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News in Brief

News in Brief:

Arizona: In August Pima county jail officials ordered the mass drug testing of all 200 minimum security jail prisoners and 20% tested positive for the use of illegal drugs.

California: On October 3, 2005, Long Beach police shot and killed a parolee who fled from them while being checked on at his home by police. A police dog was shot and killed by the parolee during the chase. Police issued a statement mourning the death of the dog, Ranger, but not the parolee.
California: On September 21, 2005, 120 immigration detainees at the Mira Loma jail in Los Angeles staged a six hour sit down strike to protest the slow pace of their immigration hearings. Immigration proceedings routinely take four to six weeks before being held due to a backlog in cases. The jail holds 950 men awaiting deportation hearings or who are seeking political asylum.

California: On September 22, 2005, 200 Black and Hispanic prisoners at the California Institution for Men in Chino rioted for three hours before being subdued by guards with pepper spray, foam bullets and tear gas. Eight prisoners were injured, two critically and one guard suffered a back injury during the incident. No cause was given for the riot.

Colombia: On October 2, 2005, Jerry Benavides, 40, the Bureau of Prisons representative in Colombia, was found dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head in an apartment in Bucaramanga. Benavides was part of a U.S. embassy program designed to tell Colombians how to run their prison system.

Florida: On September 8, 2005, a Lake County jury convicted Bureau of Prisons guard Purdie Burkes, 36, of DUI manslaughter for killing Michal McPherson as the latter rode a bicycle.

Guatemala: On September 20, 2005, members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang burst into the Etapa II youth prison near Guatemala City armed with guns and grenades and killed 12 prisoners who were members of the rival Mara 18 gang while they slept. At least two of the dead were decapitated and another 12 prisoners were injured in the attack. Prison guards fled the prison when the attack occurred. On September 6, 2005, members of Mara 18 had attacked Salvatrucha members at the facility, injuring 12 members. On September 19 three members of Mara 18 were killed by Salvatrucha members at a prison in Puerto Barrios.

India: Prison officials in the state of Bihar announced plans in September, 2005, to install mobile phone jammers in prisons to prevent prisoners from using contraband cell phones.

Indiana: on September 2, 2005, Jason Patrick, 23, was killed during a fight with other prisoners at the Indiana State Penitentiary in Michigan City. Patrick was sentenced to 65 years in prison after being convicted of beating and stabbing a ten year old boy to death. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty but Patrick was mentally retarded, thus not allowing the punishment. Upon hearing the news of his death the prosecutor in the case told media it was poetic justice.

Michigan: Claiming a lack of funds, the state Department of Corrections announced plans to eliminate $1 million from its budget aimed at testing and treating prisoners with hepatitis C in state prisons. Prison officials have resisted identifying prisoners with HCV claiming it would cost over $130 million to treat the estimated 18,000 of Michigans48,000 prisoners who are believed to harbor the virus.

Nebraska: On October 3, 2005, former criminal prosecutor for Cheyenne County, Gregory Lauby, 58, was sentenced to 5-10 years in prison for raping a twelve year old girl that had run away with him to his home. The rapes occurred while Lauby was working as a prosecutor and he was calling the victim at home from his workplace in the courthouse. The childs parents had repeatedly asked Lauby to stop contacting their daughter and had told him she was 12 years old.

New Jersey: On September 20, 2005, a 17 year old juvenile resident of the Bonnie Brae School attacked a prisoner at the East Jersey State Prison in Woodbridge where he was attending a Scared Straight program with 18 other juveniles. The juvenile was charged with simple assault and the program, where prisoners purport to tell youth about the horrors of prison life with the goal of making them not engage in criminal activity, was suspended. Prison officials claim the assault was gang related. Apparently at least one juvenile has not been scared as he came to prison to commit an assault. Prison guards who witnessed the assault told media that at least four of the juvenile visitors took part in the assault on two prisoners, who were badly beaten. They claim the attackers and victims were also members of the Crips street gang.

New York: On September 10, 2005, police shot and killed Joseph Henry, an intake guard at the Vernon C. Bain Center, a floating jail barge, shortly after Henry shot and killed Damien Greenslade, 26, who was sitting in a car with his estranged former girlfriend in the Bronx. He shot the girlfriend in the leg. When confronted by police Henry refused to surrender.

New York: On September 14, 2005, Cutis Kubiak, 58, a guard at the Albion Correctional Facility was arrested on charges that he raped one prisoner and gave a gift to another at the female prison. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Nigeria: On September 21, 2005, prisoners at the Ikoyi Prison in Lagos, rioted leaving at least 10 prisoners and six guards dead and unknown numbers injured. The riot began when prison officials attempted to move a number of prisoners to another prison and they resisted. The wardens office and records office were burnt to the ground during which at least six guards burned to death. The Prison Minister spokesman, Ope Fatinukun, denied that what happened was a riot and instead said it was a misunderstanding.

North Carolina: On August 17, 2005, Governor Mike Easley refused to pardon Sylvester Smith, 54, who had been convicted of first degree rape and sexual offense in 1984. Smith was freed from prison when the alleged victims recanted their testimony that Smith had assaulted them. Easley had prosecuted Smith while serving as district attorney for Brunswick County. Smith said he believed Easley had a conflict of interest and was incapable of admitting he had made a mistake. At the same time, Easley pardoned Leo Waters, 56, who had served 21 years in prison for a rape in which he was exonerated by DNA evidence. A pardon allows wrongly convicted North Carolina prisoners to seek up to $20,000 a year in damages for each year spent in prison, up to $500,000.

