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News in Brief

News in Brief:

Arkansas: On August 23, 2001, Joseph Davis, 39, and Bobby Green, 51, prisoners at a state prison in Varner feigned illness and jumped a guard. The men then stole the guard's truck and kidnapped an unidentified off duty guard and his daughter. The hostages were released unharmed. Davis was recaptured two hours after the escape.

Arkansas: On August 23, 2001, Lafayette County Jail guard George Turner, 64, was stabbed to death in his home. Barry Parrish, 37, escaped from the Lafayette Jail that day and has been recaptured and charged with escape and capital murder in Turner's death.

Colorado: On August 1, 2001, Michael Cook, 31, a former guard at the Corrections Corporation of America operated prison in Walsenberg, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for deliberately dropping a handcuffed prisoner face down onto the floor.

Colombia: On July 3, 2001, a fight between imprisoned guerrillas and gang members at the Modelo prison in Bogota left 10 prisoners dead. The prisoners fought with guns and fragmentation grenades. Apparently the gang members refused to cooperate with a guerrilla escape plan.

France: On October 13, 2001, a helicopter hijacked at gunpoint landed in the yard of the AixLuynes prison in the Boches du Rhone region and picked up prisoners Pascal Paillet, 38, and Frederic Impocco, 31. The pilot and copilot were freed after landing the helicopter near Marseille, where the prisoners and hijackers fled in a waiting car.

Indiana: On August 10, 2001, Raul Benevides, 34, a prisoner at the Westville Correctional Facility, was killed during a fight with another prisoner.

Indiana: On August 20, 2001, Jerry Marr, the Sheriff of Howard County, was sentenced to 75 days of home detention after pleading guilty to one count of official misconduct for stealing $1,400 from a jail commissary account and spending it to remodel the house he shares with his girlfriend. Presumably the home detention sentence will let him better appreciate the remodeling job or work on it some more. Marr resigned as County Sheriff in June, after he was indicted. He is barred from holding elected office for ten years.

Indiana: On July 9, 2001, Larry Woods, Jr. escaped from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City by hiding in a garbage truck that left the prison. Woods was serving time for murder. Two guards were demoted for dereliction of duty in connection with Woods' escape.

Kentucky: In August, 2001, Robert McCravy, a prisoner at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange, asked governor Patton to commute the 70 year sentence he is serving for killing three women in a car wreck. McCravy intervened to rescue a female prison guard who had been dragged into the cell of a convicted rapist and was pinned to the bunk, apparently about to be sexually assaulted. McCravy prevented the assault from proceeding.

Kentucky: On June 14, 2001, Shawn Malone, 22, and Clint Regan, 33, were arrested in Tennessee and charged with escape and murder. The men escaped from a prison work crew while cleaning up after a tornado. They are accused of killing David Shaffer, 44, whose body was found two miles from the escape. Malone and Regan were arrested trying to sell Shaffer's car.

Maine: The first lawsuit in the state to be filed against the maker of OxyContin, a powerful painkiller, was filed by prison guard William Bushey who claims he became addicted to the drug after it was prescribed for back pain. Bushey is now undergoing methadone treatment for his addiction.

Mexico: On August 1, 2001, one prisoner took four guards hostage at the Tamazula Jail and demanded that prison officials provide 12 prisoners with a helicopter and loaded assault rifles. When officials failed to meet the demands, prisoner Jose Luis Mancilla, shot and killed two guards and then committed suicide. Another unidentified prisoner also died of gunshot wounds. Riot police stormed the prison wing where the three hour stand off occurred and regained control.

Mississippi: On September 15, 2001, Christopher Thomas and Kenneth Moody escaped from the Perry County Jail in New Augusta by cutting their way into an air conditioning vent and climbing up to the jail roof. Moody was arrested five days later when local police spotted him driving a car in town. On September 24, 2001, police arrested Thomas without incident at a Walmart in Meridian after receiving an informant's tip.

Nepal: On March 31, 2001, six women prisoners of war escaped from a prison in Gorkha. The prisoners, Uma Bhujel, Kamala Naharki, Engela B.K., Sanju Aryal, Meena Marhatta and Rita B.K., escaped by digging a 45 foot tunnel out of the heavily fortified prison using an iron rod and kitchen utensils. The women had been imprisoned for the past two years for armed actions undertaken by the Communist Party of Nepal (ML) which has been waging a people's war against the Nepalese government.

