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I decided to add this page after I received a comment from one of my viewers.  She wrote "I like your website and I am recently retired as a Registered Nurse from the Michigan Department of Corrections".  I immediately thought the Prison and Jail nurses play a crucial part in the world of Corrections.  I wrote back to her stating "Check back as I will be adding a Prison/Jail Nurse page on my website".

Prison/Jail nurses also share with Corrections Officers violence, danger and high stress on a daily basis.  In my 10 years as a Jail Sergeant, I could not perform my job without the assigned medical staff (Nurses).

I'm not sure what content I will find and place on this page but I respectfully dedicate this page to all nurses and the medical staff in our nation's Prisons and Jails.

Your job is often "thankless" and sometimes "unnoticed" like a Corrections Officer.  I think I speak for all Corrections professionals by thanking each of you for a job well done.

Arrested Nurse is on suicide watch at County Jail

January 29, 2011
Lisa Roberson

ELYRIA — Corrections officers are documenting the actions every 10 minutes of the jailed former nurse accused of trying to kill her 17-year-old son during her own suicide attempt.

Shannon Weber, 42, of Wellington, is being housed in a segregated unit at the Lorain County Jail. Weber is a former employee of the jail, working there as a nurse off and on from 2001 to 2006.

Lorain County Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Crum said in addition to her past employment at the jail, she was placed in an isolated unit because of past suicide attempts. As such, she is under suicide-prevention watch.

“We physically see what she is doing every 10 minutes and keep a log,” Crum said. “Whether she is sleeping or talking to people or sitting in her cell, we know what she is doing.”

Weber also is required to wear a special gown that is not restrictive and made from tear-proof fabric. Inmates typically are not allowed to wear anything under the garment.

The extra precautions began as soon as Weber entered the jail.

She was arrested Jan. 18 by Wellington police officers as she was being released from the hospital following an alleged Jan. 4 suicide attempt.

Wellington Police Chief Steve Rollins said on that date Weber tried to kill herself as well as attempted to harm her 17-year-old son at her home on Parkside Reserve Street home. Her son was not hurt, and Weber was taken to Mercy Allen Hospital.

While investigating that suicide attempt, Rollins said it was learned that four days earlier on New Year’s Eve Weber tried to harm her son and also was planning to commit suicide.

He would not say how Weber tried to kill her son or why. The son has been placed with a guardian.

Rollins said Weber was initially charged through Oberlin Municipal Court with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of endangering children.

On Tuesday, Weber waived her right to a preliminary hearing, and the case was bound over to Lorain County Common Pleas Court. It will be presented to the grand jury.

She is being held on a $250,000 bond.

Lorain County Sheriff’s Capt. James Drozdowski said Weber was a decent employee, though her personnel file included reprimands for habitual absenteeism and tardiness.

She eventually left the sheriff’s office in 2006 when she injured her ankle while on the job and required a number of surgeries. She received disability worker’s compensation after her departure.

Weber recently was divorced from a corrections officer at the jail, but Drozdowski said the guard has no contact with Weber. If the two need to discuss matters concerning their recent divorce, there must be prior approval and another corrections officer present.

The correction officer is not the father of her son.

Weber has been ordered not to have any contact with her son.

Inmate allegedly attacked Jail Nurses

January 26, 2011

SEATTLE, (UPI) -- A convicted child molester facing new child sexual abuse charges now has been charged with assaulting two nurses in a jail in Washington state.

Jacob Kellogg, 37, who was convicted of child molestation in 1991, was back in custody at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent last month on charges he molested a 9-year-old girl when the assaults against the nurses allegedly occurred, reported.

One nurse said she was checking his blood sugar Dec. 27 when he sprayed her with a few drops of blood by pressing his finger after she pricked it to get a sample, documents filed by investigators say.

"He then laughed about it and said, 'I am sorry. You know that that is assault?'" a King County investigator said in a court hearing. "He then returned to the day room area where he laughed and joked about it."

Three days later, Kellogg, then in solitary confinement, allegedly hit a second nurse and shoved a medical cart at another.

The episodes with the nurses earned him third-degree assault charges, authorities said.

Jail Nurse: The job nobody wants

Larry Hendricks

While some local employers are receiving dozens of applications for job openings, one is having a hard time filling a particular position.

Jail Nurse.

"If we could just hire two, we'd be happy," said Lisa Hirsch, nurse supervisor at the Coconino County Detention Facility.

The jail currently has four open positions for registered nurses, Hirsch said. Five full-time nurses and nine part-time nurses are on the roster at the moment.

The shortage means the existing staff must work more hours, Hirsch said, leading to fatigue and burnout.

Valerie Ausband, human resources director for the sheriff's office, said other positions are attracting dozens of applicants. For instance, a recent opening for detention support staff brought in more than 30 qualified applicants.

"For the nursing positions, it's definitely much less," Ausband said, estimating that perhaps five applications a month are submitted.

Part of the reason, Hirsch said, is likely because of a perception of the environment.

"It's a jail," Hirsch said. "And most people think jails are scary places."

Most people also think of the inmates in the jail as the "dregs of the Earth," Hirsch said.


A large portion of the inmates in the jail are people who have been arrested for crimes and are awaiting adjudications — meaning they are considered innocent until proved guilty.

Often, the inmates come to the jail with a whole host of medical issues, Hirsch said. Drug and alcohol addiction, lack of access to health care, poverty and homelessness all increase the number and severity of chronic conditions — like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and mental disorders.

And it is precisely this lack of health care that leads inmates to appreciate the nurses and what they do for the inmates, Hirsch said.

That respect, along with the high level of security given to the nurses, often changes the attitude of a skeptical candidate, Hirsch said. Taking a tour of the jail and watching other nurses on the job often wins over candidates.


Jail nurses make $23.47 an hour and up, depending on experience, Ausband said.

Ausband added that many of the applicants for the nurse positions are not qualified. Either the applicants have no experience, or education, or even licensure for the jail nurse jobs.

