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SGT/Deputy Stories/Articles Continued (Page 2)

Inmates Got $9.1M in 'Homebuyer' Tax Credits

IRS working to recoup money

By Kevin Spak    June 23, 2010

(Newser) – Almost 1,300 prisoners, including 241 serving life sentences, filed for the Obama administration’s First Time Homebuyer Credit on their taxes, claiming they’d bought homes while incarcerated, according to a Treasury Department report released today. The IRS paid out $9.1 million on those claims, money it now says it’s trying to recoup. “A very small number of payments were made to prisoners incorrectly,” it tells the Washington Independent. “The IRS will follow up on every instance of improper prisoner payment.”

That’s not the only fraud highlighted in the report, either. Some 2,555 claimed the credit for homes bought prior to the start of the program, and 10,000 filed for homes that were also claimed by someone else. One house was cited on 67 different tax returns. There were also 34 IRS employees who claimed the credit even though they already owned a home.


Handling Grievances in a Jail / Detention Setting

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Managment Institute

One of the most important tools for any jail is the grievance process provided to inmates in order to file complaints regarding conditions as well as events in the jail where the prisoner believes their rights are violated.  By providing prisoners with a proper grievance process, the jail administration can resolve issues within the jail environment before the conditions or events lead to a full-blown lawsuit.

Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) no action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.i  Thus, a proper grievance procedure may greatly diminish the number of lawsuits brought by inmates.  In fact, the PLRA was enacted to reduce frivolous lawsuits and to enhance the quality of those suits that are brought. 

A foundation case on the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provided an interpretation of the statute’s exhaustion requirement.ii

Ngo is a prisoner who was convicted for murder and is serving a life sentence in the California prison system.  In October 2000, respondent was placed in administrative segregation for allegedly engaging in "inappropriate activity" in the prison chapel.  Two months later, respondent was returned to the general population, but respondent claims that he was prohibited from participating in ‘special programs,’ including a variety of religious activities.   Approximately six months after that restriction was imposed, respondent filed a grievance with prison officials challenging that action.  That grievance was rejected as untimely because it was not filed within 15 working days of the action being challenged [as required by the grievance procedure].

Ngo filed a lawsuit in federal court.  The trial court dismissed the suit based on the fact that Ngo, who had not met the requirements of the grievance system by filing his grievance within fifteen days, had not properly exhausted his remedies under the grievance system, a requirement of the PLRA before a lawsuit can be filed.  Ngo then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which concluded that Ngo had exhausted his remedies since his grievance had been rejected and he had no further remedy.

In overturning the Ninth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court interpreted what it means to have exhausted all remedies.  The Court concluded that this term does not mean that the prisoner simply no other remedy.  Instead it means that the prisoner has properly exhausted his or her remedies through the grievance process.  Thus, a prisoner who fails to properly follow the grievance process would be precluded under the PLRA from bringing a lawsuit.

The Court reasoned: “Proper exhaustion reduces the quantity of prisoner suits because some prisoners are successful in the administrative process, and others are persuaded by the proceedings not to file an action in federal court. Finally, proper exhaustion improves the quality of those prisoner suits that are eventually filed because proper exhaustion often results in the creation of an administrative record that is helpful to the court.  When a grievance is filed shortly after the event giving rise to the grievance, witnesses can be identified and questioned while memories are still fresh, and evidence can be gathered and preserved.”

In rejecting Ngo’s argument the Court asserted:  “While requiring proper exhaustion serves the purposes of the PLRA, respondent's interpretation of § 1997e(a) would make the PLRA exhaustion scheme wholly ineffective.  The benefits of exhaustion can be realized only if the prison grievance system is given a fair opportunity to consider the grievance. The prison grievance system will not have such an opportunity unless the grievant complies with the system's critical procedural rules.  A prisoner who does not want to participate in the prison grievance system will have little incentive to comply with the system's procedural rules unless noncompliance carries a sanction, and under respondent's interpretation of the PLRA noncompliance carries no significant sanction.  For example, a prisoner wishing to bypass available administrative remedies could simply file a late grievance without providing any reason for failing to file on time.

If the prison then rejects the grievance as untimely, the prisoner could proceed directly to federal court.  And acceptance of the late grievance would not thwart the prisoner's wish to bypass the administrative process; the prisoner could easily achieve this by violating other procedural rules until the prison administration has no alternative but to dismiss the grievance on procedural grounds.  We are confident that the PLRA did not create such a toothless scheme.”

In Byers v. Wheeler, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon reviewed an inmate’s attempt to bring a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C §1983.  Byers, “an inmate in the custody of the Oregon department of Corrections, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights while he was a pre-trial detainee at the Lincoln County Jail (LCJ). Specifically, plaintiff alleges "excessive use of force and denial of grievance system, disrespect in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and confinement in segregation in violation of due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution." Complaint (# 2) p. 1. Plaintiff also alleges supplemental state tort claims for assault and battery and negligence. Plaintiff seeks money damages and declaratory and injunctive relief.”

“The facts giving rise to plaintiff's claims are as follows: On November 20, 2007, plaintiff attended an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting in the Lincoln County Jail Library. During the meeting defendant Wheeler observed plaintiff communicating with another inmate, Robert Williston. Defendant Wheeler alleges that after the meeting, while escorting the inmates back to their cells, he informed inmate Robert Williston that he had been very disrespectful during the meeting and that "his actions were pathetic." Declaration of Mike Wheeler (# 31) p. 2. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Wheeler "called plaintiff 'pathetic.'" Complaint (# 2) p. 3.

Defendant Wheeler states that after plaintiff requested a "kyte" (standard inmate communication form) plaintiff "yelled obscenities at me all the while threatening me with injury and death." Declaration of Mike Wheeler (# 31) p. 2. Defendant Wheeler further states that "(p)laintiff became increasingly agitated and refused several more direct orders to cell-in." Id. Plaintiff eventually entered his cell, but continued to ignore defendant Wheeler's orders and "continued making threats to injure (defendant Wheeler)." Defendant Wheeler eventually used his "tazer" to subdue plaintiff. Id. p. 3. Plaintiff was then escorted to "booking" by two "cover officers" who are not named as defendants in this action. Declaration of Mike Wheeler (# 31) p. 3. Defendant Wheeler states that he had "no 'hands on' contact with plaintiff as he was escorted to the restraint chair in booking by the other officers." Id.

