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News in Brief:

Illinois: On June 3, 2007, over 50 prisoners at the Tri County Justice and Detention Center in Ullin rebelled and barricaded themselves in their housing unit and set fire to mattresses and property. Police and guards used tear gas to suppress the rebellion within 30 minutes. The jail is operated under contract by Geo Group, a private prison company based in Florida. No reason was given for the rebellion.

India: On December 16, 2007, 299 of the 377 prisoners held in the Dantewada prison in Chhattisgarh escaped from the prison. 105 of the escaped prisoners were member the Communist Party of India (Maoist) which is waging an armed struggle for state power throughout India. The prisoners overpowered and disarmed prison guards while guerrillas outside the facility opened fire on the prison.

India: On December 19, 2007, over 200 Maoist political prisoners seized control of the Beur jail and guards fled for their lives. Guards later retook control of the prison.

Louisiana: On November 21, 2007, William Bullock, 26, and Donald Till, 32, both prisoners at the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, died after a fight at the prison. The prison was locked down afterwards. In April, 2007, two other prisoners were stabbed to death by other prisoners.

Malawi: On December 25, 2007, president Bingu wa Mutharika announced he would free 439 prisoners as part of the nation?s goodwill celebrations. In July Mutharika had released 495 prisoners in honor of the country?s independent from Britain.

Michigan: On December 20, 2007, Joseph Candie, 39, a shift commander at the Scott Correctional Facility for Women was shot and killed by an employee he supervised after the two argued and fought in a gas station parking lot. The assailant, Darren Johnson, 44, a sergeant at the prison then shot himself in the chest. Johnson was later arrested and is expected to recover. He has been charged with first degree murder.

Nevada: On November 16, 2007, Nevada supreme court Justice Jim Hardesty, told the Board of Prison Commissioners that over 500 prisoners were being held in prison despite having been found paroleable because they have no access to programs mandated as a condition of release. Oftentimes the conditions are not even required. Another 500 prisoners are eligible for parole hearings but a supposedly overworked parole board cannot hear their cases.

Ohio: On October 19, 2007, Gary Ludt, 37, a guard at the Civigenics run jail in Lisbon was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling marijuana and tobacco to prisoners in the jail in exchange for bribes.
Oklahoma: On November 30, 2007, prisoners at the Caddo county jail in Anadarko rebelled and set fire to objects to protest their lengthy stays in the jail. No injuries were reported.

Oregon: On December 25, 2007, an anonymous businessman donated $10,000 so each prisoner at the Oregon State Penitentiary would have $4.11 for Christmas. The money was split evenly among the prison?s 2,433 prisoners.

Pennsylvania: On December 16, 2007, Frank Neisser escaped from the Bucks county jail by busting out a window from a modular housing unit and climbing over two razor wire fences. He was recaptured five days later after a witness called the jail and police to report seeing him on a bus.

South Carolina: On November 15, 2007, a prison van carrying six prisoners from the Campbell Work Release Program in Columbia to a work site was struck by a tractor trailer and flipped over. Five of the prisoners were treated and released while one prisoner suffered serious injuries. No report on the status of the driver and if he/she was a prison employee or a prisoner.
Tennessee: In December, 2007, Chattanooga circuit judge John Hagler, 65, resigned when media disclosed the existence of a lurid ?fantasy? tape made by the judge in 2005. The contents of the tape are not known except that police who heard it described as sounding ?like someone being tortured.? Police sergeant Alan Franks said ?The content was so shocking. I have been a police officer for 24 years?.? His testimony was terminated by objection. The tape was leaked to the media. Because Hagler had resigned the state Court of the Judiciary deemed it did not have jurisdiction to investigate the tape. Police and prosecutors had determined in 2005 that the tape did not contain evidence of a crime.
Apparently they did not think it called into question Hagler?s temperament to be a judge. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has filed suit for a copy of the tape.

Tennessee: In December, 2007, state Department of Corrections officials announced that in March the state prison system would ban all tobacco products. They are planning to use $10,000 from the state?s tobacco industry settlement to pay the American Lung Association of Tennessee to implement a statewide smoking cessation program for prisoners and prison staff alike.

Texas: On November 14, 2007, Vincent Inametti, a Catholic priest, pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually assaulting female prisoners at the federal prison in Ft. Worth.

Texas: On November 14, 2007, Willacy County Detention Center sergeants Juan Trevino, 27, and Albert Vasquez, 37, were arrested and charged with conspiring to transport illegal aliens. Two guards from the same prison, Carlos Garcia, 36, and Benjamin Sanchez, 36, were arrested and charged with driving 28 illegal aliens past a Border Patrol checkpoint. The men are employed by Management and Training Corporation, a private prison company. The prison they work at houses illegal aliens being detained pending deportation from the United States. Garcia and Sanchez were in their prison uniforms and armed when they attempted to smuggle their human cargo past Border Patrol agents claiming they were transporting prisoners. The agents became suspicious because none of the passengers were shackled and some had suitcases.

Texas: On November 16, 2007, Raymond Wingfield, 36, and Dalton Collins, 36, both prisoners, were sentenced for their roles in a 2004 beating of two prison guards and an escape attempt from the Eastham Unit in Lovelady. After being convicted of two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant and attempted escape Wingfield was sentenced to two four year and two 25 year sentences, to be served concurrently. He had been due for release in 2062, with a possible parole date of 2032 before the new sentencing. Collins was sentenced to an additional 40 years, consecutive to his life without parole sentence.

Texas: On November 20, 2007, Khaliliha Baucom, 24, a former state prison guard, was arrested on charges she gave birth in a motel and stuffed the baby in a toilet tank. The baby died.

Texas: On November 29, 2007, two prisoners in the Special Housing Unit at the United States Penitentiary in Beaumont attacked two guards and a prisoner in the facility with knives, the prisoner, Gabriel Rhone, 31, was stabbed to death. The guards were injured but not seriously.

Texas: The mayor of Poteet, Lino Donato, is a registered sex offender based on his October 31, 2007, guilty plea to improperly touching two young girls. He was released on probation with the requirement that he register as a sex offender for the next 20 years. Despite his guilty plea Donato maintains his innocence and refuses to resign as mayor. Under state law, Donato cannot go within 1,000 feet of where children congregate. City Hall is within 200 feet of a youth center and a boxing gym. He was warned by his probation officer that if he goes to city hall he will be arrested for violating his probation.

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