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News in Brief:

California: On January 12, 2007, prisoners at Folsom State Prison gave 192 phone cards to the California National Guard which was purchased with money raised during a pizza fund raiser at the prison. Each card had 200 minutes on it and will be distributed to soldiers serving overseas. The irony that California prisoners, whose friends and families pay over $20 for a 20 minute phone call from their loved ones in prison, would donate phone cards to the soldiers who make possible the concentration camps at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib was apparently lost on the mainstream media.

California: On January 17, 2007, Laurence Moll, 57, a guard at Old Folsom State Prison, shot and killed himself after shooting and killing his girlfriend, Bonnie Lathum, 56, a nurse at the prison, and her daughter Teresa Contreras, 31.

Colorado: On September 28, 2007, Brad Sanchez, 31, a guard at the Huerfano County Correctional Center, a jail operated by Corrections Corporation of America, was arrested and charged with soliciting sex and sexually explicit photos from undercover policemen pretending to be a 14 year old girl.

El Salvador: On January 5, 2007, prisoners at the Apanteos prison rioted when a prisoner began arguing with a guard. That argument escalated into a full blown riot that had rival prisoner gangs fighting each other and left 17 prisoners dead and several injured. Police regained control of the prison the next day but renewed fighting among the prisoners left another 3 dead.

Florida: As part of a plea bargain, Bobby James Allen, 35, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on September 20, 2007, in Panama City after pleading guilty to three counts of armed sexual battery. Allen also underwent surgical castration as part of the plea, which cost $2,000 and was paid for by the court system. Allen had faced a life sentence if he had not undergone castration.

France: In January, 2007, Nicolas Cocaigne, 35, a prisoner in Rouen was charged with premeditated murder and violating a corpse for beating, stabbing and strangling his cellmate Thierry Baudry to death and then eating portions of the dead man?s chest and lungs. Cocaigne was awaiting trial on charges of armed rape and is mentally ill. His attorney Fabien Picchiotino said it was obvious Cocaigne was mentally ill and the murder could have been avoided if he had been promptly sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment after he was diagnosed with major schizophrenia, a condition worsened by imprisonment in sub human conditions. A third cellmate who claimed he slept through the attack and feast has also been charged with murder.

Georgia: On September 14, 2007, Robert Massey, 42, a guard at the Federal Correctional Institution in Jessup pleaded guilty to accepting a $1,000 bribe to smuggle unspecified contraband into the prison.

Illinois: On January 10, 2007, John LaValle, 37, a guard at the Cook County jail in Chicago was sentenced to 100 years in prison for killing a man in 2002 from whom he was attempting to collect a drug debt.
Prosecutors claimed that LaValle was working for drug dealers he purported to guard at the jail and went to the home of Jeffrey Smith, 22, with two other men to collect $70,000 in drug debts.

Kentucky: On September 15, 2007, Timothy Short, 29, a guard at the Kentucky State Penitentiary was arrested after his co-workers saw him give marijuana to a prisoner.

Maryland: On January 12, 2007, Leon Alexander, 21, a guard at the Cecil County Detention Center was fined $1,500 and sentenced to two years probation for sexually assaulting a female prisoners three times.

Michigan: On January 13, 2007, Pamela Grooters, 40, a federal probation employee and employee of the Federal Public Defenders office in Grand Rapids, was arrested and charged with using her access to government computers to steal the identities of people which she then used to obtain credit cards in their names and then get cash advances and buy items luxury items for herself and her husband.

Michigan: On October 5, 2007, John Atchison, 53, a federal prosecutor from Florida who was awaiting trial on charges that he flew to Michigan to have sex with a five year old girl, committed suicide in his segregation cell at the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan. He had previously tried to hang himself shortly after being arrested. He was on suicide watch at the time of his death. His arrest was the result of a sting operation by the Macomb County Sheriff?s office and the FBI where police posed as the mother of a five year old girl seeking men to have sex with the ?daughter,? who did not exist.