Plaintiff, describes the incident quite differently. Plaintiff alleges that he "repeatedly asked defendant Wheeler for a grievance (form) for calling him names and disrespect;" that he "went to his cell as directed;" and that "defendant Wheeler came to plaintiff's cell while yelling at plaintiff with his tazer gun out and aimed at plaintiff threatening and provoking, instigating the situation." Complaint (# 2) p. 3. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Wheeler entered has closed cell and "tazed (him), without provocation." Declaration of Plaintiff (# 49) p. 1. Plaintiff further alleges that while being escorted defendant Wheeler "jammed his tazer in my neck and choked me with my shirt collar," shoved plaintiff in the elevator and "strangled" him by his shirt collar.”

In its review the trial court asserted: “In the Ninth Circuit, inmates are required to exhaust all grievance remedies prior to filing a 1983 action, including appealing the grievance decision to the highest Level within the grievance system. Bennet v. King, 293 F.3d 1096, 1098 (9th Cir. 2002); McKinney v. Carey, 311 F.3d 1198, 1199 (9th cir 2002). Proper exhaustion requires compliance with the institution's deadlines and other procedural rules. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 126 S. Ct. 2378, 165 L. Ed. 2d 368 (2006).”

The Court outlined the process at the jail as follows:

“The LCJ Inmate Handbook includes a detailed explanation of the institution grievance procedure. See Declaration of Jamie Russell (# 30), p. 2. Ms. Russell states that all inmates are informed of the rules and procedures set forth in the Inmate Handbook and specifically that plaintiff has been an inmate at the jail on various occasions in prior years and that he "was well acquainted with the kyte/grievance procedure." Declaration of Jamie Russell (# 30), p. 4. At his deposition, plaintiff acknowledged that he was familiar with the "kyte/grievance" procedure. Declaration of Bruce Mowery (# 29) p. 9-10.”

“The Inmate Handbook sets forth the grievance steps as follows:

  • Step I: Write a request to the staff person whose actions you are filing the grievance against. If your grievance is not resolved, go to Step II;
  • Step II: Write a request form to the shift supervisor stating your grievance. Include the name of the deputy who already answered the grievance. If the grievance is not resolved, go to Step III;
  • Step III: Write a request form to the jail manager by following the same procedure you did with the shift supervisor. If the grievance is not resolved,  go to Step IV.
  • Step IV: Write a request form to the Sheriff by following the same procedure as you did with the jail manager. The Sheriff's decision will be final.
  • Inmates have 24 hours from the time of an incident to file a grievance and 24 hours from each time a grievance is denied to file the next step.”

The court then looked at the manner in which the inmate utilized the grievance process and concluded that he had failed to exhaust his remedy through the grievance process.

Another example is provided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Griffin v. Arpaio.iii  Jermaine Griffin is an inmate in the Arizona Department of Corrections system. Defendants are the Sheriff of Maricopa County, a prison doctor, two prison nurses, and two prison officials. In May of 1999, Griffin fell from the top bunk of his jail cell in Maricopa County, Arizona. At the time, Griffin suffered from mental health conditions for which he took prescription drugs. He asserts that these drugs impaired his vision and depth perception, making it difficult for him to access upper bunks. After Griffin's fall, the prison assigned him to a lower bunk. It later reassigned him to a top bunk.

In early December 1999, Griffin fell again while trying to access an upper bunk. He filed an Inmate Grievance Form stating that he had injured himself trying to reach the top bunk, mentioning his mental health conditions and medication, and requesting a ladder or ‘some sort of permanent step.’ While his grievance was pending, Griffin obtained an order for a lower bunk assignment from a prison nurse. A prison officer, the shift supervisor, and the Bureau Hearing Officer replied to Griffin's grievance, stating that the nurse's order resolved his problem. Griffin asserts that prison staff disregarded the nurse's order.

Griffin appealed his grievance in compliance with Maricopa County procedures, first to the Jail Operations Commander on December 9, 1999, and then to an external referee on December 17, 1999. Griffin's appeals did not mention the alleged disregard of his lower bunk assignment, instead continuing to demand better means of access to the top bunk. The Commander replied that the lower bunk assignment addressed Griffin's problem and obviated further action. The external referee's response was  similar, adding "That ends it!" He informed Griffin that, having completed the prison's grievance procedures, Griffin could file in district court.”

At the outset the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit noted: “The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires that a prisoner exhaust available administrative remedies before bringing a federal action concerning prison conditions.

Exhaustion must be ‘proper.’ This means that a grievant must use all steps the prison holds out, enabling the prison to reach the merits of the issue. Prisoners need comply only with the prison's own grievance procedures to properly exhaust under the PLRA… The Supreme Court held in Jones v. Bock that a prison's own grievance process, not the PLRA, determines how detailed a grievance must be to satisfy the PLRA exhaustion requirement.”

In reviewing Maricopa County’s grievance process, the court observed: “The Maricopa County jail's procedures, however, provide little guidance as to what facts a grievance must include. The jail's Inmate Grievance Form merely instructs the grievant to "[b]riefly describe  [the] complaint and a proposed resolution."

While examining the case, the Ninth Circuit noted that they had “not yet articulated the standard of factual specificity required when a prison's grievance procedures do not specify the requisite level of detail. Defendants propose that we adopt the standard propounded by the Eleventh Circuit in Brown v. Sikes, 212 F.3d 1205, 1207-08 (11th Cir. 2000). The Brown standard requires the grievant to include all relevant information about his claims that he can reasonably obtain. Id. The district court applied this standard in dismissing Griffin's complaint. Griffin argues that the Seventh Circuit articulated the proper standard in Strong v. David, 297 F.3d 646, 650 (7th Cir. 2002). Strong held that, when a prison's grievance procedures are silent or incomplete as to factual specificity, "a grievance suffices if it alerts the prison to the nature of the wrong for which redress is sought…We adopt Strong as the appropriate standard.”