To qualify as a jail nurse, applicants must have a current Arizona Registered Nurse license and current CPR certification, or any combination of education training and experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the duties of the position, according to Ausband.

Applicants must also be able to pass a background investigation and polygraph test.

Hirsch said nurses work autonomously under the guidance of a physician and mental health provider, who make periodic visits to the jail.

Nurses are responsible for making initial assessments of inmate health, Hirsch said. They are also responsible for getting inmate medical information from outside sources, conferring with the doctor and mental health provider to start treatment, then come up with a plan of care. The also respond to acute emergencies, change dressings on wounds, give medication and take vital statistics.

Nurses also teach the inmates how to take care of themselves after they are released from jail, Hirsch said.

"It is a very challenging area of nursing as we get to work in a culturally diverse setting and see a wide array of medical problems," Hirsch said.

A jail nurse is a rich and rewarding occupation, she added.

"I just love my job." 

"The Jail system seemed like a very relaxed place to work."

No, not relaxing on my shift! I am the intake nurse on the night shift in our County Jail. I get them in handcuffs, cracked out and beligerent. You have to have a keen sense for BS, because they WILL try to blow smoke. We don't have the luxury of an MD on staff at night, so we call the shots (no pun intended). You must have excellent assessment skills, because when "Inmate Joe" hits the deck, you have about 30 seconds to figure out why before the LT is over your shoulder.
In our building, we have 2 nurses from 11p-7a for 2,000 inmates, male and female.

Relaxing? No ... Challenging? Yes ... Exciting? ABSOLUTELY!

                                          Anonymous Jail Nurse

I worked as a nurse in the George Allen Jail for a year. I've met some of the most seediest, vile and manipulating inmates on this earth (keep in mind this was a maximum security facility). Where the heck do you think you are a hotel or a hospital? You criminals aren't in jail because you've been upstanding citizens it is because you committed a crime. Guess what when you commit a crime in Dallas county and you get caught you go to jail! You have been convicted of a crime and now are being punished. Jail is not a hotel where in which we the employees cater to your every whim. Jail is a scary, disgusting, and a mean place. So if you can't handle it then stop committing crimes. Also one thing I want to know is why are these so called "sick" people going to jail? If you have some terminal illness then you need to be in bed, hospital, or family’s house getting better, not trying to buy crack or prostituting yourself on the street. Don't tell me you weren't getting medication, both because I worked twelve hour shifts and I passed meds for half of the jail twice a day (another nurse passed the other half). Each pass took me two hours to pull thousands of meds from a pyxis then took me three hours to pass the meds. While I passed the meds I would pick up probably fifty kites at each med pass. There were two other nurse that answered kites, tested glucose levels (also gave insulin), saw emergencies, and daily wound care. These two women did this for twelve hours everyday. Plus the medical night shift consists of two nurses that also answered kite, mound care, glucose checks, and see emergencies. We also provided medication for all inmates detoxing for drugs. Also a physician was staffed at George Allen Monday - Friday for eight hours a day. An ob/gyn that saw women once a week. A counselor and a psychiatrist who saw inmates once a week. Lastly dental saw inmates once a week too. Dallas county even offers detox medication for inmates that arrive in book-in that are long term street drug users or alcoholics. Now I've worked in different county jails were they absolutely will not give detox meds and you have to "come down" cold turkey. To sum it up don't commit crimes you will go to jail. If you go to jail don't pretend like you're sick or dying because you take up our time needed for the truly ill. Don't be mad at the jailers or the medical staff we didn't put you in jail, you have no one to blame but yourself. Second the Dallas county inmates aren't paying a single penny for any of the medical care they receive, it comes out of the pockets of law abiding, honest, hard working individuals who aren't in jail. Other county jails actually charge their inmates for each kite they write, seeing the nurse or doctor, and any medication they receive. Finally we nurses care for the individuals that no one else wants to care for i.e. child molesters, rapist, murders, and prostitutes. The Dallas county nurses are contracted to the jail under Parkland Memorial hospital so we get Parkland wages which is considerable less than average salary of a nurse (almost half what the average rate pay for a nurse receives).

A Dallas County Jail Nurse


Susan Laffan

People often ask, "What does a jail nurse do?" Nurses who work in correctional facilities realize that clients are patients first and "criminal" second. Medical care must be provided to all clients regardless of their "crime".

An important concept that must be realized when working in a correctional facility is that security is the number one focus in that facility. There are safety measures in place, and policies and procedures to assure the safety of all who are within the confines of that facility. All employees must have a criminal history check prior to employment, and items brought into work could be subject to search at any time, and some items such as scissors may be prohibited.

To answer the question "What does a jail nurse do?" let me describe a typical day within a correctional facility.

Upon entering the facility, nurses must go through a metal detector to gain access to that facility. I would than proceed to the medical unit to begin my shift. The first order of business would be to get report from the previous shift. This would include issues such as whom and the reason why the client is housed in the medical unit, any treatments or paperwork that needs to be completed, or if there was any special issues regarding any particular clients. We would than proceed to count narcotics and sharps.

Once the shift got underway, we would prioritize what tasks needed to be completed during the shift. There are facilities that have a medical infirmary with cells designated as "medical cells". Those clients who require more intensive nursing care are housed in this unit. Clients who would fit this category may include, those clients being observed for detox signs and treatments, unstable chronic care issues such as uncontrolled diabetics or hypertensive clients, clients receiving IV therapy or antibiotics, and unstable mental health clients. Clients with casts or prosthesis may be housed here for security reasons, since these medical devises may be used as weapons within the facility.

There is a medication pass done three times per day, where the nurses may go to the housing units to administer medication, or the inmates may come to a designated area for "pill pass". Any time a new client comes into the jail, they must receive an intake screening, where the nurse gathers new clients medical history, including current medications, chronic illnesses, mental health status, take vital signs and implant a PPD.

Nurses may assist the physician or Nurse Practitioner during "sick call". Any orders written by the MD or NP will than be transcribed by the nurses.

