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News in Brief:

Arizona: On February 23, 2006, Jamie Wanek, a guard at the Maricopa county
jail in Phoenix was charged with 57 felony and misdemeanor counts of having
sex with a jail prisoner Joshua Lopez, 30, and bringing him alcohol, drugs
and other contraband. Lopez has also been charged with promoting contraband
and unlawful sexual conduct.

Arizona: On May 10, 2006, an unidentified guard at the Perryville prison
shot himself in his leg while undergoing weapons qualification training at
the prisons firing range.

California: On February 2, 2006, FBI agents arrested Juan Cortes, 34,
Anthony Robuffo, 39, Ricardo Campos, 26 and Juan Nieto, 30, all guards at
the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles on charges that
they took bribes from prisoners in exchange for smuggling cigarettes and
cell phones into the jail for them. According to prosecutors, the guards
accepted bribes ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 to bring the contraband into
the jail. For example, Cortes is accused of accepting a $6,000 bribe in
exchange for providing a prisoner with a cell phone and two cartons of
cigarettes. Nieto of accepting $1,000 in exchange for two cartons of

China: In December, 2005, the Chinese government announced it would allow
the United Nations special rapporteur on torture to tour the nations
prisons and meet with prisoners. The Chinese government has previously
resisted such efforts and the decision to allow the inspections is seen as
an effort to improve the nations compliance with human rights accords. By
contrast, the United States refuses to allow United Nations inspectors to
tour US prisons or meet with American prisoners.

England: During a December, 2005, inspection by members of the Prison
Reform Trust of an 800 bed mens jail in Manchester, run by the private,
for profit, UK Detention Services, three guards were doused with a bucket
of human excrement by disgruntled prisoners. PRT reported serious safety
issues at the jail which averaged over 25 assaults a month, 2,500
disciplinary charges in a six month period and 40% of all prisoner drug
tests being returned positive for drug use.

Florida: In an effort to encourage informants, the Polk County sheriffs
office has printed decks of cards which it distributes for free to jail
prisoners that depict assorted unsolved crimes, mostly homicides,
soliciting tips and information. The deck of cards has led to at least two
indictments when an unidentified jail prisoner saw the card depicting the
murder of methamphetamine dealer Thomas Grammar. Based on the tip police
have charged Jason Seawright, 29, and Reggie Williams, with Grammars murder.

Georgia: On December 22, 2005, Cletis Heard, a jail guard at the Fulton
county jail, was arrested and charged with stealing and using a jail
prisoners debit card. Heard was assigned to the booking area of the jail.
It was not disclosed how much money he stole from the prisoner.

Georgia: On February 23, 2006, Jesse Paul, 38, was sentenced to ten years
in prison without parole and ten years probation for fighting with another
prisoner in the Harris county jail while awaiting trial on auto theft
charges. Assistant district attorney Dan Trimble said the sentence was
warranted by the fact that since 1986 Paul had racked up seven felony
convictions and spent 11 ½ years in prison, all for stealing cars. This
sentence will be served concurrently with a five year sentence for auto
theft. A jury rejected an aggravated assault charge in the same case which
had involved Paul gouging another prisoners eye after the two exchanged
words about Pauls girlfriend. The other prisoner was not injured.

Indiana: On March 28, 2006, Jason Kendall, 24, a guard at the Putnamville
Correctional Facility was arrested on charges of trafficking with a prisoner.

Louisiana: On February 23, 2006, Sylvia Amato, 72, was arrested and charged
with attempting to bring a loaded .22 caliber revolver into the Louisiana
State Prison in Angola while visiting Peter Mule, an alleged member of the
Dixie Mafia serving time for a 1971 murder. Upon entering the prison
Amato declared and surrendered a .38 caliber revolver but said she forgot
about the smaller gun.

Maryland: On January 18, 2006, Deidre Dee Farmer, the transsexual
plaintiff in the Supreme Court prisoner rape case of Farmer v. Brennan, was
indicted by a federal grand jury on mail fraud, conspiracy and identity
theft charges stemming from alleged credit card fraud. Farmer had been
released from prison less than a year earlier on February 15, 2005, when a
judge had declared Farmer, then purportedly blind, bed ridden and dying of
AIDS, to no longer be a threat to society. Farmer had been imprisoned for
over a decade on credit card fraud charges as well.

Michigan: On December 6, 2006, Timothy Luoma, the warden of the Baraga
Maximum Correctional Facility and deputy warden Darlene Edlund, were
removed from their positions after prisoner Garfield Lawson III escaped on
August 6, 2005, with the aid of prison kitchen worker Kathy Sleep. They
were recaptured in Wisconsin. Apparently this is the first disciplinary
action against a prison warden in the Michigan DOC in the last 20 years.