Applying the standard to the facts of this case the Ninth Circuit asserted: “Under the Strong standard, Griffin's failure to grieve deliberate indifference does not invalidate his exhaustion attempt. A grievance need not include legal terminology or legal theories unless they are in some way needed to provide notice of the harm being grieved. A grievance also need not contain every fact necessary to prove each element of an eventual legal claim. The primary purpose of a grievance is to alert the prison to a problem and facilitate its resolution, not to lay groundwork for litigation… Griffin’s problem concerned his unsatisfactory bunking situation. Notifying the prison of that problem did not require him to allege that the problem resulted from deliberate indifference… Nonetheless, Griffin failed to exhaust properly. He did not provide notice of the prison staff's alleged disregard of his lower bunk assignments. The officials responding to his grievance reasonably concluded that the nurse's order for a lower bunk assignment solved Griffin's problem. Rather than clarifying the situation, Griffin repeatedly demanded a ladder. His grievance did not "provide enough information . . . to allow prison officials to take appropriate responsive measures…We reject the district court's reliance on Brown in its dismissal of Griffin's complaint, but we may affirm for any reason supported by the record. Griffin failed to exhaust administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). He did not alert the prison to the nature of his problem.”


Classification of Arrestees Upon Entry Into a Jail 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

Classification of arrestees upon entry into a jail is an important aspect of safety and security of the jail, its staff, and other prisoners.  Many of the cases which raise issues on classification are brought as the result of inmate on inmate assaults.  In these cases, the jail’s policy and practices with respect to inmate classification and housing plans are the subject of scrutiny. 

The contours of the duty to protect a prisoner’s personal safety were outlined by the United States Supreme Court in Farmer v. Brennan.i  The Court outlined the facts of the case as follows:

“Dee Farmer, [filed a lawsuit] alleging that respondents, federal prison officials, violated the Eighth Amendment by their deliberate indifference to petitioner's safety. Petitioner, who is serving a federal  sentence for credit card fraud, has been diagnosed by medical personnel of the Bureau of Prisons as a transsexual, one who has "[a] rare psychiatric disorder in which a person feels persistently uncomfortable about his or her anatomical sex," and who typically seeks medical treatment, including hormonal therapy and surgery, to bring about a permanent sex change. For several years before being convicted and sentenced in 1986 at the age of 18, petitioner, who is biologically male, wore women's clothing (as petitioner did at the 1986 trial), underwent estrogen therapy, received silicone breast implants, and submitted to unsuccessful "black market" testicle-removal surgery. Petitioner's precise appearance in prison is unclear from the record before us, but petitioner claims to have continued hormonal treatment while incarcerated by using drugs smuggled into prison, and apparently wears clothing in a feminine manner, as by displaying a shirt "off one shoulder," The parties agree that petitioner "projects feminine characteristics."

The practice of federal prison authorities is to incarcerate preoperative transsexuals with prisoners of like biological sex, and over time authorities housed petitioner in several federal facilities, sometimes  in the general male prison population but more often in segregation. While there is no dispute that petitioner was segregated at least several times because of violations of prison rules, neither is it disputed that in at least one penitentiary petitioner was segregated because of safety concerns.

On March 9, 1989, petitioner was transferred for disciplinary reasons from the Federal Correctional Institute in Oxford, Wisconsin (FCI-Oxford), to the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana (USP-Terre Haute). Though the record  before us is unclear about the security designations of the two prisons in 1989, penitentiaries are typically higher security facilities that house more troublesome prisoners than federal correctional institutes. After an initial stay in administrative segregation, petitioner was placed in the USP-Terre Haute general population. Petitioner voiced no objection to any prison official about the transfer to the penitentiary or to placement in its general population. Within two weeks, according to petitioner's allegations, petitioner was beaten and raped by another inmate in petitioner's cell. Several days later, after petitioner claims to have reported the incident, officials returned petitioner to segregation to await, according to respondents, a hearing about petitioner's HIV-positive status.

Farmer filed a lawsuit in which he alleged that the prison officials “either transferred petitioner to USP-Terre Haute or placed petitioner in its general population despite knowledge that the penitentiary had a violent environment and a history of inmate assaults, and despite knowledge that petitioner, as a transsexual who ‘projects feminine characteristics,’ would be particularly vulnerable to sexual attack by some USP-Terre Haute inmates. This allegedly amounted to a deliberately indifferent failure to protect petitioner's safety, and thus to a violation of petitioner's Eighth Amendment rights.” [cites omitted]

In reviewing the case, the United States Supreme Court asserted:

The Constitution ‘does not mandate comfortable prisons,’ but neither does it permit inhumane ones, and it is now settled that ‘the treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions under which he is confined are subject to scrutiny under the Eighth Amendment,’ In its prohibition of ‘cruel and unusual punishments,’ the Eighth Amendment places restraints on prison officials, who may not, for example, use excessive physical force against prisoners. The Amendment also imposes duties on these officials, who must provide humane conditions of confinement; prison officials must ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care, and must ‘take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates… In particular, as the lower courts have uniformly held, and as we have assumed, "prison officials have a duty . . . to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners” [cites omitted]
The Court outlined the requirements that an inmate must meet before having a valid constitutional claim with respect to a failure to protect:

“Our cases have held that a prison official violates the Eighth Amendment only when two requirements are met. First, the deprivation alleged must be, objectively, ‘sufficiently serious,’ a prison official's act or omission must result in the denial of ‘the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities,’ For a claim (like the one here) based on a failure to prevent harm, the inmate must show that he is incarcerated under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious harm.

The second requirement follows from the principle that ‘only the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain implicates the Eighth Amendment.’ To violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, a prison official must have a ‘sufficiently culpable state of mind.’ In prison-conditions cases that state of mind is one of ‘deliberate indifference’ to inmate health or safety, a standard the parties agree governs the claim in this case.”

