Arizona: Corrections Corp. of America officials announced on December 24, 2010 that they had identified 43 prisoners who were involved in a riot a day earlier at CCA’s Red Rock Correctional Facility near Eloy. The prisoners, all from California, were placed in administrative segregation pending an investigation. Ten prisoners were injured during the riot and seven were taken to outside hospitals for medical treatment. CCA employees used pepper spray to regain control during the disturbance; no staff members were injured.
California: Former San Diego jail guard Matthew Gutierrez, 34, who worked at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, was sentenced on January 18, 2011 to 15 months in federal prison. Gutierrez had arranged to purchase around 11 ounces of cocaine from a confidential informant. He had pleaded guilty to the charge last November.
California: On January 24, 2011, about 1,000 prisoners at the California Men’s Colony protested prison policies by refusing to eat meals served at the facility. Reportedly, 90% of the prisoners in a housing unit refused to go to the chow hall to eat, though they were still buying food from the prison commissary. The policies that led to the peaceful no-meals protest included the implementation of “rolling lockdowns,” where prisoners are confined to their cells for 8 hours every other day, and visitation policies. The rolling lockdowns resulted from a statewide effort to reduce prison staff overtime costs due to California’s budget crisis.
Florida: A federal prison guard employed at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumter County was jailed in January 2011 after thousands of child porn images and videos were found on his home computer. Ronnie Young, 43, was charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography with intent to distribute after detectives traced child porn file transfers to his IP address. Young was held at the Marion County Jail on $500,000 bond.
Florida: In January 2011, federal prisoner Wo ‘Se Piankhi-Shabaka was killed by another prisoner in the USP II at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex. Piankhi-Shabaka was serving a life sentence; the other prisoner accused of murdering him was not identified. The facility was placed on lockdown while the FBI investigated the incident. This was the second death in a month at the federal prison; prisoner Miguel Jimenez was stabbed to death in the recreation yard of USP I at Coleman on December 18, 2010.
Illinois: Franesiour B. Kemache-Webster, incarcerated at the federal prison in Marion, has been accused of using the Bureau of Prisons’ email system for prisoners, known as TRULINCS, to have inappropriate conversations with an underage girl. Kemache-Webster, 50, used emails to share sexually-oriented messages with the girl and said he planned to impregnate her after he was released. Emails sent via TRULINCS are monitored by prison staff, and Kemache-Webster was indicted in September 2010 on a felony charge of enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. He also was prohibited from contacting the girl after he reportedly “threatened her with harm” if she did not deny the allegations in the indictment.
Indiana: When Dontas R. Marshall, 41, reported to jail after he was sentenced to 10 years for possession of cocaine, he brought something with him to make his time behind bars more bearable. Guards found 15 marijuana joints sewn into Marshall’s underwear when he turned himself in at the Clark County Jail on January 5, 2011. “He checked in here to serve a sentence, so he knew he was going to be here for a while,” said Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden. Marshall now faces new charges of felony trafficking and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Indiana: On January 27, 2011, Wayne County jail guard Steven M. Frame, 31, was jailed on felony charges of sexual misconduct and official misconduct, stemming from claims that he had sex with two female prisoners in August and September 2010. Frame, who worked third shift, allegedly entered a cell shared by the prisoners and had sex with them; he also allegedly asked them to flash their breasts while he was making rounds at the jail. One of the prisoners said the sex acts were in exchange for Frame bringing in contraband, though he did not do so. The two female prisoners later informed transport guards about the sexual encounters when they were being transferred to another facility. Frame, the son of Wayne County Chief Deputy Mike Frame, was released on $10,000 bond.
Kentucky: The arrest of Antoine Banks in February 2011 explains why some guards inspect prisoners’ foreskins during strip searches. Banks was found with a small bag of suspected cocaine in his underwear during a pat-down search following his arrest on drug charges. A subsequent strip search revealed another small bag of crack cocaine hidden in his foreskin. Banks is now facing additional charges of trafficking a controlled substance and promoting contraband.
Maryland: Hannah Wheeling, 65, a teacher at the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George’s County, was found dead at the juvenile detention center in February 2010. She had been choked, beaten and sexually assaulted. According to a 27-page report by the Maryland Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit released in October 2010, “multiple systemic security failures” resulted in Wheeling’s death. The report cited confusing policies, lack of security equipment, chronic staffing shortages and fatigue among overworked employees as contributing factors to “a dangerous environment” at Cheltenham. Two employees were fired, two were suspended, one administrator was demoted and other staff members were reprimanded. A 13-year-old boy held at the facility has been charged with homicide and attempted rape in connection with Wheeling’s murder.