Nurses' sick call is done after a client requests to see the medical staff for a medical issue. This can range from symptoms of a cold, to lower back pain, to requesting an HIV test, etc. The nurse assesses the inmate and may utilize nursing protocols that have been approved by the Medical Director, or refer the client to the appropriate next level of care (i.e.: MD/NP visit, psychologist/psychiatrist, or dentist).

During any time in the shift, nurses may have to respond to the housing units, kitchen, or recreation yard for any type of "emergency." The client would be assessed and appropriate medical treatment would than take place. If the medical emergency treatment required actions not able to be performed within the jail, the client would be referred to the hospital.

Other duties may include filing, chronic care clinic visits, quality improvement reviews, and client teaching.

There are many opportunities for professional growth within the correctional nursing field. The New Jersey State Nurses Association has a Forum on Correctional Health Care. This group of correctional nurses meets bi-monthly at the NJSNA building to discuss current topics relevant to providing correctional health care.

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) is a nation-wide organization that provides 2 conventions per year as well as providing the only basic and advanced certification in correctional health care called the Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP). In fact, on January 22nd, 2005 a CCHP examination will be given at the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, New Jersey. Susan Laffan, RN, CCHP-A, Debbie Franzoso, LPN, CCHP, and Patty Dougherty, RN, CCHP will be the proctors for this national examination.

Other professional organizations include the American Correctional Association (ACA), the Academy of Correctional Health Professionals, and the American Correctional Health Services Association (ACHSA).

As you can see, this specialty in nursing provides nurses with autonomy. A correctional nurse must have excellent assessment skills, be fair to all clients, and not be afraid of the environment and the clients they deal with. This type of nursing is definitely unique!

Should You Consider Correctional Nursing?

I have encountered many nurses who have never considered working in a Jail or Prison. In fact, very few nurses decide on a nursing career with the thought “I want to be a jail nurse”.  This patient community is fairly invisible to healthcare professionals. Once encountered, possibly by way of a job posting or meeting someone like me, there are some common questions that come to mind. Lets explore them together to demystify the corrections healthcare environment.

Question #1 – Isn’t it unsafe to work in a jail or prison?

It is true that safety is a major concern in this environment. However, many precautions are taken to allow a safe work environment including the presence of custody officers in the care area. I often liken the patient population to that of an urban emergency room. In some ways a correctional nurse is in a safer situation because the arrestee or offender is clearly identified and everyone is on alert. This is not necessarily the case in an urban ‘free world’ setting. During the orientation period most agencies provide intensive safety training to healthcare professionals. When interviewing for a position in corrections, ask questions about the safety measures in place at the facility

Question #2 Isn’t healthcare in prisons and jails substandard?

Since the ’70′s, correctional healthcare has been held to the standards of the community. Case law and advocacy groups have established a body of work which has led to improvement in medical and mental health care for the incarcerated. When considering a position at a facility, ask about accreditation. Two main accrediting bodies NCCHC (National Commission on Correctional Health Care) and ACA (American Correctional Association) are available. These two operate similar to the Joint Commission (JCAHO) in that they provide an outside source determining that quality standards are being met.

Question #3 Won’t I be working with poor practitioners – nurses and doctors who can’t get a job anywhere else?

 Nurses and physicians come to the correctional environment for many reasons. Many have a true desire to help the underserved   in our society. Some see it as a calling as well as a job. There are many truely dedicated practitioners working in jails and prisons, often in very challenging situations. Licensure, peer review, competency evaluation and credentialling are all standard requirements, just as in the ‘free world’.

Question #4 Won’t I put my family in danger with all the diseases inmates carry?

This is a surprising question to me, but I have heard it enough to know it is a concern. Due to the high level of drug and alcohol abuse among those coming into the jail environment, personal hygiene is often poor. In addition, addictions and lifestyle choices lead to increased levels of Hepatitus B & C, HIV, and tuberculosis in this population. Nurses working in corrections, however, have all of the protections of standard precautions and vaccinations as do those in other settings. Nurses in the corrections environment must be ever alert to disease transmission and must carefully adhere to infection control practices. 

Question #5 Why would I want to make a career of correctional nursing?

Correctional nursing is a specialty practice area with its own distinct body of knowledge and specialized patient population. Many nurses stubble on to this specialty by accident and continue on enjoying the many challenges and benefits. Some jokingly say they work in a ‘Gated Community’. Correctional nursing often provides a less stressful and physically demanding environment than traditional hospital nursing.

Maybe another question has come to mind as you read this blog post. Include your question (or comment) in the comment section and I will answer on a future post.

How to Become a Correctional Facility Nurse

What Makes This Career Field Unique?

My Day in Jail: Working as a Correctional Nurse

Yahoo Contributor Network

Thinking back, I always wanted to work in the medical field. I got a rush of adrenaline everytime, I saw a trauma scene or hospital emergency room. The doctors, nurses and paramedics working feverishly saving victims. I particularly like the nursing field, working with patients, providing one on one care. Often, I have been called "an angel in white!" I enjoy the feeling inside of making someone comfortable, or just spending a little time listening to whatever they needed to express.

I have been a nurse for twelve years, and have worked in various specialities such as medical - surgical, nursing homes, subacute units, and hospice. I craved for a change in my career that was exciting, yet challenging; I decided to become a correctional nurse. I had no idea what was in stored for me when I applied for a nursing position in a county jail. I spoke to family and friends, who thought I was crazy for wanting to work in a dangerous environment. Needless to say, I didn't listen, and followed my own mind.

When I was hired, I had not taken a tour of the facility; day one was the first time I walked into a jail. As I walk down the long hallway, I was saying to myself, "this isn't so bad!" I kept walking until I arrived at the end of the long hallway. There was a metal detector with a large sliding door. As I stood at the door, there was a small speaker posted on the wall with a button you had to press in order to gain entrance. Confidently I pressed the button to announce my arrival. As the large heavy door slid open, my heart began to pound. "What am I getting myself into?"