The Court went on to examine the meaning of deliberate indifference. The Court noted that “deliberate indifference entails something more than mere negligence, the cases are also clear that it is satisfied by something less than acts or omissions for the very purpose of causing harm or with knowledge that harm will result.”

The Court concluded “that a prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of confinement unless the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.”

In accordance with the law as interpreted by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,  “jail supervisors may be held liable under § 1983 if they implement a policy that is so deficient that it amounts to deliberate indifference to an inmate's constitutional right to personal safety.”ii  Thus, the importance of policy cannot be overstated.

In Martin, the plaintiff O.Z Martin alleged that the jail officials had been deliberately indifferent to his safety by placing him with a violent cell-mate.  In ruling on the case, the Ninth Circuit held: “The district court properly granted summary judgment to Ness and Vandicken because Martin failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants knew or should have known Martin's cell mate posed an excessive risk of danger to Martin's personal safety, or that defendants knew or should have known that Martin was particularly vulnerable to his cell mate. See id. at 1443 (if officials knew or should have known of a particular vulnerability of a pre-trial detainee, they have an obligation not to act  with reckless indifference to that vulnerability).”

It is noted that the case focused on policy related to classification and housing plans.  Although the court did not find that the policies were perfect, the court concluded: “The district court properly granted summary judgment to defendants Hagan and Schueller because Martin failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety by implementing the Santa Rita County Jail classification and housing policy, or whether the policy created a substantial risk of harm to the inmates.”

The Redmaniii case involved an eighteen year old who was arrested and brought to the jail.  Redman was 5’6” and 130 lbs. and was initially held in the “young and tender” unit. “About one week after his arrival, after a verbal exchange with another inmate, Redman was transferred from the ‘young and tender’ module into an area housing the general population of the jail, or the ‘mainline’ module. Redman was assigned to a two-bunk enclosed single cell with an inmate named Kevin Clark. Clark was twenty-seven years old, approximately 5'11" tall, and weighed 165 pounds. The jail officials knew that Clark was incarcerated for violating parole upon a conviction for a sex offense. According to an inmate status report on file at the facility, Clark was an aggressive homosexual.”

“On Redman's first night in his new cell, Clark raped Redman. Clark warned Redman not to tell anyone, or he would harm Redman's girlfriend and her family, whose address he had obtained from a letter in Redman's locker. The next day Redman telephoned his brother and his girlfriend and told them of the assault, and that he feared future attacks. The mother of Redman's girlfriend, Mrs. Pearson, called the South Bay Detention Facility and told jail personnel that Redman had been threatened with sexual assault and that her daughter had been threatened in the event Redman told anyone. She did not report a rape because she did not know that one had occurred. Trial Transcript, at 155. She did, however, report that Redman ‘was very afraid of being [sexually] assaulted, and . . . had been threatened by people who were also in the jail, if he told anyone about any of the threats that had been made to him, that they could hurt our daughter because they knew our address from letters she had sent Clifton.’ Mrs. Pearson testified that the deputy with whom she spoke responded to the effect that the South Bay Detention Facility was not operating ‘a baby-sitting service.’”

“In response to this call, one of the guards on duty called Redman down to the deputy station via intercom and, within view of Clark and other inmates, asked Redman whether he was having any problems.  Redman replied he was not. Redman later testified that he lied because he was afraid of what might happen to him, his girlfriend, and her family if he told the truth. No further investigation or inquiry was made by any jail official. Redman was left in the cell with Clark.”

“The next day Redman was raped again, this time not only by Clark but by two other inmates. Each of the three rapists was older and larger than Redman, and each had an extensive criminal record. After the assaults, Redman again telephoned his brother, this time talking and crying for an extended period of time in an open area of the facility. The next morning Clark raped Redman again. That afternoon Redman was released from custody.  Each of the inmates who raped Redman subsequently was charged with sodomy. Each pleaded guilty.”

In its analysis of the lawsuit filed by Redman, the Ninth Circuit initially noted: “The Supreme Court has noted that the right to personal security constitutes a 'historic liberty interest' protected substantively by the Due Process Clause. And that right is not extinguished by lawful confinement, even for penal purposes. Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 315, 73 L. Ed. 2d 28, 102 S. Ct. 2452 (1982).”

In looking at the jail’s policies the court asserted: “There is evidence that the action alleged to be unconstitutional, namely, the deprivation of Redman's right to personal security by placing him in a cell with an aggressive homosexual, was the result of county policies or customs. First, the detention facility had a policy or custom of segregating homosexuals. Then, once aggressive homosexuals were discovered, the detention facility relocated them according to the policy or custom in the mainline population of the prison to protect the passive homosexuals… Second, the county had a policy or custom of overcrowding the prison, so that heterosexual inmates were placed in the same cell or module with aggressive homosexuals…. The strongest written policy on homosexual  is in the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Manual of Policies and Procedures, which states ‘Homosexual inmates will be isolated from other inmates as necessary’…We do not read this to require that aggressive homosexuals be segregated from the mainline population. Instead, we find that the written policy was, as explained by Lt. Beall and county counsel, intended to protect the passive homosexuals.

oreover, even if it could be said that the general policy applicable to San Diego county jail facilities was to isolate and observe sexual aggressors, the routine failure (or claimed inability) to follow the general policy at the SBDF constitutes a custom or policy which overrides, for Monell purposes, the general policy. The unwritten policy at the SBDF was to put the aggressive homosexual in the mainline population, because it was assumed heterosexual inmates could protect themselves.”

