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News in Brief

Arkansas: While held at the Independence County jail, Michael Dennis Grubbs was charged with theft and breaking and entering after he reportedly used a comb to pick the lock to the property room and stole items belonging to other prisoners. Jail officials searched Grubbs’ cell after reviewing surveillance camera footage, and found $55 and several cigarette lighters.

California: On September 1, 2012, San Diego jail prisoner Anthony Dunton was shot to death at the UCSD Medical Center when he struggled with deputies and a medical technician. Dunton managed to slip out of his restraints when he was undergoing a CT scan at the hospital. Deputies used a Taser and batons, but Dunton reportedly swung his waist chain and charged at them, resulting in one of the deputies firing fatal shots.

California: Jailhouse lawyer John Pratt testified in Sacramento Superior Court on September 13, 2012 against prisoner Steven A. Duarte, whom he had previously helped with his criminal case. Pratt claimed that while they were celled together, Duarte got drunk on pruno and repeatedly confessed to killing a woman because he thought she had infected him with HIV. Pratt contacted the DA’s office and agreed to testify against Duarte, who was subsequently convicted of the March 2008 murder of Serena Williams.

Colorado: According to a June 22, 2012 report in Westword, disposable razors at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility were replaced with electric shavers after some prisoners reportedly used razor blades to cut themselves. One prisoner who contacted Westword said the electric shavers are “being used as a vibrator for sexual pleasure,” noting that women are “taking them to the shower, and due to the shower area being shared, we all have to hear their sexual noise and the hum of the razor.” Which is likely an unintended use for the shavers that prison officials did not consider.

Florida: On August 5, 2012, Charlotte County sheriff’s officials found that over 5,400 catfish in the jail’s retention pond fish farm had died. Officials suspect the fish kill resulted from chemicals used by a contractor to clean the jail’s roof, which drained into the pond. Prisoners disposed of the dead fish.

Massachusetts: Middlesex House of Correction guard Edward “Teddy” Dillion III, 27, was found dead on July 25, 2012 in a single-vehicle crash. According to a FOX news report, Dillion’s death was caused by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head prior to the accident. His duties at the House of Correction had included conducting third-shift perimeter checks.

Mexico: Chihuahua state Civil Registry Office director Cesar Fernando Ramirez officiated at a mass wedding at the Ciudad Juarez prison on August 24, 2012, in which over 100 prisoners were married. The marriages ensure that the prisoners’ spouses have legal rights for visitation and court proceedings. The newlyweds completed the ceremony by collectively saying “I do” as Ramirez pointed a microphone at the wedding crowd.

Michigan: On August 30, 2012, Channel 5 WNEM reported that the Saginaw Correctional Facility was under a medical quarantine following an outbreak of a gastrointestinal virus. According to Michigan DOC spokesman John Cordell, 10 to 20 prisoners were sick and the quarantine was expected to last about a week.

Michigan: Antonio Brown, 31, who faced a sentence of 18 months to 5 years for trying to flee from police after a traffic stop, was re-sentenced in September 2012 to time served. While incarcerated at the Kent County jail, Brown helped stop fellow prisoner Willie Lee Wilson Williams, who was choking a female guard. “Sir, I think this was something that you did that was heroic,” said Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock. “That was brave and honorable and I think it needs to be taken into effect in your sentencing.”
Around six other prisoners who also helped stop the attack will be recognized for their actions “on a case-by-case basis,” according to a news report.

Missouri: On September 8, 2012, Eugene A. Hilliard, 46, incarcerated at the Clay County Detention Center, killed himself using his eyeglasses. Jail officials said Hilliard sharpened part of his glasses by rubbing them on the wall or floor of his cell, then used the sharp edge to cut his throat. He was held in segregation at the time.

New Jersey: Former Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women nurse Patricia Bautista, 49, was sentenced on July 13, 2012 to 180 days in jail and two years of probation for stealing over 5,780 pills from the prison, including prescription drugs such as Percocet and Naproxen. Bautista, who pleaded guilty, also lost her job and was barred from state employment as part of her sentence. She further voluntarily surrendered her nursing license.

North Carolina: When Rodney Dwayne Valentine, 37, was released from the Rockingham County jail on July 21, 2012, he asked deputies to give him a ride to a motel. They declined, and in turn Valentine refused to leave. He was consequently charged with second-degree trespassing, booked back into the jail and held on a $500 bond.

North Carolina: One prisoner was killed and another injured following an altercation at the Lanesboro Correctional Institution on September 28, 2012. Prisoner Wesley Turner was stabbed and transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other prisoner, who suffered unspecified injuries, was not identified. The facility was placed on lockdown pending an investigation.

Ohio: In September 2012, the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office released a video that showed officer Marlon Taylor, 48, repeatedly punching 18-year-old prisoner Jordan Sand on July 20, 2012. “He hit me 14 times,” stated Sand, who was put in segregation for two weeks following the incident. Taylor was charged with assault and placed on paid administrative leave; he was fired on October 5, 2012. The misdemeanor assault charge was later dropped pending a federal investigation. Taylor had a previous conviction for disorderly conduct related to a 2011 bar fight.

Ohio: Three prisoners at the Adams County Jail swallowed pencils in July 2012. The incidents were reportedly “accidental” but jail officials suspected they were to obtain early release, as the prisoners were freed so they could obtain hospital care that the jail could not afford. Their plans were thwarted, however, as Sheriff Kimmy Rogers noted “they will be picked up and returned to jail” after they receive treatment. Additionally, jail officials confiscated pencils from other prisoners and replaced them with crayons. “The crayons are more safe and less costly – and the jail doctor can handle any problems that might arise from the crayons,” Rogers said.

Oklahoma: On September 12, 2012, a guard at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center, Jamie Baker, 43, was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct. Baker was charged in November 2012 with 15 felony counts involving nine female prisoners, including second-degree rape, first-degree rape by force and fear, sexual battery and forcible sodomy. He was released on $10,000 bond. Another Mabel Bassett guard, Richard DeHaven, 56, was charged with one count of sexual battery for “groping a female inmate.”

Oklahoma: Tiffany Remer, 28, a former secretary at the Jess Dunn Correctional Center, was charged in August 2012 with false reporting of a crime and sexual battery. Remer is accused of falsely claiming that her office had been “compromised” by a prisoner who obtained her personal cell phone number. She later admitted that she had used her cell phone to send messages to the prisoner, and also admitted to having sex with a prisoner in her office. She was jailed under a $10,000 bond.

Russia: According to a July 12, 2012 news report, two police officers in the Sverdlovsk region, Vitaly Pelevin and Alexei Reshetov, recorded a prisoner being sodomized by another prisoner instead of intervening to stop the sexual assault. The officers, who uploaded the video to the Internet, were fired; according to investigators, a dozen of the officers’ superiors will be disciplined. In March 2012, detainee Sergei Nazarov, 52, died after being beaten and raped with a champagne bottle by police in Tatarstan. Two officers were sentenced to 2 to 2½ years in prison as a result of that incident; nine others were also charged.

Scotland: Prison Service officials have banned a self-help book titled “The Power of Persuasion” because they feared prisoners could use it to manipulate corrections staff, the Daily Record reported in July 2012. The book, by Harry Hazel, includes tips about the art of influencing others. According to an “insider” source quoted by the Record, many prisoners “wouldn’t miss a chance to take advantage of wardens. But you’ve still got to laugh. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit that a prisoner could gain the upper-hand on them by simply reading a book.”

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