I cautiously entered a small hallway and approached a window. A deputy was seated at the window, and proceeded to ask me for my ID. I explained that this was my first day, and had not taken a picture yet. The deputy then asked for my driver's license, which I promptly gave him. I was given anoher ID with no picture on it, granting me access to the other side of the slider. As the second sliding door open, I thought, "Well this is it, no turning back now!"

It was quiet, a sort of dead calm, as I entered the hallway leading to the nursing office. I felt alone, as there was no one talking or walking around the facility. I nervously knocked on the door to the office. I noticed there was a small box with squares on it. I pressed one of the squares only to find a arrangement of numbers that I needed to press in order to gain access. "Oh my God! I don't know the code to get in!" I patiently waited outside the door until someone approached the door. "Is this your first day? A young lady in a nursing uniform ask me. "Yes, it is, and I don't have the code to enter the office!" The nurse promptly entered the code, and escorted me to the nursing manager's office. "Hello, and welcome!", the manager said smiling. "Hello!" I said smiling nervously. "Well, let me be the first to welcome you to our facility. As you know this is a correctional facility. We housed inmates with a variety of charges ranging from warrants to murder. I want to orient you in your role as a nurse!" By now, my heart was pounding, but I kept up the brave front. "You will be working in our jail hospital, working with inmates that require inpatient medical care. Your role is to provide nursing care only. A few things you must take into consideration; these are inmates. They can be quite manipulative and will try to test you! They may ask you questions about your personal life, but don't give out any information. They may also ask for favors, please do not under any circumstances! They may ask you to bring in things from the outside, or deliver items or letters to another inmate, do not! Remember the type of population who are treating!" As I listened to the "dos and don'ts, my head began spinning. How was I to remember all of this information, maintain professionalism, as well as maintaining safety and sanity?

After, my briefing, the manager escorted me to my unit of assignment. We had to pass through two more sliding doors. I entered the elevator cautiously, and rode up to the assigned floor. As I looked out of the elevator, it wasn't what I had expected. It looked like a regular hospital ward, only the doors was not open. As I walked through the hallway, I could see the inmates sitting up in bed staring at me. I must have had a look of "fresh meat" on my face, because as I continued down the hallway, I heard various hoots and hollers. By now I was totally terrified. "I'm not going in those rooms with these men!" The manager led me to the nursing station, introducing me to the staff. There I was assigned to a male nurse, to orient me to the unit. He was a very nice and patient man, who made me feel calm.

He proceeded to orient me about my role and responsibilities to the unit and inmates. I met the deputies assigned to monitor the unit. A sigh of relief came over me,when it was explained that I didn't have to enter the room by myself, if I felt uncomfortable; a deputy would escort me. "Ok!, this is a relief!" thinking to myself. "I'll just have the deputy go with me." I proceeded to accompany the nurse into one of the rooms. He introduced me to the inmates, only using my last name. He quickly informed me, that everyone goes by last names, no first names. I smiled nervously in agreement, as I surveyd the room. The room had four beds, and a bathroom with a tub/shower combination and a sink/toilet combination. 

All of a sudden, I heard a yell. It came from my trainer. I had pulled the door closed, because we were in jail, and I didn't want the inmates to escape! I didn't realize at the time, that once the door is closed, you can't get out, even if you have a key! The nurse calmly explained to me that we have to keep the door open, or we would get locked in. He proceeded to notify the nursing station, by pressing the call light. Someone promptly came and unlocked the door. I was so embarrassed! My trainer smiled, and told me that it was ok, because it has happened plenty of times. "Whew, what a sigh of relief!" I thought. "Boy my first day isn't starting well!"

The staff was great, and very helpful, and needless to say, the rest of the day went well. I even looked forward to returning the next day! At the end of the day, I went back to the nursing office, and spoke to the manager. "Well, how did your first day go? she asked. "Well it started out a little hetic, but I think it will work out well!" I replied. "Well good, and once again welcome!"

I followed the other nurses leaving for the day back the heavy sliding doors to exchange my ID for my driver's license. Making the journey once again through the long hallway. Finally I reach the outside. "Boy it is good to see the outdoors and smell the fresh air! I did it!, I survivied my first day in jail!" Beaming with pride, I floated to my car and began to drive home.

I have been working as a correctional nurse for a year and a half now. I enjoy working with the other members of the medical staff, as well as the deputies. I actually enjoy working with the inmates, providing medical care. I have had my share of inmates cursing and yelling at me, and have witnessed situations I will never forget. You learn very quickly to be thick - skinned in jail. Nothing the inmates say or do now bothers me. You learn to be tough, in order to do your job and survive. I still get the adrenaline rush everytime an emergency arises. I'm glad I made the choice to work as a correctional nurse. It is excting as one could imagine and definitely challenging!

Prison Nursing: You can do it.

The main concerns for most nurses considering this field is their safety and the high rate of disease among the inmates. Prison populations often do have higher than the average rates of HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis among their inmates when compared with a patient population at an average hospital. As long as proper safety measures are taken by nursing staff these should not pose an increase risk to the nurse. You should simply use universal precautions, such as wearing gloves and as well as gowns and masks, in all settings when clinically appropriate, and reduce your risks.  This is no different than what you should be practicing in all healthcare environments.

Being locked behind bars with so many criminals is hard to get used to. Most correctional nurses say that is the hardest part for them…the locking and clanging of all those doors behind them.  All of that is part of the necessary security aspects of the environments.  There are security guards and protocols for procedures in prisons, which make things safe for the healthcare provider.  Much of the care is very structured and regimented.  Inmates are usually given one chance every day for “sick call” which means they can write down a medical problem that they need to be addressed.

Correctional nurses do get their share of threats and lewd comments, but if you have a strong personality and do not appear weak you will fare better. As a correctional nurse you will become familiar with many patients that you will see for many years, unlike hospital nursing where you typically see new patients most every day. It is imperative to remember that each inmate is a patient with needs and must be cared for appropriately. There is no room for judgment in correctional nursing.  Inmates typically present with rare and unusual diseases due to their previous lifestyles and this can present a learning  opportunity for learning for nurses. Most correctional nurses say that they feel the inmates are respectful towards them and are genuinely grateful for the care they provide. It is a very rewarding career opportunity.