In deciding that Redman had a valid claim, the court asserted: “We conclude that there is evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that the jail officials were acting pursuant to County policies or customs when Redman and Clark were placed in the same cell. A reasonable jury could find that these policies or customs or both exacerbated the danger posed by an aggressive homosexual to the general prison population to such an extent that they amounted to deliberate indifference to Redman's personal security, thus constituting a violation of § 1983.”  It is noted that although Redman is an older case, the Ninth Circuit cited to its holding in Martin v. Alameda County.iv

Another case involving classification, revolved around the issue of rival gangs.v  “During the events in question, Luna was an inmate at the Sacramento County Jail. His version of events is as follows. Luna was classified as a total separation inmate because of his former affiliation with a Northern Mexican gang. Total-separation inmates are separated from other inmates at all times and are housed in a separate unit for their own protection. On the evening of October 4, 2001, Luna was in his cell in the total separation unit on the 7-East floor. Thurien was the control/floor officer on duty at the pertinent times that evening, controlling inmates' entry and exit from their cells and common areas of the unit. Thurien released Luna from his cell to allow Luna to "program" (i.e., to shower, shave, etc., in the common area of the unit) for one hour. Approximately 30-40 minutes into Luna's program time, two inmates arrived at the unit for reclassification because they had started a fight in another unit earlier in the day. Thurien released the two unescorted inmates, who were affiliated with a gang that rivaled Luna's former gang, into the common area of the unit, after which they attacked Luna in the shower area. Luna sustained serious injuries in the ensuing fight.

Luna alleges that Thurien deliberately released the two inmates in order to provoke a fight, as retaliation for Luna's testimony against jail officers in an earlier court case, and to provide amusement for jail officers witnessing the fight. He also alleges that Thurien knew of Luna's prior gang affiliation and the gang affiliation of the other two inmates.”

In its review, the court began by examining the subjective knowledge of the officer, Thurien, who released the two attackers into the area where Luna was attacked.  “Thurien's release of two unescorted members of a rival gang into the common area of the total separation unit while Luna was showering there exposed Luna to a substantial risk of serious harm.

nder Luna's version of the facts, reasonable inferences support that Thurien knew of the inmates' rival gang affiliations and released the two unescorted inmates with deliberate indifference to the substantial risk that a two-on-one fight would ensue. Thurien therefore had subjective knowledge of the serious risk to which Luna was exposed. The facts alleged thus establish a violation of Luna's Fourteenth Amendment rights… By the time of the incident in question, the Supreme Court's decision in Farmer v. Brennan had clearly established that the Eighth Amendment imposes a duty on prison officials to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners.”  Thus, the court concluded that Luna had stated a case against Thurien that could go forward to the jury.


Duty to Protect Prisoners from Assault 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

Through these materials it becomes clear that the one group of individuals that government actors have a duty to protect is prisoners.  This duty arises under circumstances where the prisoner is threatened by another prisoner, a staff member or vendor, or even themselves. 

A case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Edmonds v. Walkeri  provides an example of how such cases arise.

“Illinois inmate Ronald Eddmonds filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the defendants, all employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections, acted with deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they failed to promptly intervene in an attack upon him by his cellmate. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants. Eddmonds now appeals, and we affirm.

Eddmonds was asleep at 3:30 a.m. when his cellmate Bernick Carothers violently attacked him. Carothers began stabbing him with a pen in the left eye and punching him in the face. As Eddmonds screamed for help, Carothers started to choke him and continued punching. Robert Walker, the gallery officer that night, heard Eddmonds's screams and rushed to the cell while radioing Sergeant Larry Quertermous and Lieutenant Taylor, the supervising officer that night, for backup. Quertermous and Walker arrived at the cell first and saw Carothers putting Eddmonds in a chokehold; Carothers warned the two officers that he would kill Eddmonds if either intervened in the fight. Both officers yelled at Carothers to "stop" and "let him go," or they would use chemical spray.

Within three to five minutes Taylor arrived at the cell. By that point Carothers had released Eddmonds and retreated to the back of the cell, and Eddmonds had approached the officers at the front of the cell. Taylor told Eddmonds he would open the cell door if Eddmonds would let them handcuff him, but Eddmonds refused because he feared being constricted as long as Carothers remained in the cell. But he eventually relented, and the officers opened the cell door and restrained both inmates. Eddmonds was taken in a wheelchair to the health care unit, where he remained for nine days, receiving stitches for the puncture wound and intravenous antibiotics.”

Eddmonds file a lawsuit contending that the officers were not in danger and thus should have acted more quickly in entering the cell and stopping the assault rather than waiting for more help to arrive and demanding that he relent to handcuffs before opening the cell.

In its analysis the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit noted:

Prison officials owe inmates a duty to protect them from violent assaults inflicted by other inmates. An official violates that duty, grounded in the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, if he is deliberately indifferent to conditions that pose a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate.  In order to prove deliberate indifference, though, an inmate must show more than mere negligence; prison officials must have been ‘aware of a substantial risk of serious injury to [the inmate] but nevertheless failed to take appropriate steps to protect him from a known danger.’ Moreover, ‘even if an official is found to have been aware that [the inmate] was at substantial risk of serious injury, he is free from liability if he responded to the situation in a reasonable manner… we have [previously] held that an immediate intervention in an inmate-on-inmate assault is not necessary.” [cites omitted]

The court held that the officers had reasonably responded to the attack on Eddmonds and dismissed the lawsuit.


Failure to Provide Medication in Jail / Detention Setting 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

One of the issues that routinely leads to liability in the jail setting is the failure to provide medications that have been properly prescribed either before or during incarceration.

In Prewitt v. Roos, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed a case where it was alleged that jail officials had failed to properly administer pain medication and follow post-operative instructions after Prewitt’s hand surgery.i  Prewitt had hand surgery while in jail and received discharge instructions from the hospital. “There is no factual dispute that numerous doctors' prescriptions for Prewitt's pain medication were deliberately not followed. Nor were ‘several pillows’ provided to Prewitt to ‘lessen swelling,’ as required by his discharge instructions. As a result of the defendants' interference with Prewitt's prescribed medical treatment, his pain was allegedly considerably exacerbated. This interference violated Prewitt's constitutional rights.”

