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Prison Legal News: July, 2006

Issue PDF
Volume 17, Number 7

In this issue:

  1. CCA Florida Jail Operations: An Experiment in Mismanagement (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 8)
  3. Youth Dies in Florida Boot Camp; Cause of Death Questioned (p 9)
  4. BOP Transfers Unescorted Prisoners On Civilian Buses, Some Escape (p 11)
  5. Standing Up to Corruption (p 12)
  6. Legal Research Prohibition Upon Contract Attorney Denies Adequate Court Access (p 17)
  7. Federal Judge Strikes Down Iowa Prisons Faith-Based Rehabilitation Program (p 18)
  8. Crimes of the Heart: Incarceration Collusion (p 20)
  9. $9 Million Jury Award In Arizona County Jail Death (p 22)
  10. U.S. Corrections Corporation Suit Settled for $13.2 Million (p 22)
  11. Audit: California Private Prison Contracting Tainted by Conflicts of Interest (p 23)
  12. Hurricane Threat Forces Texas Prison Evacuations, Damage Worsens Overcrowding (p 24)
  13. Gun-smuggling Prisoners Convicted in Shooting Scam (p 25)
  14. Alleged Attacks Plotted By New Folsom Prisoners Uncovered (p 26)
  15. Non-Sex-Offender Parolee Entitled to Due Process Before Being Treated As Sex Offender (p 27)
  16. Ohio DOC Stipulates To Vastly Improved Medical Care (p 28)
  17. South Carolina Prisoner Awarded $825,000 for Untreated Infection (p 29)
  18. Missouri Seizes Prisoner Assets Worth $748,682 In 2005 (p 29)
  19. Fifth Circuit Joins Four Others in Denying Prospective BOP Good Time Credits (p 29)
  20. Unconstitutionality of Lockdown of California Hispanics Upheld On Appeal (p 30)
  21. Guard Out on Bond, Woman He Allegedly Raped Jailed Beyond Her Sentence (p 30)
  22. Washington Liable for Negligent Parolee Supervision; Bad Jury Instruction Vacates $33 Million Award (p 31)
  23. Washington Liable for Negligent Parolee Supervision; Bad Jury Instruction Vacates $33 Million Award (p 31)
  24. South Carolina Jury Awards $28.5 Million For Diabetic Jail Prisoners Death (p 32)
  25. Arizona Jail Prisoners Not Pretty in Pink (p 32)
  26. Seventh Circuit Reinstates $100,000 Award In Indiana Failure-To-Protect Suit (p 33)
  27. Political Patronage In Hiring Illinois Prison Wardens? (p 34)
  28. Texas Federal District Judge Throws Out VitaPro Convictions (p 34)
  29. Alabama Work-Release Prisoners Working But Not Getting Paid (p 35)
  30. Sweetheart Deal For Pharmacy Supplying Saratoga County Jail (p 35)
  31. Wrongfully Convicted Texas Prisoner Finally Receives $118,000 in Compensation (p 36)
  32. Louisiana Work-Release Prisoners Used by Sheriff in Chop Shop (p 36)
  33. Illinois Prison Official, Parole Board Member Indicted For Corruption (p 36)
  34. Los Angeles Jail Pays $375,000 To Assaulted Keep Away Prisoner (p 37)
  35. CONMED Not Using Licensed Nurses In Maryland Jail (p 37)
  36. $232,700 in Attorney Fees Awarded In Colorado Censorship Settlement (p 38)
  37. Washington Ex-Cons Cant Be Denied Voting Rights Because of Unpaid LFOs (p 38)
  38. New York Prisoner Awarded $25,000 For Assault (p 38)
  39. Settlement Permits Free and Gift Publications to Connecticut Prisoners (p 39)
  40. Second Circuit Holds PLRA Fee Cap Inapplicable To So-ordered Stipulated Dismissals (p 39)
  41. Texas Prison Slaves No Savings for Direct Marketing Firm; Data Mining Results in $ 15 Million Settle (p 40)
  42. New York Prisoner Awarded $4,000 For Assault (p 40)
  43. Forced Masturbation States Privacy Claim (p 40)
  44. Illinois Prisoner Raped By Guard Settles For $15,000 (p 41)
  45. News in Brief: (p 42)
  46. The Warehouse Prison, by Dr. John Irwin, 318 pp., softback, Roxbury Publishing Company, 2005 (p 44)

CCA Florida Jail Operations: An Experiment in Mismanagement

by David M. Reutter

After being in business for twenty-three years, one would think that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) would have refined the art of running prisons and jails. Yet an examination of CCA's three jails in Florida reveals a pattern of gross mismanagement and substandard or indifferent ...

