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News in Brief
Alabama: On February 2, 2005, Jimmy Toliver, 40, was arrested on criminal trespassing charges after attempting to break into the Bullock County jail in Union Springs. Toliver had crawled under the jail's security fence and was found hiding behind an air conditioning unit at 3 AM. Toliver told police he was trying to borrow $5 from a jail prisoner. A search of the area discovered a bag of marijuana stuffed into a ventilation shaft. He was later transported to the same jail he had sought entry to. Toliver was sentenced to time served and ordered by the judge to stay away from the jail.
Arizona: On January 17, 2005, three guards at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Tucson were injured when a fight broke out in the prison's dining hall. Thirty prisoners barricaded themselves in the dining hall but surrendered when guards pepper sprayed them.
California: On August 2, 2005, Tyreese Reed, 29, was charged with 18 counts of rape and robbery. Known as the Koreatown rapist," the electrical technician is accused of raping and robbing 13 women, all of them Asian, ranging in age from 17 to 55. Reed committed the attacks while posing a California Department of Corrections parole officer. When arrested he had a CDC badge and a Beretta pistol with a laser sight.
California: On August 3, 2005, a 43 year old prisoner was run over by a prison bus. While attempting to escape, the prisoner was holding on to the undercarriage of the bus when he lost his grip and fell. The bus then ran over him, killing him in the process. The man was being held on parole violation charges.
California: On February 25, 2005, 480 black and Hispanic prisoners at the state prison in Tehachapi fought for 40 minutes before submitting to pepper spray, tear gas and baton rounds fired by guards. Three prisoners were injured during the melee and three staff members suffered minor injuries.
California: On January 15, 2005, Daniel Jones Jr., a guard at the Centinela State Prison, was arrested with his girlfriend, Leslie Saldana, on charges of conspiring to smuggle marijuana, cocaine and cell phones into the prison.
Colombia: On January 26, 2005, at least 20 prisoners escaped and six were killed when revolutionaries with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attacked the Picalena Prison 80 miles west of Bogotá. Guerrillas directed explosions and gunfire at the prison while prisoners inside the facility went to the prison's outer perimeter and used dynamite to blast their way to freedom. Six prisoners were shot and killed by guards and three were recaptured. At least 20 escaped. The government is investigating how the prisoners obtained the explosives.
Colorado: In February, 2005, jailers in Stark County, Ohio, mistakenly released prisoner Ricky Claycomb, 37, after he was acquitted on rape charges he had been extradited from a Colorado prison to stand trial on. After the acquittal Claycomb told Ohio jail officials he was to be returned to Colorado to finish serving two more years. Ohio officials told him it was up to him to get back to prison. His mother sent him money for a bus ticket and after a two day bus ride to Colorado, breakfast and lunch with his mother, his brother drive him to the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, after he called ahead to inform prison officials he was returning. Asked about Claycomb's release, Stark county sheriff Tim Swanson said, We don't know exactly what happened.
Colorado: On August 3, 2005, prisoners at the Colorado Springs jail went on hunger strike to protest being fed turkey five meals in a row. The sheriff's office agreed and fed them spaghetti, with turkey meat sauce.
Florida: In May, 2005, the state Judicial Qualifications Commission filed a complaint against Panama City circuit judge Richard Albritton for telling female defendants to close their legs and stop having babies, ordering a defendant to attend church as a probation condition, telling an 18 year old woman how attractive she was before imposing a sentence lighter than he normally would, telling women in his court, including attorneys, that women should be at home with their children and telling a black, female attorney with the Department of Children and Families Your people helped me get elected." Albritton's attorney, Harry Harper, denied Albritton has any gender or racial bias. It's mystifying that accusations of those type could even be suggested," he said.
Florida: On December 16, 2004, Brenda Bobbitt, a sergeant in the Collier County jail in Immokalee, resigned after the county sheriff rejected her appeal from discipline imposed after an investigation confirmed her treatment of jail guard Carter Landas. Bobbitt threatened Landas with a taser gun to his buttocks, slashed at him with a knife, punched him in the stomach and made degrading remarks about his weight, using racist and defamatory names. Most of the incidents were witnessed by other jail employees and included Bobbitt placing a taser gun on stun mode, holding it against Landas' buttocks and saying Don't think I won't light your ass up." Bobbitt appealed the guilty findings against her by internal affairs investigators claiming there was a family atmosphere" at the jail and she did not realize her conduct was unprofessional. Her resignation, after 23 years at the jail, meant she never served any of the recommended discipline.
Georgia: In May, 2005, Six Flags announced that all of its tickets would state that it reserved the right o refuse entry to anyone convicted of a sex offense to any of its 30 amusement parks. The company stated it would not conduct background checks of customers but added the language at the urging of its attorneys.
Georgia: On June 3, 2005, Curtis Hall, 43, a prisoner at the Thomas County Prison was charged with possessing marijuana after he returned from a work detail and guards discovered 3 grams of the demon weed concealed inside a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Georgia: On May 10, 2005, Kanoshia Bradley, 21, a guard at the Calhoun State Prison, was inside the prison during a sweep by drug detection dogs and found to be in possession of marijuana and both powdered and crack cocaine. She was charged with possession of all three substances. She was later fired from her job as a prison guard and released on $10,000 bail.