New York: On August 23, 2001, Thomas Coughlin, 63, the director of the New York Department of Correctional Services between 1979 and 1994, died from complications after heart bypass surgery.

New York: On September 13, 2001, an unidentified city jail guard was arrested and charged with stealing watches from the wreckage of the swank Torneau watch store in the World Trade Center ruins. The guard was posing as a policeman aiding in the salvage effort while looting the remains.

New York: On October 1, 2001, a car driven by a drunken Sean Duffy crashed into another car and killed the driver. Duffy was off duty from his job as a New York City Jail guard.

Russia: In contrast to Boris Yeltsin's regime which freed 60,000 prisoners over ten years through pardons and clemencies, president Vladimir Putin released only nine prisoners between September, 2000, and June, 2001. In that time period, the national clemency commission recommended 2,565 pardons. Human rights activists claim that Putin's law enforcement background (he was a KGB officer during the Soviet era) makes him hostile to human rights. In most European countries between 5_30 per cent of prisoners are pardoned each year. Of course, compared to U.S. presidents, Putin is generous.

Texas: In July, 2001, an outbreak of head lice infested some 300 women prisoners at the Woodman State Jail in Gatesville.

Texas: On August 17, 2001, three prisoners at the Conally Prison in Kenedy attempted to escape by breaking into the crawl space of the prison kitchen. They were detected and captured by a kitchen supervisor. The prisoners were Roy Garcia, 26, John Pina, 32, and Armando Leza, 24. Prison officials said the men would be charged administratively with attempted escape. The Conally Prison is notorious as the site of the 2000 prison break by the "Conally Seven".

Texas: On July 14, 2001, Austin Police recaptured Brian Lee Moore, 30, at a motel eight miles from the Travis County Jail in Austin from which he had escaped on June 1, 2001. Moore evaded capture for 44 days until an informant told police of his whereabouts. Moore surrendered to a SWAT team when police telephoned him at the motel and told him he was surrounded. Police claim that Moore escaped from the jail by bribing Christopher Troutman, 32, a jail guard, to help him walk out of the jail. Troutman is awaiting trial on charges of helping Moore escape and maintains his innocence.

Texas: On September 12, 2001, Harold Laird, 26, escaped from a state prison in Beaumont by breaking through a light fixture, getting into a utility area, reaching the prison roof, jumping to the ground below a guard tower and climbing a razor wire fence to freedom. A local resident later reported the theft of his pick-up truck which contained a .22 caliber rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. Laird was serving a life sentence for killing a man in 1992. News reports did not indicate if he escaped from the control unit section of the prison or the population section.

Texas: The Internet website,, features profiles of prisoners on death row in state and federal prisons. It allows players to predict the odds that a prisoner will beat the death penalty. Players win points and prizes by predicting the correct outcome for a given prisoner: a commutation, clemency, a stay or death on the appointed day. One player recently won a T-shirt for correctly guessing Timothy McVeigh's last meal. Both prison officials and death penalty opponents denounce the site as distasteful and repugnant. Greg, the website operator, claims he neither supports nor opposes the death penalty. "The issue is whether its [the death penalty] applied in a fair and impartial manner. Outrage should be about whether innocent people are killed, not about our website."

Venezuela: On August 14, 2001, Francisco Gonzalez, warden of the Sabaneta Jail in the city of Maracaibo, shot and killed himself after two Colombian drug traffickers escaped from the jail during visiting hours.

Washington: On September 13, 2001, Washington Corrections Center librarian Flora Pallechio, 49, was charged in Mason County Superior Court with custodial sexual misconduct. On June 14, 2001, three guards at the Shelton prison claim they found Pallechio having sex with Lawrie Campbell, a convicted rapist who works in the library, in a supply closet. Pallechio is on a leave of absence while the case is pending. Campbell is fully cooperating with police and reported he had sex with Pallechio five or six times over the past three years. After a spate of incidents where male guards raped female prisoners, in 1999 Washington criminalized sexual contact between staff and prisoners. Before Pallechio the only other person charged under this law was Monica Sukert, a sergeant at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center who was convicted of having sex with a male prisoner at the facility.

Washington: William Sheehan, a former prisoner, runs the website that lists the names, home address and other personal information of employees for various Washington police agencies, including the Department of Corrections. In May 2001, the Kirkland Police Department filed suit to shut down the website. Seattle judge Robert Alsdorf refused, holding that the site is constitutionally protected free speech. Sheehan claims he has been a victim of police harassment and believes police should be held accountable.

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