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News in Brief:
Austria: On November 3, 2006, Muradif Hasanbegovic, 36, escaped from the Karlau prison by wrapping himself in a box used by the prison work shop to make parts for lamp posts and he was loaded onto a delivery truck by other prisoners and he escaped once the truck left the prison. Prison warden Franz Hochstrasser told media ?This sort of thing is not supposed to happen. Guards need to count prisoners at the end of working hours.?
Cambodia: On November 1, 2006, Donald Ramirez, 50, a 25 year veteran San Francisco police officer being held in the Phnom Penh jail on charges of sexual abuse and ?debauchery? related to having sex with a 14 year old girl, committed suicide in his jail cell by shooting himself through the mouth twice with a pistol he pulled over to his cell from a desk where a policeman had left it. Local media were not allowed into the police station to verify the official account, including how Ramirez had managed to shoot himself twice.
Illinois: On September 6, 2006, former Illinois governor George Ryan, who won international acclaim from death penalty foes for granting clemency to all Illinois death row prisoners shortly before leaving office, was sentenced to 6 and a half years in federal prison after being convicted on corruption charges, most of which occurred when he was secretary of state. A jury found that in exchange for bribes, vacations and gifts, Ryan sent lucrative state contracts to cronies and also oversaw corruption in the state driver?s license bureau. Ryan is out on bail while he appeals his convictions for racketeering, mail fraud, obstruction of justice and other charges. All told 79 people have been charged and 75 convicted in the FBI investigation that netted Ryan.
Louisiana: On July 18, 2006, a single engine Beechcraft plane owned by LCS Corrections Services crashed into a mobile home in Jeanerette. The owner of the mobile home was killed as was the plane?s pilot and the passenger John Blackburn, both LCS employees. Blackburn was LCS?s construction superintendent and had been returning from a jail construction project in Corpus Christi, Texas. The plane crashed after it was struck by lightning.
Massachusetts: On February 23, 2006, Francis Ciaburri, 53, a former prison guard at MCI-Concord was sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years of probation after being convicted of raping a male prisoner at the facility in 1996. He was initially charged with rape but a jury convicted him of indecent assault and battery
Massachusetts: On July 18, 2006, Pippen Ross, 50, a former reporter for National Public Radio, was sentenced to an additional 2-4 years in prison for forging a sentencing document that would have cut her jail sentence in half. Ross was serving a one year sentence in the Berkshire jail for her fourth drunk driving conviction. She used another prisoner?s sentencing document to attempt to reduce her sentence but jail officials became suspicious when the documents did not match. Ross had been sentenced in Berkshire District Court; the document she forged was issued by the Dudley District court. Ross was charged with being an accessory before the fact to escape.
New Hampshire: On October 28, 2006, Gary Eames, 21, a prisoner at the Merrimack county jail while huffing. He was found dead in the jail kitchen bathroom with a plastic bag filled with Pam cooking spray over his head. He was awaiting trial on domestic violence charges.
New York: On January 4, 2007, Rocco Bove, 24, a guard at the Nassau County jail, was arraigned on charges he smuggled marijuana into the jail for a prisoner concealed in a box of cannoli pastries.
North Carolina: On May 12, 2006, Robert Neely, 38, a guard at the minimum security women?s prison in Lexington pleaded guilty to having sex with female prisoners by performing oral sex on them and having intercourse with them during 2002-2005. Three of the prisoners said the sex was consensual and two continued having sex with him after they were released from prison. Two said they felt intimidated.
Pennsylvania: On September 18, 2006, William Lewis, 54, a guard at the Bedford county jail was sentenced to 45 days in jail and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to having sex with a female jail prisoner.
Russia: On September 4, 2006, three prisoners armed with homemade knives took the warden and 14 jail employees hostage at a pretrial jail in Moscow after previously attacking two guards, taking their uniforms and seizing the jail library. The prisoners were demanding their release from jail where two were serving 25 year sentences for murder and one a nine year sentence for robbery. When negotiations failed police stormed the jail and rescued the hostages. The prisoners were not injured but two hostages were during the rescue operation.
South Carolina: On July 13, 2006, Raymond Stegall, 28, was sentenced to life without parole after being convicted of beating his cellmate, Robert Hall, 29, to death while the two men were cellmates in the Charleston county jail in 2004. The men were housed in segregation cells, which due to overcrowding sometimes have as many as four prisoners in ?solitary.?
Texas: On February 7, 2007, James Jackson, 47, was killed by the state of Texas after being convicted of killing his wife and two step daughters because she was going to divorce him. Jackson?s final words before being killed by the state were: ?Warden, murder me.?
Texas: On September 13, 2006, six prison guards, who were not identified to the media, at the Wallace Unit prison in Colorado City resigned after being investigated for bringing alcohol onto prison property in a July, 2006 employee fish fry. State law prohibits possession of alcohol on prison property.
Washington: In August, 2006, Carl Vance, was sentenced to life without parole as a ?three strikes offender? after being convicted of assaulting a Thurston county jail guard. His prior convictions include robbery, child molestation and armed robbery.
Wisconsin: On September 16, 2006, an unidentified prisoner at the Wisconsin Resource Center, which holds sex offenders in a prison like setting after they have completed their sentences, ostensibly for treatment, stabbed a female clerical employee with a makeshift knife made from a plunger handle. Two security staff intervened upon hearing the woman?s screams for help.
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