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News in Brief

News in Brief:

Arizona: On July 10, 2005, Jerry Booker, 57, a guard at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Eyman in Florence was pistol whipping and threatening to shoot Nyeema Irby, 23, to collect a $50 drug debt Irby owed him when Irby pulled his own pistol and shot and killed Booker.

Arkansas: On April 10, 2005, Curtis Parks, 28, a guard at the Ouachita River Unit prison in Malvern was arrested when prison officials discovered him smuggling 4.8 ounces of tobacco and an ounce of crack cocaine into the prison.

Burundi: On March 28, 2005, 20 to 30 prisoners escaped from the main prison in Ruyigi by climbing over the walls at noon. Prison guards shot and killed five prisoners and wounded one during the escape. Most of the prisoners have been convicted on charges of genocide for participating in massacres in 1993.

California: On January 11, 205, Rohnert Park police arrested Forrest Mills, 44, a guard at the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City on one count of assault with a deadly weapon for shooting at a homeless man after the homeless man shouted at Mills to slow down while driving. Police arrested Mills at a nearby Target store where he was shopping with his family and found a loaded Glock 9 mm pistol in his pick up truck.
California: On July 15, 2005, 20 prisoners in the Riverside County Jail stuffed their cell toilets and flooded their cell block. Officials locked down the jail for 12 hours. Officials claimed the prisoners were upset with each other.

Colorado: On June 1, 2005, Gregory Joiner, 43, a prisoner in the Administrative Maximum section (ADX) of the US Penitentiary in Florence died of injuries he sustained in a fight with another prisoner on May 27.
Connecticut: On April 6, 2005, Jose Rivera Sanchez was arrested in Waterbury after being on the run for more than 11 years. Sanchez had been one of ten prisoners to escape from the Bayamon Regional jail in Puerto Rico by digging a 100 foot tunnel with spoons and their hands. Eight of the escapees were quickly recaptured but Sanchez and another prisoner, who is still unaccounted for, were not. Sanchez had been arrested on drug charges in Connecticut in 1998 and 2001 but no one in Puerto Rico had given his fingerprints to the FBI. When that occurred in 2005 a match was made leading to his arrest.

District of Columbia: In July, 2005, the Bureau of Prisons announced that it would install electrified perimeter fences at prisons in Coleman, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; Terre Haute, Indiana; Hazelton, West Virginia; Pine Knot, Kentucky and Pollock, Louisiana. The fences deliver lethal doses of electricity when touched.

District of Columbia: On June 29, 2005, an unidentified 33 year old federal prisoner in the Bannum Place work release center was shot to death. The halfway house is operated by the private company Bannum Inc., on contract for the Bureau of Prisons. Police were annoyed that security cameras in the facility were not working and did not record the shooting.

Florida: In April, 2005, the Broward County Sheriff's office and the state Department of Corrections announced the donation of computers, medical supplies, sanitation products, an x-ray machine and medical equipment to the Haitian Prison Authority to help run the Haitian prison system. Apparently local and state tax payers can afford to run not only their own prisons and jails but those of neighboring countries as well.
Florida: In July, 2005, an outbreak of tuberculosis at the women's Lowell Correctional Institution resulted in 3,100 prisoners and employees being tested for tuberculosis and resulted in three confirmed cases of the disease and five suspected cases.

Louisiana: In April, 205, Richard Chambers, a former policeman and head of the Orleans Parish district attorney's unit on child support enforcement, resigned when he finished last in an election for court constable when it came to light during the campaign that he was over $11,000 in arrears on his own child support payments.

Louisiana: In May, 2005, Jason Thibodeaux, 24, a guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola was arrested after prison employees discovered him smuggling 129 grams of marijuana into the prison.

Mexico: On April 14, 2005, Jose Contreras, 25, and his brother Jorge, 31, both US citizens, were stabbed to death by other prisoners in the CERESO II prison in Nuevo Laredo.

New Jersey: In July, 2005, Ocean County jail guard Richard Peterson Jr., 49, was charged with raping two female prisoners at the jail as well as official misconduct. This is not Peterson's first brush with the law. In 1995, he was charged and acquitted of raping an estranged girlfriend. He was found guilty of violating a restraining order in that case but kept his job as a jail guard.

New Jersey: On June 1, 2005, Troy Cates, 37, a state prison guard, was arrested and charged with videotaping members of his family while they used the bathroom.

New Jersey: On June 22, 2005, former Morris county jail prisoner Karen Ryerson, 42, and Leslie Harwell, a food employee of Aramark who works in the jail cafeteria, were arrested in charges of heroin distribution. Police claim Harwell brought heroin into the jail to sell to prisoners and Ryerson was Harwell's supply source.

New Mexico: On July 12, 2005, David Nicholson, 29, a guard at the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center was sentenced to 12 years in state prison after pleading guilty to soliciting first degree murder, bribing a witness and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors claimed Nicholson set up his own gang among the children prisoners and ordered them to retaliate against rival gang members who were then beaten in their cells or showers.