The court rejected the defense that officers were following the jail’s medication dispensing schedule as an excuse for failing to follow the doctor’s orders.  The court held: “a reasonable jury could find on the summary judgment record that the defendants' reliance on the jail's medication dispensing schedule is an insufficient justification for the defendants to prevail, particularly in light of the competing directive in the same health care manual that prescribed medication ‘will be administered in the prescribed dosage at the prescribed time.’”

In Benge v. Scalzo, the United States District Court for Arizona applied the Ninth Circuit analysis in a case where a prisoner transferred from the State Prison system was not given the medications that were prescribed in the state prison system for psychological issues, once transferred to the Madison Street Jail.ii

“There is no dispute that Plaintiff received treatment and medication for his mental health condition while at ADC. This gives rise to at least an inference that his condition remained a serious mental health need upon his transfer to the jail. Sines [the nurse] argues that there was nothing to suggest that Plaintiff was depressed or suicidal at the jail (DSOF PP 16, 18), but Plaintiff directly disputes that assertion (Doc. # 58 at 5; PSOF PP 35-38). Further, Defendants do not deny that upon seeing a psychiatrist in December 2003, Plaintiff was prescribed medication for his mental health condition. On these facts, a jury could reasonably conclude that Plaintiff suffered from a serious mental health need.”

It should be noted that the plaintiff went without medication for 423 days before he was finally seen by a psychiatrist who prescribed a similar treatment and medication as he had been receiving while in the state prison system.

“A delay in providing medical treatment does not constitute deliberate indifference unless the delay was harmful. Hunt v. Dental Dep't, 865 F.2d 198, 200 (9th Cir. 1989) (internal citation omitted); see also Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 746 (9th Cir. 2002) (Eighth Amendment is only violated if ‘delays occurred to patients with problems so severe that delays would cause significant harm and that Defendants should have known this to be the case’). Sines contends that there exists no record of harm or suicide attempts and points to Plaintiff's admission that he never told medical or jail staff about overdosing (Doc. # 57, Ex. 25, Pl. Dep. 38:16-19). But Plaintiff testified that when he was treated for throwing-up after he overdosed March 2003, he did not want to tell medical staff the reason he was sick because he feared being placed in a restraint chair, which was often done with suicidal inmates (id., 38:3-9). He testified that after his medication was stopped ‘cold turkey’ upon transfer to the jail, over the next few weeks he became very depressed and then attempted to take his life (Doc. # 59, Ex. A, Pl. Dep. 42:20-22, 43:24-44:9). He testified that he heard voices he believed to be his mother's and God's, and he described his condition as ‘almost like trauma’ (id. 52:1-3). Plaintiff testified that in his condition, he decided to follow these voices and reject plea offers and represent himself in his criminal trial (id. 52:7-16). Construing this evidence in Plaintiff's favor, the lack of treatment caused him to suffer, led to a suicide attempt, and severely affected his decision-making abilities. This is sufficient to raise a material dispute on this prong of the Eighth Amendment claim.”

In ruling on deliberate indifference of the nurse, the court asserted: “This question is not a dispute over the course of treatment, as Defendants argue (see Doc. # 56 at 10). Rather, the dispute concerns the information that formed the basis of Sines' decision not to recommend medication or a visit with a psychiatrist. Plaintiff's testimony suggests that Sines ignored pertinent medical information -- Plaintiff's prior ADC treatment and medication regime. Given Sines' medical training, he would have known the risk to Plaintiff in discontinuing psychiatric medication and treatment. See Steele, 87 F.3d at 1268-70 (jury could find deliberate indifference where psychiatrist discontinued a transfer prisoner's psychotropic medication without reviewing the prisoner's medical records or consulting the former prison facility medical staff). Plaintiff has raised a question of fact as to whether Sines acted with deliberate indifference.”


Inmate Mail – PLRA and Allegations of Rights Violations 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

A case from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Inidiana provides an example of the interplay between the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and allegations of rights violations in jails and prisons.i

The court outlined the claims of Romine, the prisoner as follows:

“In his Complaint, the Plaintiff alleges that Chief Deputy Gaunt opened and read his legal mail, even though it was clearly marked as attorney-client correspondence. He also alleges that Officer Kevin McIntosh delivered his legal mail to him already opened on one occasion…. [In response to these allegations], Defendant McIntosh states that ‘[a]t no time did I open Nathan Romine's mail outside of his presence.’ (Defendant Gaunt states in his Affidavit that, as chief deputy, he reviews all mail concerning sheriff's sales. He states that on November 16, 2006, he ‘received a batch of mail concerning Sheriff's Sales ('Mail Batch'). An envelope addressed to Nathan Romine was inadvertently included in the Mail Batch by the sorter.’ Gaunt states that he did not notice the mistake and ‘mistakenly opened it,’ that ‘[i]t was not apparent to me that the envelope was intended for Nathan Romine until after I read a few lines of a document in the envelope, and that upon realizing his mistake he ‘immediately took the envelope to Nathan Romine and apologized for accidentally opening it’ Additionally, the Defendants have submitted evidence demonstrating that the mail Defendant Gaunt accidentally opened did not contain any confidential documents.

The court in its review cited United States Supreme Court precedent in observing Prison and jail officials may not read an inmate's privileged legal mail, although they may open it and inspect it for contraband in the inmate's presence.ii

In rejecting the jail’s argument that the case should be dismissed because Romine did not suffer a physical injury, the court asserted:

“The Defendants first argue that they should be granted summary judgment because the Plaintiff has conceded that he did not suffer any physical injury from the Defendants' actions. The Defendants assert that ‘[t]he Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e ('PLRA') requires inmates to show that the alleged conduct complained of resulted in a physical injury. The Plaintiff cannot show any physical injury as a result of either  [*8] incident alleged. Consequently, his claims are barred by the PLRA.’ (Defs.' Memo. in Support 5.) The Defendants rely on 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e) for the proposition that physical injury is a requisite for establishing any constitutional claim by a prisoner, but their reliance on this statute is misplaced. The Seventh Circuit has instructed:

As we have observed before and reemphasize here, it would be a serious mistake to interpret section 1997e(e) to require a showing of physical injury in all prisoner civil rights suits. On several occasions we have explained that § 1997e(e) may limit the relief available to prisoners who cannot allege a physical injury, but it does not bar their lawsuits altogether. As its title suggests, § 1997e(e) is a "limitation on recovery." Accordingly, physical injury is merely a predicate for an award of damages for mental or emotional injury, not a filing prerequisite for the federal civil action itself.