Mexico: Continuing a trend of deadly incidents in Mexican prisons, 11 prisoners were killed during a riot at a facility in the city of Gomez Palacio in Durango on January 11, 2011. Also, according to news reports, two attorneys who worked at the prison were found shot to death, though it was unclear if the incidents were related. Mexico’s prisons are severely overcrowded due to a government crackdown on drug cartels, which had led to high levels of violence.
Montana: On January 28, 2011, Cascade County detention officer Steven Patrick was arrested on a felony charge of using excessive force on a prisoner. “It’s one incident where it’s alleged that he assaulted an inmate,” stated Sheriff’s Office Commander Dan O’Fallon. Patrick is accused of punching prisoner William Anderson in the face in November 2010. Anderson allegedly spat on Patrick, which precipitated the punching incident. It reportedly took five guards and a stun gun to subdue Anderson, who was described as “unruly.”
Montana: A former Aramark contract employee at the Cascade County Detention Center pleaded not guilty on January 27, 2011 to charges that she had sex with a prisoner. Rebecca Rose Pfeifle, 44, admitted to having five sexual encounters with an unidentified prisoner when she was employed as an Aramark food service worker at the jail. Pfeifle is scheduled to go to trial on the felony charges in May 2011.
Netherlands: Bas Martens, a Dutch attorney, filed an appeal to keep his client out of jail by claiming he is too large to be incarcerated. “He is a giant of a man, there’s no way you cannot realize that as soon as you see him,” Martens stated. His client, identified as Angelo MacD, was described as being 6’9” and weighing 500 lbs. – too big for his prison cell, where he is serving an 18-month sentence for fraud. Martens sought to have his client placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring, arguing that keeping him in prison violates European human rights laws. A Dutch court rejected Martens’ request in February 2011, noting that while prison conditions may be “somewhat cramped” for Angelo, they were not inhumane.
New York: On January 12, 2011, state prison guard Joshua Davison, 25, was charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child for trying to lure underage girls into his vehicle. Davison is accused of stopping seven girls, ages 13 to 17, and inquiring if they needed a ride; he asked at least one of them for sex. Davison worked at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility and was reportedly wearing his prison uniform when he accosted the girls.
New York: Tony Simmons, 47, convicted of sexually abusing teens at a New York City courthouse when he was a juvenile justice worker, was sentenced to four years in prison on February 1, 2011. Simmons was found guilty in January 2011 of having sexual encounters with two teenage girls in the Manhattan Family Court building; he was acquitted of raping another girl. The victims, juvenile offenders, were 15 and 16 years old. The court had initially approved a deal where Simmons would plead guilty and get probation, but rescinded the plea bargain due to opposition from the district attorney and women’s rights groups.
Oregon: Amanda M. Colmenero, 22, was found unconscious in a holding cell at the Coos County Jail on September 21, 2010. She was transported to a local hospital where two containers of a substance believed to be methamphetamine were found in her vagina. One of the containers had apparently ruptured, leading to an overdose. Colmenero was hospitalized in critical condition.
Pennsylvania: On January 20, 2011 the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against prisoner Daniel Goodson, who had appealed the dismissal of his lawsuit against Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, socialites and T.V. personalities. Goodson had claimed that the behavior of the Kardashian sisters in their shows “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami” caused him “extreme emotional distress.” However, the appellate court held that the Kardashians’ conduct was “simply not sufficiently outrageous” to support Goodson’s claims of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
United Kingdom: In January 2011, three prison guards at HMP Downview, a women’s facility in Surrey, were charged with having sex with nine prisoners between 2006 and 2010. Guards Russell Thorne, Simon Dykes and Christopher Bevan pleaded not guilty to charges of misconduct in public office. They were suspended from duty, and are scheduled to go to trial in June 2011. The Guildford Crown Court suppressed the names of the prisoners whom the guards are accused of victimizing.
Utah: According to an online booking record, complete with photo, the cartoon character Yogi Bear was busted in Provo, Utah on February 22, 2011. The fictional bear was apparently arrested on charges that included fishing without a license and an immigration offense. The arrest record and mug shot of Yogi were the result of a training or testing exercise involving the online booking site maintained by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. The previous week, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida had posted a mugshot of a KFC doubledown sandwich on its booking page, with a description of “Dummy Inmate” – also apparently for testing purposes.
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