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News in Brief:

Alabama: On September 11, 2007, Morgan County Community Corrections Director Alison Nix resigned her job as head of the county?s sentencing alternative program after the Community Corrections and Court Services Commission voted to fire her after it was learned she was improperly billing the county $504 for mileage on fraudulent trips. In one case Nix claimed she had visited a prisoner at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka and prison records show she did not visit the prison on the day in question. In other cases she billed mileage for meetings she did not attend.

California: On April 18, 2008, five prisoners were injured after Hispanic prisoners attacked white prisoners in the yard of the Chino State Prison. No cause was given for the attack and prison guards subdued the prisoners using pepper spray.

California: On April 22, 2008, several hundred illegal immigrant prisoners awaiting deportation at the Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster rioted in what began as a fight between rival gang members. The facility is run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff?s Department on contract for the Department of Homeland Security. Ten prisoners suffered minor injuries during the uprising.

Florida: On April 17, 2008, Jonathan Tave, 26, a prisoner in the Duval county jail awaiting trial on murder charges, attacked and raped a female jail guard in the jail law library where she was supervising his use of the law library. Tave has been charged with a multitude of crimes stemming from the attack.

Honduras: On April 27, 2008, nine prisoners died in a fight between rival prison gangs in the city of San Pedro Sula. Eight of the prisoners were hacked to death with machetes, the ninth was shot. The jail holds over 3,000 prisoners.

Kentucky: On July 25, 2007, John Rees, the commissioner of Corrections was found in contempt of court and fined $500 by Louisville judge Judith McDonald-Burkman for refusing to release a prisoner she had ordered discharged to shock probation. Rees told the judge that, in his opinion, the prisoner did not qualify for shock probation.

New Jersey: In June, 2007, former Assistant Corrections Commissioner Carrie Johnson filed suit claiming she was fired in 2005 by then commissioner Devon Brown for rebuffing his sexual advances. The reason given for her firing at the time was using prisoners to set up a sorority party. Johnson and Brown are both black. In her lawsuit Johnson claims white employees with more serious transgressions received more lenient treatment. Brown now heads the District of Columbia Jail system. Despite having been fired Johnson was initially awarded a $71,500 a year pension by prison officials who declined to mention she had been fired.

Ohio: On April 23, 2008, Americ Joslin, 41, was being driven to the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton to begin serving a 5 year sentence for fraud when he asked his brother to stop the car so he could pray. Joslin left the car, went to the woods and shot himself in the head and died. Joslin?s case was still on appeal.

Texas: On April 22, 2008, 80 prisoners in the Harris county jail in Houston were placed on quarantine due to an outbreak of chickenpox among them. They are denied visitors for 21 days, eat off disposable plates and guards wear protective masks and gloves when in contact with them. When contracted by adults chickenpox is very painful and serious and can lead to death.

Texas: On July 19, 2007, Willie McAdams was arrested at his home. In 2004 he was sentenced to 40 years in prison for shooting Cedric Thomas in the head, blinding him in one eye. He was mistakenly released on May 4, 2007 due to a clerical error by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice where a clerk entered his sentence as 4 years instead of 40 in the prison?s computer system. Upon being mistakenly released McAdam?s returned to Houston where he ran into Thomas in a bar, apologized and shook his hand. Thomas promptly reported the incident to police who contacted the TDCJ which then discovered the error. ?If McAdams had not met up with Thomas and instead went to another state, we probably would not have noticed or caught him,? said Harris county district attorney investigator Johnny Bonds. McAdams was returned to prison where he must serve at least 16 more years before he is eligible for parole.

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