Calhoun v. Detella, 319 F.3d 936, 940 (7th Cir. 2003) (quotation marks and internal citations omitted). Section 1997e(e) precludes any claim by the Plaintiff for mental and emotional injury because he does not allege a physical injury from having his mail opened outside his presence. This section, however, does not authorize the granting of summary judgment on the federal civil action itself, and if the Plaintiff prevails, he may be awarded nominal damages or any actual damages he may be able to prove.”

The court ultimately granted summary judgment to the jail officials but not as the result of the Prison Litigation Reform Act.  Instead the court reviewed the fact that the only evidence indicated that the mail was opened inadvertently and thus, was at the most negligent.  Negligent conduct is insufficient in all cases to make out a civil rights claim, thus the claim was dismissed.


9th Circuit References 8th Amendment and Nutrition Requirements for Inmates 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

In Foster v. Runnels, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that “it is clearly established under the Eighth Amendment that prison officials are obligated to provide inmates with nutritionally adequate meals on a regular basis.i”  The inmate Foster alleged that he was denied 16 meals over the course of a 21 day period by Correctional Officer Cole.   “Corrections Officer Sandra Cole was frequently responsible for distributing meals to the inmates while Facility C was on lockdown. On July 21, July 28, and one other occasion in July or August, Cole did not provide Foster with either breakfast or lunch. Foster maintains that Cole also denied him breakfast and lunch on July 22, July 29, August 4, August 5, August 11, and August 12.

Cole maintains that on each occasion, the windows of Foster's cell were covered with paper. She maintains that she instructed Foster to remove the paper from the windows, but that Foster refused to comply. Cole claims that she was unable to see into Foster's cell well enough to safely open the food/cuff port. Foster, however, maintains that there was only paper in the back window of his cell. Foster alleges that Cole could see into his cell and that she could have safely fed him. No other guard required Foster to remove the paper from his window nor refused to feed him on account of its presence.”

The court observed: “The deprivation that Foster alleges is the repeated denial of meals over a 23-day period in July and August, 2001. It is undisputed that between July 21 and August 12, Cole did not serve Foster breakfast or lunch on three occasions and Foster alleges that he was denied breakfast and lunch on at least five other days. In total, Foster claims that he was denied 16 meals in 23 days. This is a sufficiently serious deprivation because food is one of life's basic necessities.”

The sustained deprivation of food can be cruel and unusual punishment when it results in pain without any penological purpose. In the same way that an inmate relies on prison officials to provide appropriate medical care, and protection from assaults by other inmates, inmates rely on prison officials to provide them with adequate sustenance on a daily basis. The repeated and unjustified failure to do so amounts to a serious depravation. [cites omitted].

The court concluded: “On the basis of the evidence presented, a jury could find that Foster suffered a sufficiently serious deprivation and that Cole was deliberately indifferent to the obvious risk of harm. In addition, it is clearly established under the Eighth Amendment that prison officials are obligated to provide inmates with nutritionally adequate meals on a regular basis.”


Inmates and Freedom of Religion 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute


Inmates in jails and prisons make a variety of complaints based upon freedom of religion.  There are many cases based on a complaint that the jail has failed to provide religious meals; complaints based on the allegation that the jail has failed to provide religious materials; and claims based on an allegation that the jail is restricting a prisoner’s right to worship.

At the outset it is noted that jails and prisons which accept federal prisoners place themselves under the more restrictive federal law known as RLUIPAi an acronym for the Religious Land Use of Institutionalized Persons Act.  The act provides for the protections of religious rights unless the jail or prison can establish a compelling state interest in the denial and the manner of denial is the least restrictive means possible to meet the compelling state interest.ii  Thus, jails that accept federal prisoners must look at policies to determine whether or not the policies/practices are compliant with RLUIPA.

A case from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin provides a good summary of the various types of claims a prisoner may make.iii  The district court outlined the facts of the case as follows:

“Akida Berry is currently incarcerated at Racine Correctional Institution. However, the complaint concerns events that occurred while the plaintiff was incarcerated at the Waushara County Jail.  He asserts the defendants violated his right to free exercise of religion under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The plaintiff names the Waushara County Jail and Jail Administrator Lt. Peterman as defendants. The plaintiff seeks to sue the defendants in their individual and official capacities.

The plaintiff attached thirteen Waushara County Jail Inmate Communication Forms to the complaint, documenting his correspondence with various jail staffers, a list from food service of current products containing pork, excerpts from the Wisconsin Administrative Code regarding the Department of Corrections and a canteen order sheet. These attachments are considered part of the complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(c).

Dietary Allegations

The plaintiff alleges: "Defendants failed to accommadate [sic] my religious dietary rules [an Halal diet], even though they serve Kosher approved products, but will not serve Halal approved  products."

On March 29, 2008, the plaintiff communicated a request for a list of items the jail serves that contain pork and pork by-products. He also asked about alternative diets available for Muslims. Staff Member McElroy responded by giving the plaintiff the pork product list from food service.

The plaintiff made a complaint on March 30, 2008, stating that he is not a vegetarian but practices the Halal diet consistent with his Muslim religion. Jail staff responded the next day, "You can choose to have vegetarian meals or do self-select which means you choose not to eat what's on the tray. Kitchen will do only one or the other."

On April 13, 2008, the plaintiff submitted a communication form marked as a Complaint/Concern and an Appeal. He wrote that he was forced to have a vegetarian diet because the jail would not give him a Halal diet. He alleged the vegetarian diet caused him medical problems, including gas, that resulted in him changing his religious behavior. Specifically, the plaintiff stated that the gas broke his wudu cleansing and prevented him from praying his salal until he did the wudu ritual of cleaning again. Nurse Dave Reich responded by encouraging the plaintiff to increase fluids, walk moderately and consider antacid from the canteen. Nurse Reich also scheduled a medical visit for the plaintiff that week.