Missouri: On January 22, 2006, the Cape Girardeau county jail was partially
evacuated due to a carbon monoxide leak in a natural gas vent. The leak was
discovered after prisoners and guards in one unit began complaining of
headaches and nausea. 32 prisoners and seven employees were affected by the

New Jersey: On May 6, 2006, the Department of Corrections announced that it
would sell 16 houses located near prisons where seven prison wardens, who
each earn $91,000 a year, are now living rent free at tax payer expense.
The move came as legislators expressed shock that high paid prison
officials were living rent free in prison owned house, a practice that has
been going on for decades.

New York: On May 12, 2006, Christine Sullivan, 50, a former administrator
at the Federal Correctional Institution in Raybrook pleaded guilty to
altering Bureau of Prison records to allow for the transfer of a medium
security prisoner from that facility to a low security in a different
state. Prosecutors did not disclose the name of the prisoner involved nor
Sullivans motivation in falsifying the records.

New Zealand: The government announced on May 12, 2006, that it would no
longer store semen for prisoners convicted of murder and other serious
crimes while they undergo medical procedures. The ban was announced after
media revealed the government had paid to store the semen of a sex offender
prisoner undergoing treatment for cancer.

Nigeria: On January 3, 2006, the federal government ordered the immediate
release of almost 25,000 prisoners, mostly pre trial detainees, from the
countrys 277 prisons, to relieve overcrowding. The government also
announced the creation of a Chief Inspector of Prisons and Board of
Visitors to monitor conditions in the nations prisons, which also house
pretrial detainees who have not been convicted of anything.

Ohio: On January 16, 2006, Ronald Pruitt, a guard with the Department of
Rehabilitation and Correction, was arrested and charged with felonious
assault stemming from his shooting of his fellow guard Daniel Thomas, 40,
in the arm and leg at an Ohio State University parking lot. Both men
guarded prisoners brought to the OSU hospital for medical exams. Pruitt
used his own pistol in the shooting, not the states. Pruitt was released
on bond awaiting trial.

Oklahoma: On January 17, 2006, Oklahoma county deputy prosecutor Monty
Mayfield, 34, was fired from his job after being arrested on public
drunkenness charges at a Bon Jovi concert.

Rhode Island: On May 5, 2006, Captain Gualter Botas, 37; Lt. Kenneth
Vivieros, 53, and guard Ernesto Spaziano, 37, were arrested and charged
with beating state prisoner Michael Walsh, 30. Walsh claims the defendants
also forced him to eat his own feces. The defendants were released on their
own recognizance.

Texas: In February, 2006, vice president Richard Cheney accidentally shot
Harry Whittington, 78, with a shotgun while the two men were quail hunting
on a Texas ranch. Whittington was shot in the face and chest and recovered
from the wounds. Whittington is an Austin attorney who has served on the
Texas Board of Criminal Justice where he advocated reform and improvement
of the Texas prison system.

Texas: On December 30, 2005, Damien Wheeler, 23, a prisoner at the
Civigenics run Bi-State Jail in Texarkana died shortly after being involved
in a fist fight with prisoner Nathaniel Cleveland, 19.

Utah: In February, 2006, Bert Jackson, 99, was released from prison after
serving 3 years of a 15 year sentence for child molestation. Jackson had
the distinction of being Utahs oldest prisoner.

Utah: On February 24, 2006, the Utah Supreme Court ordered that Hilldale
judge Walter Steed be removed from the bench because he is a polygamist
with three wives. This violates Utahs law against bigamy. Steed had served
as a judge for 25 years and been married to the three women, who are
sisters, since 1965, 1975 and 1985. He has a total of 32 children with his
three wives. Prosecutors have declined to prosecute Steed and other
polygamists criminally unless the bigamy also involves another crime such
as domestic violence or child rape due to its prevalence in Utah.

Uzbekistan: On December 22, 2005, the Uzbek Military Court sentenced 24
former prison guards and officials from the Andijan prison to one to three
years in prison after convicting them of abusing their power and neglecting
their duties.

Wisconsin: In 2001 Christopher Ochoa, 39, was freed from prison after being
exonerated in the murder of an Austin, Texas Pizza Hut worker. In May,
2006, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin law school with a law
degree. Ochoa said he hopes to become a prosecutor so he can control
investigations. As previously reported in PLN, Ochoa and his also
wrongfully convicted co-defendant Richard Danziger both received a multi
million dollar settlement from Austin police stemming from their wrongful
conviction and the 12 years they both spent in prison as a result.

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