From the Editor

With this issue of PLN we are back on our regular publishing schedule of sending each issue to the printer around the end of the month. We got behind last summer due to switching over to a new layout program and a trial in Florida. Hopefully we now stay on ...

Youth Dies in Florida Boot Camp; Cause of Death Questioned

by David M. Reutter

For the fifth time in five years a juvenile has died in a Florida boot camp. A videotape of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson being counseled at a Bay County boot camp facility in Panama City shows guards abusing and battering him while he lays limp on ...

BOP Transfers Unescorted Prisoners On Civilian Buses, Some Escape

by Matthew T. Clarke

In a little-known program, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has been allowing unescorted prisoners to transfer between prisons using Greyhound and other civilian buses. Not surprisingly, some never show up at their destination.

The program is considered a form of furlough by the BOP, related ...

Standing Up to Corruption

Prison Systems co-workers Joe Reynoso and Dave Lewis both were called heroes by their peers. One was an investigator digging into prison crime, and one was accused of a crime. Guess which one was supported by the guards union.

In her letter supporting the nomination of investigator Joe Reynoso for ...

Legal Research Prohibition Upon Contract Attorney Denies Adequate Court Access

by David M. Reutter

An Iowa federal district court has held that the legal assistance program at Iowas Anamosa State Penitentiary (ASP) was an unconstitutional impediment to a prisoners access to the court because it did not provide a reasonable adequate opportunity to present claimed violations of fundamental constitutional rights ...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Iowa Prisons Faith-Based Rehabilitation Program

Federal Judge Strikes Down Iowa Prisons Faith-Based Rehabilitation Program

by Michael Rigby

A federal judge in Iowa has ruled that the states partial funding of a Christian rehabilitation program is unconstitutional. In a 140-page opinion issued on June 2, 2006, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Pratt ordered the Iowa ...

Crimes of the Heart: Incarceration Collusion

by Bob Williams & G.A.Bowers

What would a woman do for her man? Run a frontend loader through a jail wall? Drive her lover out of prison in a food service truck? Murder witnesses? Smuggle in guns and drugs? Melt her lover out of prison using acid? Gun down a guard in a courthouse parking lot? Women nationwide have tried or committed these very acts of desperation.

One such violent act has led the news in a recent Tennessee case. Jennifer Forsyth Hyatte, 31, is accused of shooting and killing prison guard Wayne Cotton Morgan, 56, in the parking lot of the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston, Tennessee on August 9, 2005 while aiding her husband, George Hyatt, 34, in a brazen escape. Jennifer, a former contract nurse, met her future husband while working at the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville. Jennifer was fired in August 2004 for smuggling food to and having an illicit relationship with George Hyatte, who had escaped from authorities four times previously. The couple continued their relationship and were married in May 2005, with the wardens permission.

Thirtysix hours and 300 miles after the dramatic courthouse escape, the couple was arrested without a struggle in Columbus, Ohio. Completely divorced from the reality of the situation, Jennifer called out to her husband, Baby, baby, itll be OK! Itll be OK!

The Hyatte incident is by no means isolated. On October 2, 2004, Edward R. McDaniel, 37, escaped from the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville with the help of DOC guard Vicki Sanford, 52, a mother of six and grandmother of seven, and Michael Moize, 30, Sanfords soninlaw, who worked in the prisons central control office. Moize provided a guards uniform to Sanford; she smuggled it into the facility and gave it to McDaniel, who wore it when he walked out of the prison during a shift change. Sanford and McDaniel were captured in Texas six days later; Sanford and Moize subsequently pled guilty and received probation. Even after ...

$9 Million Jury Award In Arizona County Jail Death

by John E. Dannenberg

A federal jury awarded $9 million to the family of a Scottsdale, Arizona prisoner who suffocated in a restraint chair in the Maricopa County Jail (MCJ) in 2001. Found negligent and liable were Sheriff Joe Arpaio and nurses from contract healthcare provider Correctional Health Services (CHS ...

