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Articles by Lonnie Burton

Judge Approves $9.6 Million Settlement in DC Jail Employees' Sexual Harassment Suit

In January 2002 U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth gave final approval for disbursement of $9.6 million from the settlement of a class-action sexual harassment lawsuit brought by female employees of the Washington D.C. Department of Corrections.

The case, which began with a 14-page handwritten complaint by ...

New York Guards Sentenced in Animal and Prisoner Killings

A New York prison guard was given a one-year sentence for crushing five kittens to death. In another New York case, a county jail guard received a three month sentence after being convicted of kicking a mentally ill prisoner to death.

On March 22, 2002, former Sing Sing prison guard ...

Florida Prisoner Dies in CCA Jail

On February 26, 2002, the family of a prisoner who died as a result of medical neglect at the privately-run Bay County jail in Florida filed formal notice that they intend to sue the jail, as well as the Bay Medical Center where the prisoner was treated, for failure to ...

Georgia Lawmaker Indicted for Aiding Prisoner Transfer

On January 8, 2002, a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury indicted state senator Van Streat on four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of making a false statement. Both charges stemmed from Streat's alleged involvement in influencing the transfer of a state prisoner from whom ...

Georgia Sheriff Charged in Murder of Successor

In November 2000, DeKalb County (GA) Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was locked in a close re-election bid with political rival Derwin Brown. Brown defeated Dorsey in that contest, but Sheriff Dorsey, apparently unwilling to accept the will of the voters, allegedly decided to take matters into his own hands. Brown was ...

Prisoners at Private Federal Prison in California Strike Over Food, Medical Care

On November 26, 2001, more than 1,800 prisoners at the Taft Correctional Institution (TCI) refused to report to work in protest of shortcomings in the prison's food and medical care.

TCI, a privately run low-security federal prison operated by Wackenhut, remained on lock down since the first day ...

Hawaiian Women Prisoners File Suit Over Sex Abuse, Torture in Oklahoma Private Prison

When the State of Hawaii opted in 1998 to send its female prisoners to a privately run Oklahoma prison, it had no idea what was in store for these women. What ensued over the next three years, according to a lawsuit filed by four Hawaiian women, was a "widespread pattern ...

Suicides, Staff Negligence Plague Private Arkansas Juvenile Prison

In October 2001, a just-completed state investigation concluded that Houston-based Cornell Company, the private firm that runs Arkansas's Alexander Youth Services Center, was negligent for failing to monitor an at-risk youth who committed suicide. The suicide was the second in less than four months at the facility, and the ...

Illegal Strip Searches Cost Chicago Jail $6.8 Million

In July 2001, the Cook County, Illinois Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to end a five-year long class-action suit brought by female prisoners who alleged that the strip-searches they were subjected to at the Cook County jail were unconstitutional. The Board approved a $6.8 million settlement which could be ...

MCI WorldCom Investigated in Georgia for Phone Overcharges; State Senator Involved

MCI WorldCom owns the exclusive contract to provide phone services to the 45,000 prisoners incarcerated in the State of Georgia. Of course, the prisoners are only allowed to place collect calls, and have no choice on which company to use. The state decides that for them. It's MCI ...