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News in Brief

Alaska: The state of Alaska has launched its first drive to recruit prison guards since 1988 to fill 40 guard positions when it opens a state jail in Anchorage. Applicants must be 21 years old, no experience is required. Starting pay is $33,300 a year, one of the highest in the nation. Details at

California: In May 2001, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts based in Washington D.C. issued a report stating that half of the federal court system's Internet use by employees was to download music, pornography and movies during working hours. Apparently court employees were downloading movies even as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was ruling that such downloads violated federal copyright law. The Ninth Circuit responded by shutting down the court system's internet monitoring system, believing that it violates employees' right to privacy, including that of judges, by not telling them beforehand that their internet use is being monitored. The monitoring system was later turned back on.

California: On November 5, 2001, Leslie Church, 27, a prisoner at the Vista jail in Escondido, escaped on crutches from a local hospital while recovering from leg surgery. Church escaped while he was supposed to be showering and is believed to have stolen an SUV. He was in jail awaiting trial on vehicle theft charges.

California: On December 20, 2001, 300 to 400 prisoners at the maximum security prison in Lancaster rioted, fighting and stabbing each other. Hundreds of guards used pepper spray, wood bullets and tear gas for 15 minutes to subdue the rioters. Five prisoners were seriously injured with deep puncture wounds and 12 others were treated for minor injuries. No guards or staff were injured. Prison officials cited no reason or cause for the incident.

Connecticut: On November 13, 2001, Barbara Crump, 49, pleaded guilty in Vernon Superior Court to passing a heroin filed balloon to her husband, Mark Crump, when she kissed him during a visit at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers. When arrested, Barbara told police her husband needed money or drugs to pay a debt. Barbara was sentenced to two years probation for unauthorized conveyance of a controlled substance in a correctional institution. Mark was convicted of possessing narcotics and received a one year sentence in prison.

Florida: In December 2001, Broward county circuit judge Joyce Julian, 44, checked into an alcohol rehabilitation program. On December 1, 2001, Julian was charged with disorderly intoxication stemming from her arrest while attending a Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. Security guards found her lying on the floor of the convention hotel, intoxicated and wearing only a shirt. Police arested Julian when she became abusive and belligerent.

Illinois: On December 3, 2001, Cook county circuit judge Oliver Spurlock was removed from the bench by the Illinois Courts Commission. The Commission found that Spurlock had made sexually suggestive remarks to female prosecutors, kissed two of them and was using his chambers to have sex in. The commission said: "His conduct was offensive to those individuals and an embarrassment to the robe."

Kentucky: On December 19, 2001, seven prison guards at the Roederer Correctional Complex in La Grange were charged with first degree official misconduct, a misdemeanor, for having sex with two female prisoners in a boot camp program. The indicted guards are Steven Boots, 30; Clifford Elliott, 34; Greg Price, 30; Jeffrey Clark, 37; Shawn Cooper, 26; John Fry, 33; and Bobby SIngletary.

Nebraska: On February 4, 2002, the state Department of Corrections banned all tobacco products in all of its facilities and grounds. The DOC had been successfully sued several times by non-smoking prisoners exposed to second hand tobacco smoke.

Ohio: On November 8, 2001, Thomas Taylor III, 34, a guard at a privately operated juvenile boot camp in rural Fairfield county was charged with two felony counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Police claim Taylor had sex with a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old girl who were attending the JUMP (JUveniles United Making Progress) boot camp. The boot camp was later closed after repeated complaints of child endangerment.

Oregon: On December 24, 2001, Leighton Bates, 41, escaped from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem by shrink-wrapping himself in plastic and hiding in a delivery truck. Once out of the prison, Bates entered an apartment complex where he took a woman and her teenage son hostage for a day and raped the woman. Bates was arrested on December 26, 2001, when a prison worker spotted him walking along a major street and alerted police. Bates had been imprisoned for rape, robbery and kidnapping and had an early release date of 2037.

Texas: In August 7, 2001, Juan Maldonado Hernandez and Miguel MartinezLopez were convicted in federal court of assaulting a prison guard, Tommy Jackson, during a riot on March 14, 2001, at the Eden Detention Facility. The EDF is a privately owned and operated prison that contracts to house federal prisoners.

Texas: On September 6, 2001, Gerald Galloway, 28, a former guard at the United States Penitentiary in Beaumont, was sentenced to 122 years in prison for smuggling cocaine and heroin into the prison. Galloway had been a BOP guard since 1997.

Utah: In November 2001, Utah state prisoner Rory Dean, 42, filed suit against state prison officials claiming they failed to fulfill promises to reduce his sentence after he became an informant for them. Officials claim they already knew the information Dean gave them and denied any type of early release deal. Dean claims prison officials told prisoners he was a snitch and he was later attacked by another prisoner.

Wisconsin: Fond du Lac prison guard Donald Gorske, 47, entered the Guinness Book of World Records by eating at least one Big Mac hamburger a day since he was 19, a total of more than 18,000 hamburgers.

Wisconsin: In December 2001, Jamyi Witch, a Wiccan, became the prison chaplain at the Waupun Correctional Institution. Witch is believed to be the first Wiccan chaplain in Wisconsin history and one of only a few nationally. Republican legislator Mike Huebsch, said he would introduce legislation to eliminate funding for Witch's position. "There isn't one study that I'm aware of that shows that witches have reformed any prisoners," said Huebsch. The DOC is standing behind Witch, noting that she was the most qualified of ten applicants for the job, which pays $32,000 a year.

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