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Articles by Monte McCoin

North Carolina Prison Guard Beaten, Stabbed; Sources Say His Past Brutality Made Him a Target

by Monte McCoin

Brent Soucier was hired as a prison guard by the then-North Carolina Department of Correction in 1997. Only four months earlier, he had been fired from his job as a guard in Vermont after being convicted of assault for holding a cocked semi-automatic handgun against a man’s ...

Tennessee Jailer Convicted of Official Misconduct, “Extreme Provocative Contact”

by Monte McCoin

PLN previously reported the January 2016 grand jury indictments of former Morgan County, Tennessee jail guard Joe D. Shoffner, Jr. and fellow jailers Garren Austin Luke Cooper and Michael Alan Lloyd for their roles in an incident in which a prisoner was assaulted. [See: PLN, April 2016, ...

Florida: DHS Snitch Busted for Trying to Sell Informant Status to Federal Prisoner

by Monte McCoin

On February 26, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Darrin P. Gayles sentenced a former confidential informant for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to a year in prison and a year of supervised release for obstructing justice. In exchange for a cash payment, the informant had ...

Oregon: Former Clackamas Deputy, Probation Officer Sentenced for Child Rape

by Monte McCoin

On March 23, 2018, Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Michael Wetzel sentenced a former county deputy and probation officer to 35 years and one month in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing two young girls, separately, between 2004 and 2012.

Gordon Mead, 69, worked as a Clackamas County ...

Idaho Prisoner Swallows Razor Blade to Force Corizon to Provide Medical Care

by Monte McCoin

Jason Monteleone, with the Boise law firm of Johnson and Monteleone, called the medical neglect that his client, Gary L. Merchant, 65, received from Idaho’s prison medical care provider, Corizon Health, “egregious” in a federal lawsuit filed on December 26, 2017.

“The initial medical opinion that’s been ...

Mississippi DOC Announces Phone Rate Cuts

by Monte McCoin

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) announced on March 17, 2018 that phone calls from state prisons would be less expensive for prisoners and their families, effective immediately.

“The reduced rate will make services even more accessible and affordable for inmates’ families and loved ones,” Commissioner Pelicia ...

Pennsylvania DOC Bans Timberland Boots; Prisoner Files Suit Seeking Injunction

by Monte McCoin

On April 30, 2018, Pennsylvania prisoner Jamal Washington filed a lawsuit to prevent a ban on leather Timberland boots at all state prisons. His suit seeks an injunction because, he contends, the boots are needed for warmth during the winter months.

“Most of the DOC’s facilities are ...

Wrongful Death Suit Against Tennessee Town Settles for $6,000

by Monte McCoin

A $1 million lawsuit filed by the widow of a man who died at the city jail in Kingsport, Tennessee following a 2015 DUI arrest settled on February 28, 2017 for just $6,000.

Judy Honaker alleged that the City of Kingsport and two jailers, Monica Safis and ...

North Carolina Woman Attempts Bail Bond Scheme from Inside Jail

by Monte McCoin

On December 1, 2017, police in Gastonia, North Carolina filed charges against Crystal Dawn Massey, who was already incarcerated at the Gaston County jail, for her role in a fake bail bond scam she attempted to carry out while locked up.

Massey told other prisoners she could ...

Oklahoma Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Lift Prison Smoking Ban

by Monte McCoin

The Enid News & Eagle reported on February 23, 2018 that Oklahoma State Representative Rick West had introduced a bill to dismantle a six-year ban on cigarette sales and smoking inside state prisons. The measure, which passed a House committee with a vote of 5-4, moved forward ...