New Mexico: On July 8, 2005, Scott Richter, a guard at the Bernalillo County jail was arrested on charges of extortion, criminal sexual contact and receiving illegal kickbacks. Richter was employed in the community custody program where he monitored prisoners wearing ankle bracelets. Police claim Richter would take money, gift cards and football paraphernalia in exchange for allowing prisoners to fail drug tests. He also apparently sexually assaulted the wives and girlfriends of prisoners.
New York: On April 6, 2005, Anthony Simpson, 36, a guard at the Rikers Island jail was arrested and charged with defrauding the city welfare system by setting up phony housing accounts whereby crooked city employees would sent rent checks to fake landlords to pay for housing for homeless welfare recipients who had no idea their names were being used in this manner. The scam took in more than $130,000 over a three year period according to police.

Ohio: In March, 2005, Major John Morrison, the head of security at the Mansfield Correctional Institution was demoted to Lieutenant and his pay reduced by $17,829 a year from $71,241 a year and Ronald Pawlus was demoted from death row unit manager to store keeper, a pay drop of $21,583 a year. The discipline was in response to the attempted escape by two death row prisoners on February 3, 2005. Ten other prison employees, including the warden Margaret Bradshaw, were disciplined in the incident. Investigators learned that prisoner informants had told Pawlus of the upcoming escape and he did nothing.

Oregon: Unable to find housing for convicted sex offenders in Polk County, district attorney John Fisher in April, 2005, sought permission to house up to 15 sex offenders a year, for no more than 60 days, in his home until they can find employment and housing on their own. Fisher said he hoped this would move the county to find a solution to short term sex offender housing. Some means need to be found to transition these people back to society," he said. From a gut perspective, I'm probably less afraid than the general public of these people. Rightly or wrongly, they are seen as inhuman monsters, but mostly they're pathetic human beings.
Pennsylvania: On June 2, 2005, Theodore Mason, 35, a prisoner at the Westmorland county jail was sentenced to 10 to 20 years after being convicted of assault for biting off the ear of his cellmate, Adrian Alleyne. While awaiting sentencing Mason was involved in a fight with another prisoner at the jail, this time he bit off a portion of his own tongue.

Texas: In July, 2005, federal prisoners Todd Christian, 26, Arzell Gully, 34 and David Jackson, 45, escaped from the Correctional Services Corporation run Beaumont jail while awaiting trial on charges they murdered another federal prisoner in 1999. All three were later recaptured. The prisoners used pepper spray and a homemade shank to escape from the jail.
Texas: On April 26, 2005, Roberto Ballones Jr., 32, a prison guard with the Texas Department of criminal Justice, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after being caught driving 45 pounds of cocaine from the Mexican border to the parking lot of the state prison in Hondo. Two other prison guards, Javier Cisneros and Daniel Mendoza, had already been sentenced for their role in the scheme.

Texas: On July 12, 2005, Homer Brown, 34, attempted to escape from the Chambers County jail by jumping from the roof of the jail's recreation yard. Brown broke his ankle and two toes in the jump and hobbled 200 yards before being recaptured.

Vermont: In April, 2005, the Department of Corrections unveiled a new complaint hotline that can be called by prisoners and staff with complaints 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Within 72 hours more than 100 prisoners had made complaints. The system was instituted after a governor's investigation concluded that all too often Vermont prisoners' complaints went unheeded leading to several suicides and medical neglect deaths.
Virginia: In July, 2005, Stephen Greenlee, 34, was sentenced to five years in prison with all but six months suspended after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter stemming from the death of Glenn Schlomer, 20. On August 27, 2004, Greenlee punched Schlomer in the face while they were both imprisoned in the Virginia Beach City jail, Schlomer fell unconscious and hit his head on the concrete floor and died. Greenlee denied he intended to harm Schlomer and testified he was only acting in self defense. This is not the first time Greenlee had killed someone with his bare hands. In 1998 he was attacked by two men in a strip club parking lot in Nashville, Tennessee, when he punched one man who later died from the blow. Two punches, two deaths.

Washington: On April 7, 2005, Seattle public defender Theresa Olson was suspended for two years from the practice of law by the state Supreme Court for engaging in sexual conduct with client Sebastian Burns in a Seattle jail attorney visit room in 2002. Burns was later convicted of three counts of first degree murder. Washington's Rules of Professional conduct prohibit sexual relationships between attorneys and their clients.

Washington: On July 12, 2005, Jon Hines, a guard at the King County jail in Seattle was charged with choking his wife in their home.

Washington: On March 24, 2005, Charles Smith, 56, a state parolee allegedly raised a shotgun towards Mason county sheriff's deputies and three Department of Corrections parole officers who were attempting to arrest him on parole violation charges, was shot twice by police and died. Smith had a lengthy history of mental illness, violence and imprisonment.

Washington: On September 23, 2005, Richard Welty, 36, a guard at the Airway Heights Correctional Center, was sentenced to 34 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of third degree child rape. Welty confessed to having sex between 6 and ten times with a 13 year old girl over a two year period, including in front of her 11 year old sister and a 12 year old friend. Welty met the victim in an internet chat room and told her he was 26 and his name was Chad." Welty thanked the victim's mother for reporting his rape of her daughter to police and claims he has had a religious experience that changed his life.

Wisconsin: On March 28, 2005, Green Bay Correctional Institution guards Russell Kuchta, 29, Linn Kamin, 31 and sergeant Robin Norton, 37, were charged with misconduct in public office, battery and disorderly conduct for harassing an unidentified prisoner at the facility by, among other things: going to his cell, wrestling with him, holding him down and tickling him, and made sexual comments to him. Norton also kissed him on several occasions while the other guards held him down.

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