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Articles by Mark Wilson

Oregon: Prosecutors, Victims Kill Money-Saving Increased Sentence Reduction Law

In a controversial move touted as saving Oregon an estimated $6 million, in June 2009 the state legislature passed a bill that increased earned time sentence reductions for non-violent offenders by an additional 10 percent. Just seven months later, however, prosecutors and crime victims successfully pressured lawmakers to suspend the ...

Sex Scandal Rocks Oregon’s “Camp Cupcake” Women’s Prison – Again

On March 25, 2008, an Oregon prisoner we’ll call “Jane” reported to work in the physical plant of the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF). Her boss, Paul W. Golden, was a civilian ground crew supervisor employed at the prison.

During her first day on the job a fellow prisoner took ...

Reach Out and Defraud Someone: Oregon Jail Prisoners Commit Phone Scams

A fifteen-minute collect call from the Multnomah County jail in Portland, Oregon costs $2.35, billed to the party who accepts the call. Between May 2006 and April 2009 those calls generated $3.5 million in revenue for the jail’s phone service provider, Texas-based Securus Technologies, Inc., while the county’s 38% kickback ...

New York Prison Official Nets $500,000 in Fraudulent Scheme; Audit Finds 17 Years of Unchecked Corruption

A joint audit/investigation by the New York State Comptroller and Inspector General uncovered a 17-year fraudulent scheme by the former director of the New York Department of Correctional Services (NYDOCS) Food Production Center. Between 1992 and August 2008 the Center’s director bilked the state out of $497,452.61, though he and ...

Prisoner Deaths Continue at King County Jail Despite DOJ Intervention

A rash of detainee deaths at the King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) in Seattle, Washington prompted the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to open an investigation into conditions at the jail on October 30, 2006. As the investigation continued so did the deaths, but that did not stop the DOJ ...

Ninth Circuit Says Qualified Immunity Warranted for Comb-Binding Denial

On December 2, 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a prison librarian was entitled to qualified immunity for denying a prisoner’s request to comb-bind his legal papers.

Oregon prisoner Frank Phillips intended to file a petition for writ of certiorari, challenging his conviction in the U.S. Supreme ...

For Lease: Never-Used 525-Bed Oregon Jail, $45 Million or Best Offer

A seemingly good idea before the housing market collapsed, the 525-bed, $58 million Wapato Jail has sat empty in Portland, Oregon since construction was completed in 2004. County taxpayers are paying approximately $5 million annually on debt service for the facility plus $400,000 to maintain the empty building each year. ...

Female Assistant Attorney General Pleads Guilty in Wife-Beating Case

An Oregon Assistant Attorney General (AAG) who defends against prisoners’ appeals in criminal cases was recently arrested for punching and strangling her wife; she entered treatment and pleaded guilty two weeks later.

On February 12, 2010, AAG Susan R. Gerber, 40, returned home to find that her wife of five ...

Five Sentenced in Oregon Prison Food Bribery Scandal

Four men who paid Oregon’s prison food services administrator $1.2 million in bribes to obtain state contracts have been sentenced to 3 months in prison for their role in the worst corruption case in Oregon’s history.

As previously reported in PLN, shortly after a January 10, 2007 raid by IRS ...

Former Oregon Prison Guard, Accused of Contraband Smuggling and Sexual Misconduct, Files Suit Alleging Racism

An ex-Oregon prison guard who resigned in 2007 was hired the following year as a “security technician” at the Oregon State Hospital (OSH). He was fired one month later after being accused of engaging in oral sex with a male co-worker in an OSH vehicle, at a cemetery, while on ...