If you are interested in Correctional nursing you may want to check out this website  They offer a special certification for correctional nurses called Certified Correctional Health Professional program. Most prisons don’t require this certification, but if you plan to make your career in the field of corrections then it would be beneficial. Many prisons also prefer a nurse to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. As stated above, the correctional nurse is very autonomous in their care and must be capable of making sound decisions in patient care.

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Prison Nurse Accused of Scalding Elderly Inmate

February 8, 2011

TAVARES, Fla. -- A Prison nurse from Lake County is accused of scalding an elderly inmate while she was on the job, and trying to cover it up.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested Elaine Wade Tuesday afternoon at the Lake Correctional Institute on U.S. 27, where she works. 

Sources say that's where she burned an elderly inmate with scalding hot water, and then didn't get him treatment for his injuries.

According to Wade's arresting affidavit, she's charged with aggravated abuse and neglect of an elderly adult. It also says she was born in Jamaica and it's unclear if she's a U.S. citizen. 

The 48-year old nurse denied the accusations after she bonded out of jail Tuesday night. FDLE says it will release more information about Wade's arrest Wednesday morning.

Inmate Allegedly Attacked Jail Nurses

January 26, 2011

A convicted child molester facing new child sexual abuse charges now has been charged with assaulting two nurses in a jail in Washington state.

Jacob Kellogg, 37, who was convicted of child molestation in 1991, was back in custody at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent last month on charges he molested a 9-year-old girl when the assaults against the nurses allegedly occurred, reported.

One nurse said she was checking his blood sugar Dec. 27 when he sprayed her with a few drops of blood by pressing his finger after she pricked it to get a sample, documents filed by investigators say.

"He then laughed about it and said, 'I am sorry. You know that that is assault?'" a King County investigator said in a court hearing. "He then returned to the day room area where he laughed and joked about it."

Three days later, Kellogg, then in solitary confinement, allegedly hit a second nurse and shoved a medical cart at another.

The episodes with the nurses earned him third-degree assault charges, authorities said.

Jail Nurse Resigns In Inmate Heart Attack Death

March 2, 2011

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- An Orange County jail nurse resigned amid allegations that inmate Ronnie Benton had a fatal heart attack while in her care. Benton's family told WFTV they were never told the whole story.

The county said it's still not sure who Benton's family is, so it hasn't told the full story of how he died in October of 2010.

For 12 long minutes, patient Ronnie Benton had a fatal heart attack in the Orange County jail infirmary, and not one member of the staff did anything to help him. He used his crutches to get the nurse's attention.

Inmates even tried calling for help.

"Did the family know about the 12 minutes?" WFTV reporter Q. McCray asked.

"That's a good question. I don't know for sure where Mr. Benton's family is," said George Ralls, Medical Director of Health Services.

But WFTV found the attorney who is representing Benton's family. He said the family didn't know about the lapse in care until WFTV told them. They are preparing a lawsuit.

For its part, the county said it's never been able to verify Benton's family members. Officials didn't know about the 12 minute wait until they reviewed video several days after his death.

Nurse Stacey Jones was on duty and has since resigned.

"At the end of the day, it's a troubling image," Ralls said.

WFTV checked Jones' personnel file and she's never been in trouble before. She is retired military with almost 20 years of medical experience. During her last evaluation, she met or surpassed all criteria and was commended for "responding promptly to emergencies."

She wasn't home on Wednesday for comment.

The jail's medical director admits proper procedure wasn't followed, but says Jones shouldn't take all the blame.

"I was responsible as was everybody else," Ralls said.

The county will be reviewing it's procedures to prevent that type of accident from happening again.

WFTV also contacted Jones' attorney, who did not return any calls.

Prison nurse convicted for sex with inmate

A former prison nurse at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution in western Sheboygan County was found guilty Thursday of having sex with an inmate after a brief court trial.

Laurie A. Blum, 45, of 82 Yacoub Lane, Fond du Lac, was found guilty of one count of second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff, a felony for which she could be imprisoned 25 years.

Circuit Judge Timothy M. Van Akkeren scheduled sentencing for April 5.

Assistant District Nathan Haberman has recommended Blum get three years probation and six months in jail as a condition of probation.

Investigators charged in December 2009 that Blum had sex with the inmate on six separate occasions in a prison exam room. She was found out after she called the inmate's cellblock to say good night, according to a criminal complaint.

Blum has been free on a $10,000 signature bond. The inmate was identified in the criminal complaint and in court as Marlon M. Anderson, a 37-year-old Milwaukee man who was serving five years in prison on a count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety with a dangerous weapon.

Van Akkeren found Blum guilty after reviewing letters written by Blum and Anderson, which contained strong sexual content, and listening to interview recordings. There were no witnesses or testimony during Thursday's hearing.

Prison term for Snohomish nurse who watered down morphine

March 7, 2011

A Snohomish nurse accused of watering down patients' pain medication to cover up her morphine thefts has been sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges.

Entering the guilty plea to a single count of product tampering in November, Jolene Larsen -- a licensed practical nurse employed for 14 years at Merry Haven Care Center -- admitted to replacing morphine she'd taken with tap water, then allowing the tainted drugs to be fed to at least one resident of the center. Larsen, 38, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court

In the guilty plea filed Friday, Larsen admitted she began taking the morphine herself in November 2009 and continued until she was caught in May.

"One patient under Larsen's care at Merry Haven is known to have received morphine sulfate that Larsen had diluted with tap water," authors of a plea agreement signed by Larsen noted. "That patient did not receive full-strength morphine when she should have and continued to experience pain."

At least one other patient nearly received a tainted dose of morphine. The nurse administering the drug noticed that it was lighter in color than the liquid morphine contained in other vials.

In pleading guilty, Larsen admitted that she acted "with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of bodily injury" and held "extreme indifference" to the pain potentially caused by her actions.

