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News in Brief:

Arizona: On July 10, 2006, Kevin Peltier, 30, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for participating in the fatal beating of Mojave county jail prisoner Peter Deakin. Jereme Cosby, the alleged leader of the beating was sentenced to life in prison for the beating. Mark Morton, 26, Daniel Nelson, 36, Tony Pamula, 37, and Adam Martin, 30, were jail prisoners who had also been initially charged in the assault and murder of Deakin, who was in jail on charges of raping his girlfriend and failing to register as a sex offender, but they cut deals agreeing to testify against Cosby and Peltier and received no additional jail time.

Arizona: On July 12, 2006, Phoenix police officers Michael Coleback, Hain Price and Richard Ruff were indicted on aggravated assault charges in state court for assaulting jail prisoner Thomas Schuster on November 11, 2005, in the intake area of the Fourth Avenue jail and assaulting prisoner German Diaz on May 1, 2005 in the same area. The police union is providing lawyers to the accused criminal cops.

California: In late March, 2006, Manuel Ramos, 20, was arrested and charged with trying to smuggle drugs into the Fresno county jail. A state parole agent spotted Ramos tying straws filled with tobacco, marijuana and methamphetamine to strings hanging from prisoner cells. Apparently the jail prisoners used heated shower rods to punch and burn holes through the jails plastic windows and then use the holes to receive drugs. Jail officials said they were in the process of placing metal covers over the windows.

Florida: On June 30, 2006, Jarrett Hodges, 36, a guard at the Nassau county jail, was arrested on assorted charges stemming from playing sexually explicit videos in front of a jail prisoner and then offering to perform oral sex after grabbing and fondling the victims genitals. Alas for Hodges, the would be victim was wearing a wire and had been cooperating with police. The attempted sexual assault took place in the sheriff department's evidence room.

Georgia: On April 22, 2006, Telfair State Prison guard Jimmy Clance handed a pistol belt to fellow guard Fred Hulett while the two were guarding a prisoner at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, when Hulett sat down the gun discharged lodging a bullet in a hospital wall. Hospital officials announced they were reconsidering their policy of allowing armed prison guards in the facility. Both guards are employed by Corrections Corporation of America.

Illinois: On July 7, 2006, Kane county jail guard Albert Jackson, 43, was sentenced to 24 months of conditional discharge after pleading guilty to theft. He was initially charged with felony theft and accused of stealing thousands of dollars in jewelry from jail prisoners. Those charges were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea for making copies and using plastic bags bought by the county for his personal landscaping business. Jackson was ordered to pay $300 in restitution to the county; the prisoners he robbed get nothing. Jackson was turned in after his estranged wife was arrested on drug charges. Jackson had worked in the booking section of the jail for 16 years. If he completes the terms of his conditional release he will have no criminal record.

Louisiana: On July 28, 2006, James Leslie, the head of the state prison system's farm operations was charged with witness tampering in federal court as part of an FBI corruption investigation that Louisiana State Penitentiary warden Burl Cain demands kickbacks from prison contractors. Leslie pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.

Malawi: On July 3, 2006, nine prisoners attempted to escape from the maximum security Zomba central prison. Guards opened fire and shot and killed two prisoners. One successfully escaped and the remaining six were recaptured.

Michigan: On April 9, 2006, 35 prisoners at the Ojibway Correctional Facility refused to leave a prison dayroom as part of a protest. The prisoners resisted when guards attempted to forcibly remove them and a prison spokesman claimed that 14 guards were injured, none seriously enough to warrant medical attention.

New Jersey: On October 28, 2006, Merrimack county jail prisoner Gary Eames, 21, died while huffing a can of Pam cooking spray into a plastic bag over his head while working in the jail kitchen. Eames was awaiting trial on domestic violence charges when he died.

New Mexico: On July 10, 2006, Marcus Furious, a guard at the Metro Detention Facility in Albuquerque was arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle heroin into the facility in exchange for a $150 bribe. At least two prisoners have died of heroin overdoses at the jail in recent months, including one in April.

Ohio: At least 45 prisoners were transferred from the Clark county jail in early July, 2006, after flooding put over three inches of water and raw sewage in the jail. The fecal flood was caused by a burst sewage pipe. Sheriff Gene Kelly speculated that overcrowding in the jail may be taxing the jails antiquated plumbing and sewage system.

Ohio: On June 28, 2006, Anjanette Castonguay, 33, a guard at the juvenile detention center in Xenia was arrested on charges of child endangerment, marijuana possession, entrusting her car to an unlicensed youth and having a beer party with juvenile boys. She resigned her job as a juvenile jail guard upon her own imprisonment. Her prior convictions include a drunken driving conviction in 2005 and in 1999 she was disciplined for bringing her son to work, dressing him in jail clothes and detaining him against his will in a jail cell.

Texas: On July 5, 2006, Juan Garcia, 47, a cook in the Bandera county jail, was charged with fondling and groping the genitals of a male prisoner at the jail. When confronted by jail investigators Garcia, a 16 year jail employee, admitted to the allegations.

Utah: In July, 2006, officials at the Cache county jail banned the Spanish language television channel Univision from jail televisions after guards complained about raunchy shows on the channel and jail sheriff Lt. Brian Locke claimed It was dividing the inmates. It supposedly resulted in fights among Spanish speaking prisoners who wanted to watch the channel and non Spanish speaking prisoners who did not. To protest the elimination of Univision at least 25 prisoners refused to return to their cells until a police SWAT team threatened them and at least one prisoner still refused and was tasered into submission. The jail was then locked down. Weber county jail sheriff Captain Kevin Burton said I think the issue wouldnt be a raunchy, seedy TV show. That might appeal to most people. The issue is the non Hispanics can't understand what's going on. Its a language they dont understand. Since at least 40% of the Cache county jail population is Hispanic one could say that is exactly the issue with having only English language TV shows: It's a language they dont understand. The jail also prohibits prisoners from purchasing their own magazine and newspaper subscriptions and PLN has sued the jail over its ban on PLN.

Vietnam: On November 1, 2006, the government released 1,022 prisoners in a general amnesty. In August the government gave amnesty to more than 5,300 prisoners to celebrate the countrys National Day. Outside the United States massive prisoner amnesties are a regular occurrence by governments that show mercy to their citizens.

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