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News in Brief

News in Brief:

Alaska: On August 4, 2004, Charles Rubin, 41, the manager of the Cordova Center, a half way house in Anchorage which is operated by Cornell Corrections, a private, for profit prison company, was arrested in charges that he lured a 23 year old female prisoner into his office at the Center and then coerced her into having sex with him. Rubin was fired by Cornell shortly after the assault was reported.

Alaska: On September 26, 2004, an MD-82 transporting 112 Alaska state prisoners to a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) operated prison in Arizona aborted its take off when the plane lost power and veered off the runway at the Anchorage airport due to engine damage. On September 27, 2004, a Boeing 727 transporting the same group of prisoners to Arizona aborted its flight to Arizona when, at 20,000 feet, the crew realized the windshield of the plane was cracked. Both planes are owned and operated by the Department of Justice and the U.S. marshals service which the Alaska DOC hires to transport its prisoners. Alaska prison officials said it was a "little odd" to have these problems on consecutive days but expressed full confidence in the federal government's ability to safely operate prisoner transports.

Arizona: On September 30, 2004, John Treadwell, 64, a guard employed by the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections at the Adobe Mountain Juvenile Correctional Facility was arrested on aggravated assault charges for hazing a juvenile prisoner. Prosecutors claim that Treadwell and two juvenile prisoners held down a third prisoner and struck him across the bare buttocks with a broom handle. The arrest came weeks after the Department settled a lawsuit with the federal government over abuses and shortcomings within the system.

California: On August 10, 2004, Thomas Powell, 60, an immigration hearing officer with the Immigration and Naturalization Service was convicted by a federal jury on charges that he demanded sex and money from two Chinese women seeking political asylum in the United States.

California: On August 26, 2004, Gabriel Gonzalez, 36, a Los Angeles county sheriff's deputy, was charged in federal court with forcing three female prisoners in his custody to have sex with him and also fondling the breasts of another prisoner.

California: On August 4, 2004, four Norteño prison gang members were sentenced to eight and nine year terms in prison by a Yolo county court for beating a prison informant who had testified in front of a grand jury that charged several gang members with homicide in which the state is seeking the death penalty. The informant was not named in news reports. The defendants convicted of intimidating a witness who were sentenced are: Arthur Bonton, 24, Carlos Albiso, 21, Jon Davis, 22 and Jose Cruz Mangana, 32. The beating occurred in the recreation yard of the Yolo county jail.

California: On August 8, 2004, two children at the Trinity-Whitewater Facility, a 120 bed juvenile prison in Cabazon, were arrested for throwing rocks at prison guards during an uprising that stemmed from a two hour power outage. No one was injured during the incident and facility officials claim to have no knowledge why the children were throwing rocks.

California: On September 30, 2004, Huey Shepard, 68, a former Los Angeles county superior court judge and attorney was charged with stealing $176,000 from clients he represented in personal injury, probate and conservatorship cases. Shepard was a judge from 1965 through 1981.

Florida: On July 30, 2004, federal prosecutors indicted 19 prisoners at the federal prison complex in Coleman on charges they were smuggling and selling drugs inside the prison. FBI agents seized 377 grams of marijuana and 36 grams of heroin in the course of the investigation, which they claim is worth $144,000. Charles West, 36, a cook at the prison was recently sentenced to 15 months in prison for smuggling drugs into the facility.

Florida: On September 16, 2004, James and Mary Marshall, prison sergeants at the Calhoun Correctional Institution were killed by a tornado resulting from Hurricane Ivan. The tornado destroyed their home as the two were preparing to go to work at the prison. James had been a Florida DOC employee for 15 years, Mary for 12.

Indiana: In July, 2004, Indianapolis police arrested Richard Brown, a man serving a sentence of home detention for criminal confinement, on charges that he would call people pretending to be from a radio station and offering them $50,000 if they would come to his home and undress for him

Kentucky: In April, 2004, officials at the Daviess County Detention claim, Melissa Haycraft, 25, a prisoner at the jail, got pregnant after crawling through a plumbing repair duct and meeting with John Benson, 24, another prisoner, in the evening hours of January, 2004. Haycraft's cellmates promptly informed jail officials of the activities and Haycraft and Benson were infracted and duly punished. Haycraft is serving a five year sentence for drug possession. Benson was in jail for DUI charges and later went on to shock probation.

Massachusetts: In July, 2004, among the sponsors of Democratic Party's convention in Boston was scandal plagued Corrections Corporation of America which hosted an event at the John F. Kennedy Library featuring Emmylou Harris. According to news reports, the event was very popular with Democrats, including the Tennessee political delegation. CCA is based in Nashville.

Mississippi: On October 1, 2004, a federal grand jury in Mobile, Alabama, indicted Mississippi state prisoner Thomas Hebert on 8 charges of wire fraud for impersonating a guard and convincing, Kathy Smith, the mother of a prisoner to wire him $3,500 allegedly incurred as restitution after her son Charlie Smith was in a fight. Hebert told Ms. Smith that by paying the money she would also secure the early release of her son.

New York: In July, 2004, Westchester county prosecutor Kevin Hynes, 39, the son of Charles Hynes, prosecutor of Brooklyn, was suspended from his job for leaving the scene of an accident after police recovered a beer bottle from his government car. Kevin disappeared after his car crashed into an embankment on July 24, 2004. Hynes later called police to tell them the car belonged to the prosecutor's office but not to say who had been driving it.

New York: On July 29, 2004, Shawndel Paul, 23, a prisoner at the Attica State Prison, used a homemade steel shank to stab three prison guards. The reason for the stabbing was not made public. The prison was locked down as a result. The guards were not seriously injured.

