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News in Brief:
California: On December 22, 2008, Angel Rodriguez, 22, a prisoner at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility died after a struggle with guards. A female relative was visiting him in his cell when guards allegedly saw her give him a small package through his cell bars which he then swallowed. He went into “medical distress” while restrained and guards removed drugs from his throat while giving him CPR. The relative was arrested on charges of delivering narcotics.
Croatia: In November, 2008, Ivan Damjanovic, the director of the nation’s prison system, was fired after the Croatian newsweekly Globus did an expose on prisoners at the Lepoglava prison enjoying cell phones, drugs and prostitutes and having orgies in which guards joined in. Corruption is apparently rampant with prisoners paying bribes of up to 1,500 Euros to be sent to minimum security prisons despite laws banning such placements until prisoners have served at least half of their sentences. Several prison officials, including wardens, have been charged with crimes ranging from bribery to abuse of power.
Florida: On December 21, 2008, Devin Perry, 26, a Gainesville probationer, was arrested and charged with arson, burglary, larceny and destruction of evidence for breaking into the Department of Corrections Probation and Parole office and stealing a refrigerator with urine samples after he provided a urine sample he believed would test positive for drug use. He shot out a window of the parole office and set shrubbery near the window that he entered on fire to apparently conceal blood from cuts he suffered entering the building. Police quickly zeroed in on him as a suspect.
Florida: On December 25, 2008, Lempira Norman, a prisoner at the Volusia county jail had a memorable if poor Christmas. On Christmas day fellow prisoners Justine Harris and Ryan Colina beat Norman and tattooed a penis on his back with a homemade tattoo kit. Norman promptly reported the penis tattooing to jail officials who confiscated the tattoo kit and charged Harris and Colina with aggravated battery.
Guatemala: On November 22, 2008, a fight between prisoners at the Pavoncito prison left seven prisoners dead, including five who were decapitated. News photos showed a group of prisoners standing near four heads lined up on a rock pile in the prison yard with a fifth head on a wooden stake.
Illinois: On November 24, 2008, 20 prisoners in the Cook county jail in Chicago were charged with impersonating police officers and calling random long distance numbers to rack up fraudulent long distance calls.
Iraq: On December 26, 2008, six police officers of the American puppet regime and seven prisoners accused of being Al Qaeda members were shot and killed during an escape attempt from the Ramadi jail. At least 3 of the 11 prisoners, including Emad Ahmed Ferhan, the alleged leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, escaped successfully when they overpowered policemen returning a prisoner from a torture room to a holding cell, disarmed and killed him. Of 30 men in the holding cell, 11 escaped and were able to seize the jail armory.
Kansas: On December 27, 2008, Ross Archer, 42, a trusty at the Holt county jail who was serving time on auto theft charges was arrested again after he stole a sheriff department cruiser. He then fled to Missouri where he was recaptured.
Minnesota: On November 19, 2008, Andrew Lemcke, 34, a guard at the Corrections Corporation of America run prison in Appleton, was charged with first and second degree murder for shooting his wife Nichole Riley-Lemcke in their home in Appleton in 2004.
He was arrested in Arizona where he was working as a guard at the CCA prison in Florence. At the time of the shooting he claimed it was accidental after they had struggled when Nichole tried to shoot him.
Nebraska: On November 20, 2008, Craig Beckman, 44, a former guard at the state prison in Lincoln was sentenced to 20-22 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges he raped a 12 year old girl for more than a year.
North Carolina: Beginning in November, 2008, the state Department of Corrections began testing all prisoners arriving in the system for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. At least ten prisoners were diagnosed with HIV who were not previously aware of their status.
Oregon: On March 27, 2008, former federal prison guard James Rolen was sentenced to a mere 2 years in prison after pleading guilty to receiving a bribe as a public servant and possessing heroin with intent to distribute. An FBI wiretap intercepted calls from Alfredo Bernal, a prisoner at FCI Sheridan where Rolen worked, to order heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in exchange for $2,000. Carranza was sentenced to an additional 30 months in prison for his role in the scheme.
Texas: On January 2, 2009, Jimmy Folsom, 44, a prisoner at the state prison in Huntsville, pleaded guilty in federal court to mailing threatening letters to New Hampshire attorney general Kelly Ayotte in a bid to be sent to a New Hampshire prison. Alas, by pleading guilty in federal court he will serve his time in a federal prison. None of which are located in the Granite state.
Texas: On November 21, 2008, Emmanuel Cassio, a jail guard at the Val Verde Correctional Facility in Del Rio was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for walking into a cell and punching a prisoner without any provocation. He was prosecuted in federal court and pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of a prisoner. He was also fined $3,000.
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