Mozambique: On September 16, 2007, five policemen were suspended for bringing prostitutes into the Maputo prison to have sex with the prisoners. Twelve prostitutes arrested inside the prison were later released because prostitution is not a crime in Mozambique. Prostitutes said they were picked up by prison vehicles and taken to the prison where they would have sex with prisoners who paid them about $20 US, two or three times their going rate. They claimed to have paid the police and prison guards nothing, assuming the prisoners made those arrangements. Apparently the practice had been going on for years but was exposed after a quarrel among the police and guards over the bribes they were paid.

Nevada: On October 3, 2007, Irvin Blake, a lieutenant at the Southern Nevada Corrections Center in Jean was arrested and charged with attempting to bribe an unidentified prisoner to beat up a prison sergeant who had reported unspecified misconduct by Blake for which he was being demoted. After the sergeant was beaten up, Blake planned to place illegal drugs in the sergeant?s car and report them to police.

New Jersey: In September, 2007, the Bergen county jail announced it had purchased 80 laptop computers to provide prisoners with access to West Law for legal research purposes.

New York: On January 10, 2007, Emilio Maldonado, 29, a guard at the Bedford Hills prison for women, shot and killed Chris Kenner, 36, during a road rage incident in which Kenner and his brother Leroy beat him up through the window of his car. Leroy was charged with assault in the incident. Maldonado was not charged.

New York: On January 8, 2007, Cassandra Jones, 42, was charged in Washington county Supreme Court with promoting prison contraband for having 2.5 grams of heroin, unidentified pills and a surgical scalpel concealed inside a tampon inserted in her vagina which she attempted to smuggle in to her husband, a prisoner at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility. Jones is a third grade school teacher in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

New York: On October 3, 2007, Marcy Brodhead, 30, a guard at the Downstate Correctional Facility was charged with third degree rape and promoting prison contraband for sexually assaulting a male prisoner in his cell on two occasions and providing him with marijuana. The unidentified prisoner reported the assaults to the Department of Correctional Services inspector general.

Ohio: On September 24, 2007, Edward Drane, 43, a guard at the Lucas County jail, was fired after being arrested for accepting a $100 bribe from an undercover policeman to deliver marijuana and tobacco to a prisoner in the jail.

Pennsylvania: In September, 2007, Tony Strong, 46; Ronald Smith, 51; Sheri Allen, 38; and Allen Littles, 37, guards at the state prison in Graterford were arrested and charged in federal court with smuggling drugs and cell phones to prisoners at the facility.

Pennsylvania: On September 28, 2007, Chad Dickson, a prisoner at SCI-Cresson was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison after pleading guilty to making false checks using prison typewriters which were then cashed by people outside the prison. Prosecutors claim Dickson?s plot netted $30,000 and he was ordered to repay $10,000 in restitution.

South Carolina: On January 5, 2007, Paul Williams Jr., 37, a guard at the Broad River Correctional Institution was arrested on charges he raped a woman three times at a home in Columbia.

Texas: On September 21, 2007, Matt Baker, 36, a Baptist preacher employed as a chaplain at the Waco Center for Youth, a juvenile prison, was arrested and charged with drugging and suffocating his wife Kari and attempting to make it appear to be a suicide.

Vietnam: On September 21, 2007, the government announced it would release 10,000 prisoners in an amnesty t mark National Holiday and to ?reaffirm the humanitarian policy of the Communist Party and the Vietnamese state for prisoners who have truly repented of their crimes,? said Pham Duc Chan, Chief of Jails Administration Department at the Public Security Ministry.

Washington: On November 8, 2006, Daniel Jay Perez, 20, was charged in Snohomish county superior court with second degree murder for strangling his cellmate, Cory Garzina to death in their cell at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe.

Washington: On September 28, 2007, Roger Nordling, 54, escaped from the Geiger Corrections Center where he was awaiting trial on assault, gun and drug charges. He escaped during a break from Bible Study classes by climbing to the roof of the chapel and leaping over a barbed wire fence.

Wisconsin: In late September, 2007, Dustin Schultz, 20, a guard at the Taycheedah Correctional Institution, pleaded no contest to second degree sexual assault of an inmate charges.

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