U.S. Corrections Corporation Suit Settled for $13.2 Million

The former owners of U.S. Correctional Corporation (USCC) have agreed to settle a lawsuit over misuse of the employee stock-ownership plan for $13.2 million.

Prior to 1998, when it was purchased by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) for $225 million, USCC ran four private prisons in Kentucky: Marion ...

Audit: California Private Prison Contracting Tainted by Conflicts of Interest

The California State Auditor reported in September 2005 that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), when contracting with private prison contractors for two minimum security Community Correctional Facilities (CCF), issued no-bid awards to companies who had hired recently retired senior CDCR and Finance employees with economic interests in ...

Hurricane Threat Forces Texas Prison Evacuations, Damage Worsens Overcrowding

As Rita churned westward through the Gulf of Mexico, at times a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of 175 mph, officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) ordered the evacuation of entire prisons in coastal and low-lying areas of Southeast Texas. More than 9,000 prisoners ...

Gun-smuggling Prisoners Convicted in Shooting Scam

Fraud takes many forms but few as bizarre as the one allegedly concocted by D.C. prisoners Shawn Gray, Jamal Jefferson, Leonard Johnson and Fredrick Robinson.

On December 20, 2003 all four men were wounded by gunfire inside of the Southeast Washington prison. Originally, it was believed that the shootings ...

Alleged Attacks Plotted By New Folsom Prisoners Uncovered

by Matthew T. Clarke

A federal grand jury has indicted four men--two of whom have been prisoners at the California State Prison-Sacramento (New Folsom Prison)--with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, to possess and use firearms in the furtherance of violence, and to kill U.S. and ...

Non-Sex-Offender Parolee Entitled to Due Process Before Being Treated As Sex Offender

by Matthew T. Clarke

The Fifth Circuit court of appeals held that a parolee who has never been convicted of a sex offense is entitled to a due process hearing prior to being required to register as a sex offender and attend sex offender treatment as a condition of parole ...

Ohio DOC Stipulates To Vastly Improved Medical Care

by John E. Dannenberg

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) settled a prisoner class action federal lawsuit on October 6, 2005 by stipulating to comprehensive improvements to its prisoner medical care, grounded in adding 321 medical personnel to the existing 540 and in overhauling its medical facilities. In ...

South Carolina Prisoner Awarded $825,000 for Untreated Infection

On January 10, 2006, a South Carolina jury awarded $825,000 to a state prisoner who received inadequate medical treatment for a life threatening infection.

State prisoner Jason Bynum was diagnosed with a serious mouth infection on January 9, 2002, while imprisoned at the Turbeville Correctional Facility. The untreated infection ...

Missouri Seizes Prisoner Assets Worth $748,682 In 2005

A more accurate motto for the show me state may be the show me the money state. In 2005 Attorney General Jay Nixon confiscated $748,682 from Missouris most oppressed residents--state prisoners.

The money was seized under the 1988 Missouri Incarceration Reimbursement Act, which allows the state to pirate up ...

Fifth Circuit Joins Four Others in Denying Prospective BOP Good Time Credits

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a federal prisoners habeas corpus petition seeking advance good time credits because the claim was not ripe. The appellate court further opined that even if it were ripe, a reasonable interpretation of the controlling statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), would permit ...

Unconstitutionality of Lockdown of California Hispanics Upheld On Appeal

The California Court of Appeal upheld the Del Norte County Superior Courts 2003 ruling [case no. HCPB 00-5164] requiring supermax Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) officials to cease locking down Southern Hispanic prisoners endlessly solely based upon their ethnicity. In an unpublished ruling in 2004, the appellate court rejected PBSP ...

Guard Out on Bond, Woman He Allegedly Raped Jailed Beyond Her Sentence

Platte County (Wyoming) Detention Center control clerk Jeremy King was charged with two counts of second-degree felony sexual assault for having sex with a female Jamaican prisoner convicted of federal drug offenses. The woman, who was not named, had served her entire sentence and probation period in jail but was ...

