medical notes concerning the December 5, 1998, death of prisoner Larry Golson. CMS denies the allegations.

NC: On June 28, 1999, three prisoners were shot while attempting to escape from the Odom Correctional Institute in Jackson. Sixteen maximum security prisoners were on a workcrew outside the prison pulling weeds when three attempted to run away. Bem Kayin Holloway was shot and killed by guards. Wesley Turner and Bennie Culver Joyner were both seriously wounded. All three men were serving life sentences for murder.

NE: In February, 1999, the Nebraska State Patrol discovered that Steve Ashley, the computer programmer working on the state's sex offender registry was himself a convicted, unregistered sex offender. Ashley quit his state patrol job and was arrested in April for failing to notify police that he was a sex offender.

NH: On January 1, 2000, New Hampshire will ban smoking in all of its prisons.

Puerto Rico: On February 23, 1999, prisoners at the Bayamon Juvenile Detention Center, operated by Correctional Services Corporation, a private prison company, rioted and took seven employees hostage for 14 hours. Approximately 50 detainees took control of four buildings, setting fires and destroying security cameras. At least 10 juveniles and seven employees were injured. The rebellion ended when CSC agreed to discuss their complaints.

SC: Effective April 6, 1999, convicted sex offenders in South Carolina who are required to submit DNA samples must pay a nonwaivable $250 "processing fee" for the privilege of doing so.

TN: In April, 1999, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility guards Tyler Boger, Donald Campbell and Douglas Collins and sergeant David Park6r, were fired for beating prisoner Richard Hoskins on two occasions in February, 1999. The beatings occurred in the prison's Secured Housing Unit.

TX: On April 2, 1999, Jeff Jeffcoat, warden of the Gist State jail, resigned after being arrested and charged with accepting a $2,000 bribe from guard Brian Wilson in exchange for helping Wilson cheat on a test and get promoted.

TX: On June 28, 1999, prisoner Clifford Jones escaped from the Estelle High Security Unit in Huntsville. Jones was recaptured two days later in a swampy woodland near the prison.

TX: The Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice now houses a national Security Threat Group/Gang Intelligence Clearinghouse. The database includes raw data and information on prison and street "gangs" from prison and police agencies around the country. The information is freely dispersed among government agencies.

UT: On November 24, 1998, former Utah State Prison guard Phyllis Greko Morgan was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, a $250 fine and mental health counseling after pleading guilty to one felony count of possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Morgan was arrested after accepting a package of cocaine and marijuana she had agreed to deliver to a prisoner at Draper.

UT: On November 9, 1998, DOC guard Matthew Hogue was charged with raping his unconscious girlfriend. Hogue was charged with rape, object rape and forcible sexual abuse. The crime was discovered when a film processing company called police to report that photos Hogue was developing showed an unconscious, naked woman in sexually explicit poses.

WA: In April, 1999, Adams county deputy prosecutor Dennis Scott was charged with conspiracy to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine. He was fired shortly after being arrested.

WA: On July 2, 1999, Robert "Shane" Green escaped from the Washington State Reformatory by hiding in a delivery van. Greene was employed by Compuchair, a privately owned company that makes office furniture using prisoner labor. The van was picking up furniture from Compuchair when Greene hid in the vehicle; he jumped out at the van's next stop in Monroe. Greene was recaptured five hours later by a police canine unit. Greene was serving a 70 year sentence for shooting a cop.

WA: On June 7, 1999, approximately 97% of the 750 prisoners at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe boycotted the evening meal. Prisoners were protesting the swill like quality of food served in ever diminishing portions.

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