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News in Brief:
Arkansas: On September 11, 2007, while awaiting sentencing on child sex charges, Jerry Scholes, attempted to escape from a Global Positioning Satellite device attached to his leg by sawing his leg through the calf down to the bone, just above the electronic bracelet. Police detective Doroteo Delacruz speculated that Scholes attempted to amputate his leg, rather than remove the device, because by doing so it would not activate the alarm on the device. Delacruz stated that Scholes had given no reason to police for the attempted leg amputation. Delacruz said emergency medical staff had found Scholes with ?plastic zip ties on various parts of his body, including, I?m told, his penis.? Scholes was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Arkansas: On September 3, 2007, Anna Clark, 55, a former psychologist at the Cummins Unit prison was sentenced to three years in prison for having sex with prisoner Dan Burns, who was under her professional care. Clark had been working for the prison system six weeks when she was fired for sexually assaulting Burns. Since 2006 at least 15 Arkansas DOC employees have been fired or charged for sexually assaulting the prisoners in their care. Clark relinquished her psychiatry license after being fired. She had previously been disciplined, prior to working for the DOC, by the medical board for ?having exceeded rules regarding familiarity with patients.?
Arkansas: On September 4, 2007, Robert Smith, 42, had gasoline thrown on him while sleeping in an open dormitory and was then set on fire. For the past 30 years, at least, courts have criticized the inherent dangerousness of open barracks dormitories housing maximum security prisoners.
Colorado: On September 12, 2007, Richard Harris, 52, an employee of the state Department of Corrections was arrested and charged in Jefferson County with attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. Prosecutors claim Harris had internet chats with undercover police pretending to be under 15 year old girls and attempting to entice them to send him nude photos and have sex with him.
Colorado: On September 5, 2007, 126 prisoners at the Pueblo county jail suffered from vomiting and diarrhea due to food poisoning.
District of Colombia: On September 18, 2007, Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the world announced in public disclosure forms filed with the US senate, that in the first six months of 2007 it had spent $1.3 million to lobby the federal government, including the legislature, white house, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the departments of Justice, labor and Homeland Security. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money flowing to the company, this appears to be money well spent.
Florida: Geo Corporation, the second largest private prison company in the world announced on July 30, 2007, it will begin prison installation of the ORION Non Linear Junction Detector, machines which can detect cell phones even when the phones are turned off or not transmitting or have the battery removed. How effective the technology is remains to be seen.
Florida: On September 12, 2007, Cheryl Lucas, 42, a guard at the Port Orange jail, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for shooting her sleeping husband, Michael, several times, killing him. The shooting may have been precipitated by her belief that Michael was having an affair. Apparently she told neighbors about her own affairs.
Florida: On September 2, 2007, Charles Floyd, a guard at the Broward county jail as charged with kidnapping and raping a prisoner he was supposed to transport to the jail. On June 13, 2007, while transporting three female prisoners to the jail he left two at the jail and took the third to a closed business and then raped her.
Indiana: On June 11, 2007, Lawrence county police department chief Matron Shauna Hawkins, 32, was arrested and charged with twice performing oral sex on jail prisoner Kevin Edwards, 32. Hawkins is the daughter in law of sheriff Kent Hawkins, whose wife Sandy had held the matron position previously. The jail matron is responsible for ordering food, overseeing the cleaning of the administration part of the jail, supervising kitchen staff, etc.
Jordan: On August 29, 2007, Majid Rawashda, warden of the Swaqa Correctional and Rehabilitation Center was fired after more than 100 prisoners at the high security prison injured themselves with ceramic tiles to protest torture and brutality at the prison on the eve of a visit by Human Rights Watch investigating torture at the prison. Prison officials said Rawashda was dismissed for unspecified violations of the police code.
Maryland: In August, 2007, Lontona Webb, 38, and Latoya James, 24, guards at the Central Intake and Booking Center in Baltimore were charged from stealing credit cards of people arrested and booked into the jail. The thievery came to light when public defender Nicholas Panteleakis, 34, was arrested for loitering (charges were later dropped) and he noticed over $1,000 in fraudulent charges on his credit card within six hours of his being booked into the jail. Jail officials have now installed video cameras in the jail property area to curtail further theft by their employees.
Mexico: On September 17, 2007, prisoners at the Neza Bordo prison rioted, leaving four prisoners dead. The government then sent in 1,200 policemen to restore control of the prison, which houses 3,800 men, and search for drugs and weapons.
Michigan: On June 8, 2007, Ricardo Quintero II, 19, a work release prisoner at the Muskegon County Jail, died after swallowing a Fentanyl patch. Fentanyl is a form of synthetic morphine much more powerful than morphine. An autopsy also found cocaine, valium and aspirin in Quintero?s system.
Michigan: On September 17, 2007, John Atchison, 53, a United States Attorney from Florida was indicted in federal court on charges that he flew to Michigan to have sex with a five year old girl who in reality turned out to be an undercover police officer posing as a mother interested in allowing men to have sex with her children. The US attorney?s office in Florida had no comment on Atchison?s arrest.
Michigan: On September 2, 2007 the Cheboygan county jail experienced a flu like illness that sickened 57 of its 74 prisoners.
Oregon: On September 2, 2007, Tomi Fowler, 39, and her husband James Fowler, 29, both employed as guards at the Snake River Correctional Institution were arrested and charged with crowing marijuana in their home and Tomi was also charged with sexually assaulting a 25 year old male prisoner. She was also charged with bringing contraband diet pills into the prison.
Philippines: On July 29, 2007, 1,588 prisoners in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Cebu set a world record for the most prisoners dancing simultaneously in the same place to the tune of Michael Jackson?s Thriller. The prison has large synchronized dance routines on a regular basis. Byron Garcia, a prison security consultant introduced the idea several years ago and claims prison security is markedly improved as a result as it keeps the prisoners busy and entertained. Some of the videos of dancing prisoners have been uploaded to You Tube where they have been viewed millions of times.
South Carolina: On September 1, 2007, Ernest Miller, 24, a guard at the Turbeville Correctional Center was charged with simple assault and battery for punching a handcuffed prisoner on May 30, 2007. He had been a guard since January 2, 2007.
South Dakota: On September 6, 2007, Charles Crowell, 34, a former state prison guard, pleaded guilty to two counts of raping a 14 year old California girl he met online. He also faces charges in San Diego from the incident as well.
Tennessee: On September 2, 20007, the badly overcrowded women?s section of the Hamblen county jail experienced an outbreak of lice. The jail has 32 beds for women but houses 68, with the excess sleeping in mats on the floor. The jail is licensed to house 167 prisoners but houses over 300 on an ongoing basis.
Texas: On August 31, 2007, Joe Nathan Sanders Jr., 33, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole by a jury in Houston when courtroom deputies tasered him. Sanders told his lawyer he wanted to hug his mother as the jury had rejected the death penalty after convicting him of killing his ex girlfriend?s sister who was pregnant with his child.
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