Writing the court, federal prosecutors in Seattle noted the danger posed by Larsen's behavior.

"First and foremost, patients who receive diluted liquid morphine sulfate will continue to experience pain," the prosecutors told the court, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement. "Secondly, if a doctor, unaware that the previously administered morphine was diluted, were then to increase the patient's dosage, the patient could then be administered too large a dosage of undiluted morphine."

Larsen is expected to turn herself in to the Bureau of Prisons to serve her sentence. She was also sentenced to three years of supervision following her release.

Inmate attacks nurse in second incident this week

March 10, 2011

Prison officials are investigating the second case of an inmate assaulting staff this week following Tuesday's attack on a nurse at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.

Public Information Officer Kevin Ingram said the 67-year-old female nurse was struck in the face and neck by an inmate in the acute mental health unit. She was transported to Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare where she was treated and released.

The inspector general's office was conducting the investigation of the assault.

Neither the nurse's or inmate's name were released.

In the first attack Monday, the culinary manager at Ely State Prison was severely injured when an inmate hit him on the head with a metal steam kettle paddle. Steve Roundy was transported to the University of Utah Hospital Monday with serious head injuries.

Gene Columbus of the Nevada Correctional Association said the problem is the limited staffing.

In the case of the nurse's assault, he said that inmate has a history of attacking staff and women.

“They were made aware of the circumstances in that particular unit and failed to act — bottom line,” said Columbus.

He said there have been other incidents recently as well, including a confrontation with more than a dozen inmates at the Lovelock prison.

“We can't continue doing business this way,” he said.
Four Current and Former Prison Employees Face Drug Charges

March 9, 2011
Andy Mehalshick

Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County-- Two current Luzerne County Prison Guards were arrested while on duty at the prison Thursday. Jason Fierman and Christopher Walsh are accused of selling cocaine and prescription drugs to inmates and other employees.

Former Captain John Carey and former Nurse Kevin Warman were picked up at their homes and charged with dealing drugs inside the prison. The State Attorney General's Office led the investigation based on a Grand Jury probe.

John Soprano, Regional Director for the Attorney General's Office said, "These guards breached a public trust and placed other guards and inmates at risk."

Warden Joe Piazza said Fierman and Walsh were suspended without pay. Piazza said, "It is a sad day for the prison but it will make us stronger. All of the gaurds should not be painted with the same brush."

Offender charged in LaPorte County Jail nurse attack

March 16, 2011
Stan Maddux

An offender could face more time behind bars after officials said he attacked a LaPorte County Jail nurse.

Michael Sofranko, 32, of Michigan City, was arraigned Wednesday in LaPorte Circuit Court on a felony battery charge.

According to court documents, Sofranko was alone March 9 in a processing cell being evaluated by jail nurse after complaining of swelling and pain to his left hand.

The nurse finished her medical visit, stepped out of the cell and was grabbed by Sofranko, who pulled her in.

A jailer managed to free the nurse after a struggle and tackled Sofranko to the floor.

The nurse complained of bruising to her arm and pain.

LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said Sofranko's motives were not known.

Paralyzed inmate testifies in lawsuit trial against jail medical provider

March 18, 2011

A 28-year-old North Fort Myers man broke down in tears Thursday as he told jurors how his pleas for help as he became paralyzed at the Lee County jail were repeatedly ignored.

“I just didn’t understand why it was taking so long ... to have someone examine me and make the call to take me to a hospital,” Brett Allen Fields Jr. told jurors in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers. “I just wanted help.”

Fields, a once-healthy construction worker, broke down and wiped tears as his mother, Toni Silvers, and girlfriend, Amanda Duhamel, sobbed nearby. Judge John Steele let attorneys Greg Lauer and Dion Cassata take a break with Fields as Silver and Duhamel consoled him.

Fields’ testimony came the third day of trial in his 2009 civil rights lawsuit against the jail’s medical provider, Tennessee-based Prison Health Services; Joseph A. Richards Jr., its former physician’s assistant; and nurse Bettie Joyce Allen, who retired.

Today, Steele will instruct jurors on the law, they will hear closing arguments from Lauer and defense attorney Gregg Toomey and then begin deliberations.

On Thursday, defense medical expert Dr. Arthur Fournier, University of Miami’s associate dean of community medicine, the only defense witness, testified Richards and Allen provided good care.

He said he was impressed with Allen’s empathy toward Fields when she’d opted to keep him in observation the morning of Aug. 9, 2007, until he could be seen by a doctor, rather than take him to an emergency room, where Allen said Fields would wait for care and tie up deputies.

As Fournier praised Allen, Silvers’ mouth opened in disbelief. Her son had called Allen rude and said she ignored his pleas to see a doctor.

Fields’ attorneys opted not to present their expert. The defense rested after Fournier.

Earlier, Fields told jurors how a spider bite became infected and how he’d stretched in late July to crack his back, a normal routine. But this time, he said it led to pain, numbness and weakness that spread through his lower body. Late on Aug. 7 or early Aug. 8, 2007, his spasms and pain worsened.

“I just couldn’t take it anymore,” he testified, adding he hit the emergency call button “probably 100 times,” as did a cellmate, but a nurse said he’d have to wait for a doctor.

“Throughout the night, I was asking for help. They continued to ignore me. They told me to stop pressing the button,” he said of deputies.

That morning, he collapsed after taking a shower. “They asked me to get up off the ground. I told them I couldn’t,” he testified, adding that a guard brought a wheelchair. He was wheeled to his cell, where he lay on the floor and waited to see Richards, the former jail’s physician assistant.

“It seemed like they were distracted, like they had better things to do with their time,” he testified, adding that he watched Richards go through files.

When Richards examined him, he tapped his legs, found no reflexes and prescribed Tylenol for muscle pain. Fields was wheeled to his cell.

“As guards and nurses went by, I was asking them to help me. I was trying to get their attention. ... I was very exhausted and tired,” he said.