Washington Liable for Negligent Parolee Supervision; Bad Jury Instruction Vacates $33 Million Award

In a 6-3 decision, the Washington Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier holdings that the state may be held liable for negligent supervision of offenders. However, the court vacated a $22.4 million verdict resulting from a 2000 jury trial, which had ballooned with interest to $33 million, because the trial ...

Washington Liable for Negligent Parolee Supervision; Bad Jury Instruction Vacates $33 Million Award

In a 6-3 decision, the Washington Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier holdings that the state may be held liable for negligent supervision of offenders. However, the court vacated a $22.4 million verdict resulting from a 2000 jury trial, which had ballooned with interest to $33 million, because the trial ...

South Carolina Jury Awards $28.5 Million For Diabetic Jail Prisoners Death

South Carolina Jury Awards $28.5 Million For Diabetic Jail Prisoners Death

A South Carolina jury has awarded $28.5 million to the family of a mentally ill diabetic man who died from insulin deficiency while imprisoned at the Sumter County Detention Center. The verdict against Eastern Health Care Group ...

Arizona Jail Prisoners Not Pretty in Pink

Paraded in pink boxers, pink flip-flops and pink handcuffs more than 2,600 Arizona prisoners walked four blocks to new jail facilities in downtown Phoenix. Most moved from the Madison Street Jail, which closed for remodeling, to either the Towers Jail, the new Lower Buckeye Jail or the new Fourth ...

Seventh Circuit Reinstates $100,000 Award In Indiana Failure-To-Protect Suit

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a prisoners $100,000 award against two Indiana prison employees, overturning a district courts reversal of the jury verdict.

On September 9, 1998, Robert Pierson, 51, was attacked by fellow prisoner Jeremy Wilkinson while he slept. Wilkinson, 19, bludgeoned Pierson ...

Political Patronage In Hiring Illinois Prison Wardens?

Julie Wilkerson was a Rend Lake College associate music professor and band director making under $40,000 annually when she was hired as an assistant warden at Indianas Big Muddy River Correctional Center at a salary of $65,000 a year. Two other newly-minted Illinois assistant wardens were formerly an ...

Texas Federal District Judge Throws Out VitaPro Convictions

by Matthew T. Clarke

In another bizarre twist to an already bewildering prosecution history, on September 9, 2005, Texas federal district judge Lynn Hughes, by judicial fiat, acquitted Andy Collins, the former executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), and Yank Barry, the Canadian ex-con owner of ...

Alabama Work-Release Prisoners Working But Not Getting Paid

Prisoners in an Alabama work-release program have been working without getting paid. Problems have come mostly from prison employees who have hired prison workers then defaulted on their debt.

Prisons located in Decatur, Birmingham and Loxley posed the greatest problems. A 2004 audit noted several questionable practices. Based on an ...

Sweetheart Deal For Pharmacy Supplying Saratoga County Jail

OBriens Pharmacy in Ballston Springs has a pretty good deal in supplying the Saratoga County Jail in New York with prescription drugs for prisoners. The county, which paid OBriens $247,000 in FY 2004, has been paying the average wholesale price plus a $2.60-per-prescription filing fee in accordance with ...

Wrongfully Convicted Texas Prisoner Finally Receives $118,000 in Compensation

In 1988, a 17-year-old Josiah Sutton was convicted in a Texas court of a rape he did not commit and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. Sutton spent close to five years in prison before new DNA tests performed in 2003 proved the tests previously performed by the discredited Houston ...

Louisiana Work-Release Prisoners Used by Sheriff in Chop Shop

Louisiana sheriff Ronald Gun Ficklin faces 22 counts on charges of conspiracy, trafficking in motor vehicles with removed or altered vehicle identification numbers (VINs), removing or altering VINs, aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, misprison of a felony for not reporting a felon with ...

Illinois Prison Official, Parole Board Member Indicted For Corruption

On December 9, 2005, a Lee County, Illinois, grand jury returned indictments against former Illinois Department of Corrections official Ron Matrisciano and former Illinois Parole Board member Victor Brooks. Matrisciano was indicted for five counts of official misconduct and two counts of wire fraud while Brooks faces one count each ...

