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News in Brief:

California: On April 3, 2008, four prison guards at the state prison in Tehachapi were stabbed by two Hispanic prisoner members of the Surenos gang, and the entire state prison system was placed on lockdown. Other guards used batons, pepper spray and physical force to stop the attack. The injured guards suffered lacerations and stab and puncture wounds.

California: On April 4, 2008, twelve prisoners at the California Institution for Men in Chino were injured in an attack by Hispanic prisoners on white prisoners. The attack occurred in Laguna Hall, a 198-bed dormitory. The injuries resulted from being stabbed and beaten. Guards restored order using pepper spray. No staff were injured.

California: On January 18, 2008, 2,200 prisoners at the California State Prison in Solano staged a work strike to protest cutbacks in their yard access. Prior to the cutback up to 1,000 prisoners could have yard access. After the restriction it was reduced to 600.

Connecticut: On January 25, 2008, George Salisbury, a prisoner at the MacDougall Correctional Institute, trapped and assaulted a female guard in a dormitory control room. The unidentified guard screamed for help and three prisoners rushed to her assistance, breaking into the locked room and restraining Salisbury until the forces of state law and order arrived.

Georgia: On January 18, 2008, Michelle Robinson, a guard at the Coweta County Prison, pleaded guilty to violating her oath of office – by having sex with a prisoner. She was sentenced to three years probation. By being convicted of violation of her oath of office, rather than a charge of having sex with a prisoner, she avoided the hassle of being branded a sex offender.

North Carolina: On January 22, 2008, Adeline Najer, a prisoner at the Johnston Correctional Institution, was shot and killed by a prison guard while attempting to escape from the facility by climbing over a fence. Najer, serving a ten-year sentence for second degree murder, reportedly ignored several orders from guards to stop.

Oklahoma: On January 18, 2008, Frank Elliott, 49, a prisoner at the GEO Group-run prison in Lawton, took a dentist and a dental assistant hostage with a knife. Elliott surrendered without incident several hours later; no demands were reported to the media.
Russia: Since 1990, women prisoners at the UF 91/9 prison near Novosibirsk in Siberia have held annual beauty contests. The contest categories are Greek Goddesses, Flower Gowns and Imaginary Uniforms. Prison officials view participation as a sign of good behavior and take it into consideration for parole hearings. Most women prisoners in Russia are convicted of drug offenses.

Texas: On March 1, 2008, Monte Morast, a guard at the Montgomery County jail, was charged with official oppression and unlawful restraint of a child under 17. While touring the jail, a 17-year-old male student was disrobed by various prisoners while Morast watched. Morast was fired after being indicted.

Virginia: On April 30, 2008, David Yates, a state prisoner being transported from a prison to the Tazewell County Jail, removed one handcuff and managed to pry heavy metal grills from the inside of the prison van, smashed out a window, and escaped while the van was moving down Route 58. Prison guards shot Yates once in the shoulder and he was recaptured, still wearing leg shackles. He is expected to recover. Yates was incarcerated on a probation revocation.

Washington: Between November 2007 and March 2008, at least 65 prisoners in the King County Jail in Seattle have been diagnosed with MRSA, a drug resistant skin infection that can lead to death. The US Department of Justice has previously criticized the jail for failing to take steps to contain the spread of contagious illnesses. The jail continues to refuse to provide jail prisoners with more than one set of underwear or socks, which contributes to the spread of diseases. At least one jail prisoner has died of MRSA in the past 18 months.

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