Early the next morning, he crawled to the toilet and tried to urinate, which he hadn’t done in days. He felt sharp pain and he screamed for help.

He said nurse Allen came but had to wait 15 minutes for guards to unlock his cell. He said she was rude, forcefully pushed him over when he couldn’t roll, and yanked his pants down.

“She then proceeded to tell me I’m lying,” he said.

He begged to see a doctor or go to a hospital, but was dragged on a sheet to an observation cell next to the nurses’ station. At 10:30 a.m., he was seen by Dr. Noel Dominguez, the jail’s doctor, who told jurors Wednesday he didn’t know why no one told him about Fields earlier that day.

“He realized there was a serious problem and I needed a hospital,” Fields said, sobbing and adding that he’d been frightened. “I told him he saved my life. I told him how important it was that he took the time to just help me.”

Two hours later, he was taken to a hospital. Jurors heard no explanation for the delay or why records wrongly said he’d overdosed and was intoxicated.

Dr. Jaime Alvarez, the surgeon, took him seriously, he said, and operated. He told jurors Wednesday the outcome would have been better if he’d been able to operate sooner. Fields was discharged on his 25th birthday in late August — after learning how to get into and out of a wheelchair, use a catheter and urinate.

Throughout, Fields cried and dabbed tears, often pausing to compose himself. He told jurors he was determined to be normal, hated the stares, couldn’t afford physical therapy and worked on it with his girlfriend, who became a nurse. He learned to walk and bike, moving from wheelchair to walker, then braces, which prevent stumbling.

He took off his pants so jurors could see his skinny lower legs, then removed the braces, showing muscular upper legs and the lack of muscles below his knees. He walked for jurors, waddling, his gait spastic because he can’t feel the ground.

He was denied Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security disability. He was approved for disability income a year later after appealing. Fully disabled, he no longer works in construction and is often in pain. He cried as he described awakening to “excruciating pain” that can last days and he fears he’ll have to undergo amputation and use prosthetics. He sits to urinate because he’d lose control of bodily functions.

On cross-examination, Toomey showed jurors Fields wasn’t undergoing much medical care and didn’t earn much in the two years before he became paralyzed. Fields blamed the economy.

He was the ninth witness, testifying after a Prison Health Services representative ended Wednesday. Lauer used her to show PHS is a multimillion-dollar corporation, managing inmate care in 150 jails and prisons in 19 states.

Hernando Jail Nurse accused of stealing pills

March 24, 2011


Jail Nurse accused of stealing pills

A Hernando County Detention Center nurse stole prescription pills from the Jail's pharmacy, authorities say. Catherine Marie Lape, 41, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of illegally introducing or possessing contraband in a county detention center. Another nurse left a packet of antidepressant medication in the pharmacy, sheriff's investigators said, and five pills were missing when she came back.

A report said Lape admitted taking the pills and said she intended to give them to an inmate or inmates, none of whom she identified; authorities searched her purse and found two hydrocodone pills. Lape is not an employee of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Lape is a contract employee hired through Suwannee Medical Personnel, and has been temporarily working at the Hernando County Detention Center since Jan. 17.

Seminole County Jail Nurse found passed out with syringe hanging out of arm

After being arrested, he was fired from job he had held since 2004

March 25, 2011
Gary Taylor
Orlando Sentinel

A Nurse at the Seminole County Jail was arrested Friday after he was found passed out in front of a convenience store with a syringe hanging out of his arm.

Charles Fryman Jr., 43, faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Fryman, a registered nurse at the Sanford jail since August 2004, was fired, Sheriff's Capt. Dennis Lemma said.

The Sheriff's Office received a call about 6:15 a.m. Friday about a man asleep in a van at the 7-Eleven at 4085 W. State Road 46, near Sanford. Customers checking on the man said he appeared to be unconscious and had a syringe hanging out of his arm Lemma said. It wasn't until after deputies got Fryman to the jail that they learned he was a department employee.


Fayette jail Nurses have licenses suspended after inquiry into inmate's Death

However, the suspension was stayed, meaning nurses Karen Hodge and Stephanie Travis can still practice nursing during the suspension as long as they comply with strict guidelines, including supervision and training.

The order was released Friday by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, which has been reviewing the incident since the family of the inmate submitted a complaint in August.

The inmate, Dean Ferguson, was serving a weekend sentence at the jail for driving under the influence when he collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism. Documents obtained by the Herald-Leader through an open records request showed Hodge and Travis did not examine Ferguson despite complaints of shortness of breath and leg pain. The nursing board reported that at one point, Travis denied Ferguson's request to go to the emergency room.

Ferguson, 54, was already feeling sick when he checked in to the jail about 7 p.m. July 9. Travis examined Ferguson about 9:30 p.m., clearing him to enter the jail despite an elevated blood pressure and pulse.

Fifteen minutes later, a pale, sweating Ferguson was seen on surveillance video having trouble standing and leaning heavily on a trash can. Hodge spoke to him briefly but "performed no physical evaluation," the nursing board's order said.

Ferguson was finally taken to the University of Kentucky Chandler hospital after he "became pulseless" at the jail about 9 a.m. July 10, the order said.

The nursing board also said the nurses did not document their interactions with Ferguson or each other, which is against their employer's policy. Both nurses told the board they did not remember conversations about Ferguson's condition, and there was no documentation of what was said.

The nurses have been ordered to attend regular meetings with the nursing board during their probationary period. They must undergo 60 hours of training on nursing, patients and documentation, and they must pay civil penalties of $1,800 each.

The nurses agreed to the terms, signing the order after consulting with attorneys.

Hodge and Travis are employed by Correctional Medical Services, a Missouri-based company that contracts with the Fayette County jail to provide inmate medical services, said jail spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Taylor.

Ken Fields, a spokesman for Correctional Medical Services, said in a statement that he could not comment on specific personnel matters when asked whether the board's findings would affect the employment of Hodge and Travis.

"All staff providing health care at the corrections facility are appropriately licensed to provide healthcare services," Fields said.