Illinois: On February 20, 2005, Arlin McClendon, 36, a guard at the Cook County jail in Chicago was shot and killed by his friend and co-worker, who was not identified in media reports by name, when McClendon played a prank and pretended to attempt to carjack his friend's SUV which was being driven by the co-worker's wife. McClendon was shot multiple times at the scene.
Illinois: On May 6, 2005, Brian Leden, 33, a Lake County probation officer, pleaded guilty to accepting $25,000 in bribes from Robert Terry, 38, a probationer he was supposed to supervise. In exchange for the bribe Leden took no action when Terry violated his probation by contacting his ex wife, drinking alcohol and being charged with new offenses. Leden claimed the money was not a bribe but Terry trying to help him out financially because he was addicted to gambling. Leden agreed to testify against Terry if Terry contests the bribery charge. Leden was sentenced to 30 months probation and nine months of work release.
Louisiana: On February 28, 2005, Blaine Valdetero, 37, a prisoner at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, took his wife hostage during a visit and barricaded her and himelf in the visiting room bathroom. Five minutes later guards broke down the door with a battering ram and found Valdetero slumped over, bleeding from a slashed throat. He later died in the prison hospital from the self inflicted wound. His wife, unnamed by prison officials, was unharmed. Valdetero had been serving a life sentence for a 1991 Baton Rouge murder.
Nepal: On June 19, 2005, Maoist insurgents attacked a district prison in the city of Diktel and liberated 66 prisoners. Other government facilities were attacked before the guerrillas withdrew.
New York: In 2004 more than 300 visitors to prisoners at the Rikers Island jail in New York City were arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle contraband to the prisoners. That includes 187 visitors with illegal drugs, 19 with weapons and 109 others with contraband that includes cigarettes. Jail director Martin Horn also announced that 2004 slashings and stabbings at the jail were at a record low of 34 as opposed to 49 the year before.
New York: On May 29, 2005, Edwin Williams, a Bureau of Prisons guard in the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center, was arrested for taking thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle marijuana, cigarettes, food and cologne to prisoners in the jail. FBI agents video taped Williams as he received items at the house of a cooperating witness.
North Carolina: On May 27, 2005, Junior Allen, 65, was released from prison after spending 35 years imprisoned for entering a home and stealing a black and white television set in 1970. At the time, burglary carried a life sentence. It now carries a three year sentence. Parole officials claim Allen was denied parole 26 times because of a poor disciplinary record in prison. Enoch Hasberry, director of the Carteret Correctional Center in Newport where Allen finished his sentence before being released on five years of parole, said: We've got an in-house joke here: How much time would he have gotten if he had stolen a color TV?
Ohio: On June 29, 2005, a prisoner at the state prison in Chillicothe was struck by lightning and killed during a softball game when lightning struck the ball field inside the prison. Five other prisoners and two guards were injured by the lightning strike.
Ohio: On May 7, 2005, Martin Koliser, 32, a prisoner on death row in Mansfield for killing a police man, committed suicide by slashing himself.
Oregon: On April 25, 2005, Leighton Bates, a convicted rapist and kidnapper being held in the Intensive Management Unit (IMU) of the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, took prison guard Rebecca McLauchlin hostage for three hours using a shank. McLaughlin was released unharmed.
Pennsylvania: On January 25, 2005, Darren Miller, 27, was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for throwing urine and hot coffee on prison guards while imprisoned at the State Correctional Institution in Graterford in 2002.
Russia: On June 27, 2005, 260 prisoners in the prison in Lgov, a city near the Russian border with the Ukraine slashed their veins and throats with razor blades to protest abuse by prison officials.
Scotland: A 22 year old guard at the Kilmarnock Prison in Ayrshire, run by the for profit Premier Custodial Services, was fired after admitting he disguised himself as a prisoner to receive methadone from the prison's medical line. He was detected before actually receiving any of the drug and claimed it was a prank.
Texas: On April 20, 2005, Trinity county jail sergeant Scott Taylor, was indicted by a grand jury with official oppression for choking a hand cuffed prisoner and slamming him into a door. Taylor had spent a year on probation in Upton county ten years ago after being convicted of official oppression for abusing prisoners in his care there.
Texas: On February 14, 2005, Darrell Gilbert, 35, a prisoner at the Stiles Unit in Beaumont was stabbed to death during a fight with Reagan Caldwell, 47. Gilbert had been serving a 20 year sentence for manslaughter. Caldwell was sentenced to life for robbery in Houston in 1990.
Texas: On February 15, 2005, Lou Ford, 39, a guard employed by Geo Corporation at Central Texas Parole Violators Facility in San Antonio, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to accepting an $800 bribe from undercover police in order to deliver 4 ounces of cocaine to a jail prisoner.
Texas: On June 17, 2005, Darrell Horton, 29, was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Rusk County jury for a 2002 attack on prison guard Don Gertz that left Gertz blind in his right eye. Horton was serving a drug sentence at the Bradshaw State Jail at the time of the attack.
Washington: On May 28, 2005, Robert Lemieux, 40, killed himself in the Pierce County jail in Tacoma by overdosing on an undisclosed prescription medication two days after being convicted of first degree murder for killing his estranged wife's lover.
Wisconsin: In May, 2005, the state returned the last 53 prisoners from a private, out of state prison ending its decade long practice of sending prisoners to out of state, private prisons, which at its peak had over 4,000 prisoners in such facilities. The return of the out of state prisoners was made possible by Wisconsin opening three new prisons and contracting with jails to hold an additional 500 prisoners.
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