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News in Brief:

Alabama: On September 26, 2007, Leigh Cochran, 33, a guard at the Houston County Jail was sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to felony custodial sexual misconduct and two misdemeanor counts of promoting prison contraband.

California: On February 23, 2008, 21 prisoners were injured, one seriously, in a fight between prisoners at the Geo Corporation run minimum security Desert View Modified Community Correctional Facility in Adelanto. No reason was given in media accounts of the incident in part because Geo would not return media calls.

Georgia: On February 11, 2008, Albany lawyer William Keenan was sentenced to five years in prison for giving his client, Dareon Varner, a 14 inch hack saw blade during an attorney visit. Keenan plead guilty to furnishing a prisoner with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to escape. Varner had been facing charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during a felony and he was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was caught with the hacksaw blade.

Indiana: On February 8, 2008, prisoners at the Pendleton Correctional Institution seized and held one of the maxi-mum security prison’s housing units for 2 hours before guards stormed the unit and regained control. Media accounts gave no reason for the seizure of the unit and state that some prisoners suffered minor injuries during the retaking of the unit.

Ohio: On February 7, 2008, Seth Bunke, 25, a guard at the Lucas county jail in Toledo, was charged in US district court with beating and kicking a prisoner with no justification for doing so on June 11, 2007. He did so in the presence of guards James Kotlarcyk, 44, and Joel McConnell, 28, who then filed false reports claiming the beating was somehow jus-tified. Bunke was also charged with several other assaults on prisoners, Kotlarcyk and McConnell were charged with falsi-fying records in a federal investigation.

Ohio: On January 20, 2008, Nathaniel Barnes, 28, a guard at the Civigenics run Columbiana County Jail was charged with conveying an illegal substance into the jail. Specifically, he was accused of smuggling tobacco and mari-juana to jail prisoners.

Ohio: On January 24, 2008, over 100 prisoners in the Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility fought each other after flashing gang signs at breakfast. On April 4, 2008, six of the rioting children were charged as adults with aggravated riot-ing and six were charged as juveniles. Prison warden Dion Norman said the criminal charges were designed to “send a message” to the 300 juvenile prisoners that he has “zero tolerance” for gang activity.

Pennsylvania: On February 12, 2008, eight prisoners at FCI Allenwood were hospitalized after a fight between pris-oners. No staff were injured. The media gave no reason for the altercation.

Pennsylvania: On May 28, 2008, Anthony Gray, a prisoner at SCI Huntingdon, was charged with aggravated har-assment for spitting saliva and feces on three prison guards on June 6, 2007. Prior to being brought to a room with the guards Gray allegedly swallowed the fecal mixture which he then proceeded to spew on them. Four days later he sprayed urine on three more guards near his cell and a subsequent cell search found four homemade weapons.

South Carolina: On September 6, 2007, prison secretary Jon Ozmint hosted a tour of state prisons for 15 officials of the puppet regime in
Afghanistan. General Abdul Salam Ismat, who runs the Afghan prison system, wanted to know why south Carolina with 3.5 million people has 24,000 prisoners while Afghanistan, with 25 million people has only 11,000 prisoners. (Ozmint did not respond that in South Carolina the government does not lock hundreds of prisoners at a time in locked shipping containers to allow them to suffocate to death and then shoot the survivors, which the US installed Afghan regime does when convenient.) The tour was part of a US State Department operation to show officials from puppet re-gimes how to better run their repressive apparatus. When an Afghan official asked why South Carolina prisoners are not allowed conjugal visits with their spouses, the norm in most countries, Ozmint replied “We just don’t want any more ba-bies, that’s all.”

Texas: On February 5, 2008, Abel Morin, 24, was sentenced to five concurrent life terms for assorted rape, burglary and kidnapping charges for raping a mother and her daughter in Duval County. The next day he was taken to the Jim Hogg County Jail in Hebbronville where he promptly escaped by walking out of an unlocked door.

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