North Carolina: On October 3, 2005, Jason Chess, 28, a Fayette county probation officer, was charged with supplying a female prisoner at the local jail who was on his case load with three miniature bottles of liquor, a pack of cigarettes and chewing gum.

North Carolina: On September 20, 2005, Edna Honeycutt, 69, was arrested at the Harnett Correctional Facility and charged with attempting to smuggle five Darvocet pills and 8 Clonazepam pills to her son Christopher Bass, 37. Honeycutt was on probation for having been convicted of previously smuggling narcotics to her son while he was in prison.

North Carolina: On September 29, 2005, Constance Locklear, 25, a guard at the Scotland Correctional Institution was arrested and charged with shooting a man in the wrist that had gotten into a fight with her father.

Ohio: Citing budget problems, Ashtabula county prosecutor Thomas Sartini told media in May, 2005, that his office lacked the resources to prosecute crimes in the countys two private prisons, the North Coast Correctional treatment Facility and the Lake Erie Correctional Institution. Records indicate only attacks on staff and drug smuggling are prosecuted while attacks on prisoners by other prisoners are not prosecuted. Readers can speculate where crimes by staff fit into this scenario.

Ohio: In July, 2005, Ross Correctional Institution deputy warden Jeffrey Lisath was suspended for five days after he accidentally showed prisoners an HBO television show with some sexual content. Lisath said he meant only to record a boxing match and show it to prisoners when he accidentally recorded the unnamed show following the boxing match.

Oregon: On September 28, 2005, Leighton Bates, 44, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and weapons possession charges stemming from taking prison guard Rebecca McLauchlin hostage at the Oregon State Penitentiary, on April 25, 2005, for three hours. Bates was sentenced to 19 years and seven month imprisonment, to be served consecutive to the 51 year sentence he is already serving for prior sexual assaults, kidnappings and escapes. McLauchlin received an award from the Oregon Department of Corrections in recognition of the professional way she behaved while hostage. However, that did not last long and on September 19, 2005, McLauchlin resigned and is undergoing criminal investigation for unspecified criminal behavior.
Pennsylvania: In September, 2005, Joseph Ciccone, 45, a former Bergen county sheriff was convicted in 2001 of selling jobs and promotions to his employees and shaking down vendors for campaign contributions, was hired to teach criminal justice and police organization and administration courses at the East Stroudsburg University. As part of his sentence Ciccone is forbidden from holding government employment.

South Carolina: On October 5, 2005, Dorchester county jail guard Christopher Fralix, 28, was arrested on charges that he pointed a pistol at trusty prisoners working on jail grounds.

Sri Lanka: On September 26, 2005, three prison guards and a prisoner were killed when unidentified gunman stopped a prison bus transporting prisoners to court in Gampaha town. No motive was given for the attack. Sri Lanka has faced a protracted civil war as the Tamil minority seeks independence.

Texas: On September 1, 2005, 8 people including Geo Corporation guards who worked at the San Antonio jail, Angelica Guerra and Sophia Martinez, pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges for stealing money from banks by opening accounts, depositing money then over drawing the accounts. Prosecutors claim the scheme was masterminded by Santos Lopez III, 27, who started the scheme and recruited the guards while imprisoned in the San Antonio jail. Both guards were fired by Geo.

Thailand: On September 24, 2005, prisoners at the Lop Buri Central Prison burned down a furniture factory and a cell block to protest a lack of water in the prison and the denial of TV privileges to watch boxing matches on television. In response to the 14 hour riot, Corrections Department chief Nathee Chitsawang agreed to improve the water supply, restore kickboxing television shows and transfer the prison warden. The ban on boxing had been instituted to curtail prison gambling after family members complained prisoners were falling deeply into debt over the matches. Prison officials claimed that book makers, angry at lost profits, had engineered the riot.

Washington: In early September, 2005, the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton fired prison guards Willie Shannon, 26, and Sean Dack, 25, after the guards got into a fight with former prisoner Randy Hinchcliffe, 38, at a bar in Olympia. All three men were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. While in a holding cell in the Olympia city jail Shannon urinated on a jail computer outside his cell, causing $1,500 in damages. He has been charged with felony malicious mischief. When police released Hinchcliffe from the jail they gave him Dacks cell phone, wallet, t shirt and baseball cap. Hinchcliffe then used Dacks cell phone to call a 25 year old woman Dack had been chatting with at the bar to pick him up at the jail, when she showed up he tried to force his way into her car. She called police who then set up a sting to retrieve Dacks belongings. That was successful and he has been charged with theft. Both guards were probationary employees with the DOC. Shannons mother Teresa Shannon was a guard murdered in 1996 by her lover and fellow Shelton prison guard Cindy Boskofski. Willie and his brother had sued the DOC and city of Lacey for failing to protect their mother, those suits were dismissed. Boskofski was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. In the past 25 years all prison guards killed in Washington State have been murdered by their co-workers.

Washington: On October 17, 2005, Floyd Drane, 53, a guard at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent, was sentenced to 64 years and four months in prison for kidnapping, beating and raping two prostitutes while he was high on crack cocaine. One victim, now age 21, described how Drane burned her with a clothing iron scarring her legs, arm and torso and beat her with an electrical cord. The other victim, aged 47, said Drane held her against her will for 3 days, threatening, beating and choking her and shooting her 17 times with a bb gun while she lay bound on his laundry room floor. Drane was convicted after a bench trial and the court rejected the plea of his attorney, John Henry Browne, for a sentence of 51 years, despite Dranes 22 years of employment as a jail guard, by noting the severity and depravity of the injuries.

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