New York: On September 16, 2004, Anibal Ortiz, 41, a jail guard at Rikers Island, was sentenced to three to six years in prison after being convicted by a jury of sodomizing a 13 year old girl while he showed her pornographic video tapes. Ortiz was convicted of second degree sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. In addition to being a jail guard, at the time of his conviction Ortiz was also a Democratic Party leader for the 54th assembly district and is also a former police officer.

New York: On September 28, 2004, Yvonne White, 45, and Nikole Jackson, guards at Rikers Island, were arrested and charged with trying to defraud insurance companies by staging auto accidents. The insurance companies paid the guards more than $13,000.00 in fraudulent claims. Apparently White was at work on Rikers Island at the time one of the alleged accidents occurred.

Ohio: On September 29, 2004, Stephen Linnen, 34, a lawyer, was sentenced to 18 months in jail by the Franklin County Common Pleas court after pleading guilty to 53 misdemeanor counts of public indecency, sexual imposition and criminal trespassing. Linnen apparently had a penchant for ambushing dozens of women while naked and taking photos of their shocked expressions. However, under the terms of his plea agreement, Linnen will not lose his law license and can serve his sentence on weekends while he works as a lawyer during the week. The judge also ruled Linnen did not have to register as a sex offender. Linnen, a former lawyer for the Ohio Republican House Caucus, carried on his nude photography for two years before being arrested and was named the "naked photographer."

Oklahoma: On August 27, 2004, a prison van operated by Avalon Correctional Services, a private, for profit company, crashed into an Oklahoma City business, injuring three prisoners and the guard driving the van.

Oklahoma: On September 27, 2004, Myrna Parrish, 50, a court reporter in Muskogee, was arrested on charges of misdemeanor public intoxication after deputies riding the courthouse elevator with her noticed she reeked of alcohol. Apparently while transcribing a drug manufacturing case Parrish was drinking vodka in the courthouse.

Pennsylvania: On September 16, 2004, prosecutors charged ten female prisoners in Pennsylvania state prisons with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud for allegedly asking pen pals for money and promising the pen pals long term relationships and claiming they would be released from prison soon. Prosecutors claim the prisoners received nearly $260,000 from pen pals around the country and that at least seven of the women worked together. The women are also accused of sending the would be Romeos "phony pictures" of themselves.

Scotland: On October 2, 2004, Colin Duff, 55, a guard employed by private, for profit prison company Premier Security Services was fired after being caught on camera stealing chocolate bars from the prison commissary.

Spain: in August, 2004, Uwe Dieter Krone, 39, a German prisoner awaiting extradition to Germany where he is accused of trafficking in prostitutes, surprised prison guards when he glued himself to his girlfriend during a visit. Krone glued his hand to his girlfriend's during a visit and announced: "We've glued our hands together to call attention to my prison situation and to be heard." The duo were hospitalized until they could be separated.

Tennessee: On September 9, 2004, officials of the state Department of Commerce and Insurance, which oversees the fire marshals office, closed the Wayne County jail in Waynesboro after a surprise inspection on August 26 disclosed 16 violations of state safety codes, including smoke alarms that did not work, leaking plumbing, no fire sprinklers, blocked fire exits, prisoners sleeping on the floor and more. The 31 year old jail was designed to hold 23 prisoners but was holding 42 on the day it was closed. Prisoners were either moved to other area jails or ordered released. Repairs costing $250,000 were scheduled to be done over a six month periods.

Texas: On August 20, 2004, a Tarrant county Sheriff's van transporting prisoners was struck by a light rail metro train. The three prisoners and one of two deputies in the van suffered minor injuries.

Texas: On August 21, 2004, eleven prisoners at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center were arraigned on felony mischief and riot charges. The riot took place on August 20 when the prisoners protested a lockdown in place since August 14, 2004, by breaking televisions and phones, refusing to return to their cells, barricading their dorms and making weapons. Two guards suffered minor injuries and a SWAT team suppressed the prisoners with pepper spray and tear gas.

Texas: On July 14, 2004, Jonathan Tate, 23, a guard at the McClennan County jail in Waco was indicted on improper sexual activity charges stemming from claims that he had sex with a female prisoner at the jail. The jail is operated under contract by private, for profit Civigenics.

Texas: On June 16, 2004, Olga Nino, 41, a nurse at the Harris county jail in Houston was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to accepting bribes to smuggle tobacco, drugs and metal tools into the jail to deliver to prisoners. After being told by informants that Nino was corrupt, she was arrested with a package containing 9 grams of cocaine, 2 ½ ounces of marijuana, a hacksaw blade and a torque wrench. Nino was not charged with drug possession, only bribery and smuggling contraband into the jail.

Texas: On June 28, 2004, a jail transport van owned by Civigenics, a private for profit, prison company, crashed when a tire blew out. A guard and prisoner from the McLennan County Detention Center were critically injured in the wreck. The van contained two guards and thirteen prisoners.

Washington: In August, 2004, the Tacoma News Tribune reported that United States Protection and Care Society, a telemarketing firm based in California, was calling Washington residents with automated calls and informing them that a sex predator had moved into their neighborhood and offering to sell them sex offender lists showing where the alleged predator was living. The newspaper noted that the lists are available for free on People without internet access can obtain the same information, also for free, by visiting the sheriff's office. Lori Takahashi, a spokeswoman with the Washington attorney general's office stated that "It's clearly a violation of the Consumer Protection Act because this information is free." Anyone receiving the calls can report them to the attorney general's office at 1-800-551-4636.

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