Los Angeles Jail Pays $375,000 To Assaulted Keep Away Prisoner

Los Angeles Jail Pays $375,000 To Assaulted Keep Away Prisoner

Los Angeles County, California, should pay $375,000 to a former prisoner who was severely beaten after being improperly celled with his assailant, the County Claims Board recommended on December 8, 2005.

On May 13, 2002, prisoner Martin Davis ...

CONMED Not Using Licensed Nurses In Maryland Jail

Attempts to get jail medical services on the cheap may have backfired for Marylands Queen Anne County. CONMED, a private jail medical services company, has a contract to provide medical services at the countys 80-bed jail and 11 other Maryland jails. CONMED does this by hiring off-duty Emergency Medical Technicians ...

$232,700 in Attorney Fees Awarded In Colorado Censorship Settlement

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado on April 26, 2005, awarded $232,700 in fees and costs after a Settlement Agreement was reached over the rejection of numerous magazines and books by the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC).

Several publishers and prisoners sued the CDOC when ...

Washington Ex-Cons Cant Be Denied Voting Rights Because of Unpaid LFOs

Washington Ex-Cons Cant Be Denied Voting Rights Because of Unpaid LFOs

On March 27, 2006, Judge Michael Spearman, of the Superior Court of King County, Washington held that withholding voting rights from released felons, solely because they owe legal financial obligations (LFOs) is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs Daniel Madison, Beverly DuBois, and ...

New York Prisoner Awarded $25,000 For Assault

On April 12, 2005, a Bronx, New York, jury awarded $25,000 to a man who was severely beaten by other prisoners in the mental health section of the Rikers Island jail complex.

The 18-year-old plaintiff was imprisoned at Rikers Island for a robbery that he was later acquitted of ...

Settlement Permits Free and Gift Publications to Connecticut Prisoners

Prisoners in the Connecticut Department of Corrections (CDOC) can now receive free and gift publications that were previously banned under Administrative Directive 10.7, according to the terms of a March 18, 2004, settlement agreement.

A.D. 10.7 prohibited prisoners from receiving publications paid for or donated by a ...

Second Circuit Holds PLRA Fee Cap Inapplicable To So-ordered Stipulated Dismissals

Second Circuit Holds PLRA Fee Cap Inapplicable To So-ordered Stipulated Dismissals

by Bob Williams

In a case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has held that the fee cap provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which limits attorney fees to 150 ...

Texas Prison Slaves No Savings for Direct Marketing Firm; Data Mining Results in $ 15 Million Settle

Texas Prison Slaves No Savings for Direct Marketing Firm; Data Mining Results in $ 15 Million Settlement Fund

by Michael Rigby

A class action lawsuit involving thousands of women who received threatening letters from prisoners employed to process data for a private company has settled for amounts ranging from $100 to ...

New York Prisoner Awarded $4,000 For Assault

On May 23, 2005, a New York court of claims awarded $4,000 to a state prisoner who suffered a head injury when another prisoner attacked him.

While imprisoned by the State Department of Correctional Services in Elmira, New York, William Crenshaw was attacked by another prisoner. During the June ...

Forced Masturbation States Privacy Claim

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has remanded for further proceedings a prisoners civil rights complaint that alleged he was forced to strip and masturbate by a female guard, and was then retaliated against for reporting her nefarious activities.

Boxer X, a prisoner at Georgias Smith State Prison, sought relief ...

Illinois Prisoner Raped By Guard Settles For $15,000

On July 2, 2005, a prisoner who was raped by a guard settled her lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) for $15,000.
While imprisoned at the Dixon Correctional Center on May 26, 2000, the plaintiff, Rose Marie Smith 51, was raped by an unknown male guard. According ...

News in Brief:

Afghanistan: On July 10, 2005, four captured Arab guerrillas escaped from the Bagram Air Base where they were being held and tortured by United States military forces. They were the first political prisoners to escape from the torture camp since it was opened in 2001 shortly after the US invasion ...

The Warehouse Prison, by Dr. John Irwin, 318 pp., softback, Roxbury Publishing Company, 2005

Reviewed by John E. Dannenberg

Taking Californias Solano State Prison as a model, author John Irwin exposes the warehouse concept of Californias prisons and its debilitating effect on prisoners and their struggle for reintegration. Dr. Irwin, conflating his unique perspectives as both a San Francisco State University Professor of Criminology ...