Ferguson's family has been waiting for the nursing board to complete its investigation before pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

"We are certainly planning litigation," attorney Fred Peters said after the board's findings were released.

Ferguson, 54, used to operate Hallmark stores in Kentucky that generated millions in revenue yearly, but he spent the last years of his life unemployed and struggling to find construction work. For that reason, he would not have wanted the nurses to lose their jobs, according to his sister Lisa Day.

Day said Ferguson would have been satisfied with the board's orders for the two nurses.

"That's what Dean would have wanted. He certainly wouldn't have wanted to ruin anyone's life, but (the nursing board) has acknowledged that the nurses were at fault," she said.

Inmate convicted for threatening nurse, child

The man was nearing his release from prison, but now faces a longer sentence.

April 4, 2011
Star Tribune

An inmate at the Minnesota State's maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights who was due to be released in October appears likely to have his sentence extended after conviction for threatening to kill a Corrections Department nurse and her child.

Douglas N. Sweeney, 51, will be sentenced May 5 after a jury in Washington County District Court last month found him guilty of a felony charge of making terroristic threats. Assistant Washington County Attorney Susan Harris, who tried the case, said a 15-month sentence in prison is being sought.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 12, 2009, Sweeney was housed in the prison's Administrative Control Unit. The segregated area of the prison is designed to separate the prison's most violent inmates from others.

The nurse was escorted by a corrections officer to deliver Sweeney an inhaler, the complaint says, given to Sweeney through a slot in his cell door. He suddenly began screaming threats and obscenities at the nurse, saying "I'm gonna get you when I get out!" He also yelled he was going to kill her baby.

After using the inhaler, the complaint says, he continued cursing at the guard and nurse. The nurse reported the threat to her supervisors. She was shaken by the incident, and felt genuine fear for her safety and that of her child. "She was very afraid," Harris said.

As Sweeney was being questioned about the incident by an investigator, he stopped the questioning and said, "Charge me and let's go to court."

Sweeney got his wish.


Former Prison Nurse gets probation for sex with inmate

April 5, 2011
Eric Litke

A former Prison Nurse was sentenced today to three years probation but no jail time for having sex with an inmate at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, in western Sheboygan County.

Laurie A. Blum, 45, of 82 Yacoub Lane, Fond du Lac, was sentenced by Judge Timothy Van Akkeren after her attorney, friends and family described her as a gullible, trusting woman who was taken advantage of while suffering from depression and marital problems.

Blum was convicted earlier this month of felony second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff, a felony that carried a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Van Akkeren noted the statute was intended to prevent correctional staffers from abusing their power by forcing inmates to engage in sexual contact.

“This does not seem to be the stereotypical (case),” Van Akkeren said. “I am quite willing to believe this was a two-way street, and if anything that Mr. Anderson was grooming the defendant.”

The inmate, Marlon M. Anderson, 36, of Milwaukee, told investigators that the relationship was consensual and Blum did no favors and sought no favors in exchange for the sexual contact. But Anderson has since filed a civil lawsuit against Blum and KMCI alleging she smuggled in food to give him in exchange for sex and demanded he write letters to her, said defense attorney Christopher Eippert.

Van Akkeren said the civil suit appears to have “no merit,” based on the original investigation by the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department.

A criminal complaint said Blum had sex with the inmate on six separate occasions in a prison exam room in December 2009 and exchanged sexually explicit letters with him. She was found out after she called Anderson’s cellblock to say goodnight.

Anderson was serving five years in prison on a count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety with a dangerous weapon. Eippert said he has a history of attempting to manipulate prison employees.

Van Akkeren ordered that Blum serve 40 hours community service as a condition of probation. The crime of which she was convicted requires lifetime registration as a sex offender, but Van Akkeren placed a hold on that requirement pending an appeal.

Eippert said he plans to appeal the conviction as well as the mandatory registration, which he said would do irreparable harm to Blum given the publicity it generates and the increasing number of communities with sex offender residency restrictions.

The prosecution had recommended Blum serve six months in jail in addition to the probation.

County Jail Down Three Nurses

April 25, 2011

The Wichita County Jail is down three nurses, all were fired, two of which are charged with felony offenses.

The nurses could spend years behind bars, but they say they did nothing wrong and were only doing what they thought was right.

The nurses involved feel what has been done has been done out of retaliation, but the Sheriff's Office says otherwise.

"Very passionate about our jobs, liked our jobs, loved our jobs, lived at our jobs," said Tessa Martinez, nurse fired from county jail.

Martinez and former co-worker Cheryl Ware are without a job, both veteran nurses of the county jail who treated inmates and enjoyed doing so.

"It was extremely important for us to care for them, to get them cared for, to get them seen in some kind of way," said Ware.

Instead of caring for others the two are working to bandage their wounds after they were fired earlier this month by the agency that manages the jail nurses, Correctional Healthcare Management.

The incident happened on February 4, when a nurse working at the downtown facility saw another nurse perform a procedure on a female inmate that they believe was illegal. They say it should have been managed by someone of higher authority. The nurse then contacted Tessa Martinez who then contacted Ware who was told to make copies of the medical procedure.

"It went further than that, someone initiated a criminal investigation and determined that Ware and Martinez should be charged with a criminal offense," said Rick Bunch, attorney representing the women.

The offense--tampering with government documents.

"Those were government records and they were photocopied and removed from the jail," said Deputy Chief Derek Meador.

Meador says things would have been different had the nurses first contacted the agency CHM and not taken matters into their own hands.

"I know both of those women and I like both of those women and I think they made an unfortunate decision," he said.

A decision that has cost them what they enjoy doing more than anything in the world, caring for others.

The nurse who witnessed the procedure has not been charged with anything, only fired and it is believed because she violated HIPPA laws by speaking about it.

If the two women are prosecuted they can face up to 10 years behind bars. Wichita County Chief Deputy Meador says documents of the procedure were found at the home of Ms. Martinez.

"After Arrest...Before Trial...After Conviction...Until Release...we are there"