Also on April 13, 2008, the plaintiff submitted an appeal again requesting the Halal diet. The plaintiff complained that the vegetarian diet is still forbidden because the food is prepared with the same kitchen equipment and utensils as pork and pork by-products. Lt. Peterman responded, "We do not offer a Halal diet at this time. I contacted DOC and they advised that the state facilities also do not have a Halal diet option."

On April 21, 2008, the plaintiff submitted another appeal complaining that he was being given pork in forms other than meat. He complained that the vegetarian diet is not an alternative because it contains pork by-products. Lt. Peterman responded as follows:

I am aware of your concerns, as is DOC. What we offer for alternative meals has been approved by DOC via the jail inspection process. Also, after reviewing your canteen orders, are you certain the items you are purchasing are halal compliant? Are you sure the 15 bags of hot fries you purchased last week were not processed by the same machine, utensils, or facility that processes pork rinds? Or that Now & Laters or Skittles do not contain some sort of Gelatin?

Religious Items

The plaintiff asserts that "[d]efendants refused to let me order my Islamic religious items." On March 30, 2008, the plaintiff submitted a written request for several Islamic religious items, including an Islamic prayer book, an Islamic prayer rug, an Islamic kufi-cap and Islamic prayer oil. Lt. Peterman asked for clarification regarding whether the plaintiff was asking the jail to provide the items or whether the plaintiff already had these items and was asking to retain them in his cell.

The plaintiff submitted an appeal form on April 1, 2008, asking if he could have the religious items in his cell. Lt. Peterman responded that he had contacted the Department of Corrections and learned that all of the requested items were allowable and available for purchase through the Department of Corrections Chaplain/Canteen or direct from a designated vendor/retailer. Lt. Peterman asked the plaintiff to let him know which avenue he wished to use to get the items. Lt. Peterman informed the plaintiff that the Department of Corrections does not authorize inmates to receive religious property directly from family or visitors.

The plaintiff submitted a complaint on April 14, 2008, that stated he had no one to buy him new Islamic religious items and indicated he would need to order the items himself direct from a designated vendor/retailer and pay out of his inmate account. Lt. Peterman responded that the plaintiff is not allowed to send money out from his account while he is staffed in a county jail. Lt. Peterman volunteered to ask about getting the items through the DOC chaplain/commissary and having them sent to the jail. The same day, the plaintiff responded that he wanted Lt. Peterman to ask about getting the religious items through the DOC chaplain/commissary. Lt. Peterman forwarded the request.

Religious Services

The plaintiff avers: "Defendants [Waushara County Jail and Lt. Peterman] unlawfully denied me the right to group worship, even though Christians and other religious groups were permitted communal worship, the Muslims were not." On March 30, 2008, the plaintiff asked about the religious services held at the Waushara County Jail. A staff member responded that bible study groups are held twice a week and that "Bible Bob" comes to the jail every other Tuesday and   Thursday and visits each block.

Religious Texts

The plaintiff alleges: "Defendants forced me and other Muslims to buy a Q'uran off canteen, even though Christians and other religious groups were given Bibles for free every other Tuesday and Thursday. Nowhere on the canteen is there a Bible for sale, and or is the Q'uran given to Muslims at no cost." On April 14, 2008, the plaintiff asked whether Bible Bob passes out bibles when he visits the jail. Jail staff confirmed that he does.

On April 16, 2008, the plaintiff asked if the Waushara County Jail provided a copy of the Q'uran or if he had to buy it from the canteen. Jail staff responded that the jail does not provide copies of the Q'uran, but informed the plaintiff he could buy one from the canteen.

On April 18, 2008, the plaintiff asked if the Waushara County Jail provided a copy of the Bible. Jail staff responded that the county does not purchase or provide bibles, but that copies of the bible are available from the canteen, from Bible Bob, or from the library (where they are provided by the Gideons). The staff member also indicated that a family member can purchase a bible and have it shipped directly from the retailer.”

In its analysis of the various claims the court asserted:

The plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and RLUIPA by: (1) failing to provide him with a Halal diet while Kosher meals are available; (2) refusing to let him order his religious items; (3) denying Muslims group worship; and (4) forcing him to purchase a Q'uran while Bibles were given out for free.

First and Fourth Amendment Claims

In the prison context, the free exercise and equal protection analyses turn on the same question of reasonableness. The Free Exercise Clause protects a prisoner's right to practice his religion as long as doing so does not unduly burden the institution. Richards v. White, 957 F.2d 471, 474 (7th Cir. 1992). A prison regulation that infringes upon an inmate's free exercise rights may be valid "'if it is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests,'" Alston v. DeBruyn, 13 F.3d 1036, 1039 (7th Cir. 1994) (quoting Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64 (1987)); see also Al-Alamin v. Gramley, 926 F.2d 680, 687 (7th Cir. 1991) (prison staff "need only make reasonable efforts to afford inmates an opportunity to practice their faith"). Likewise, the Equal Protection Clause requires inmates to be treated equally; however, a prison regulation that treats inmates unequally will be upheld if it is reasonable in light of legitimate penological interests. May v. Sheahan, 226 F.3d 876, 882 (7th Cir. 2000). In sum, a plaintiff who alleges an equal protection claim stemming from an assertion that the government has denied him the free exercise of his religion beliefs, can have his claim examined in light of the Free Exercise Clause. Mack v. O'Leary, 80 F.3d 1175, 1180 (7th Cir. 1996).

A prison may restrict a prisoner's ability to adhere absolutely to a particular tenet of his religion, and if the prison has sound penological interests supporting the restriction and, if those interests outweigh the prisoner's religious interests, the restriction does not violate the First Amendment." Canedy v. Boardman, 91 F.3d 30, 33 (7th Cir. 1996). A standard of reasonableness, rather than the heightened scrutiny standard, applies in the prison context "to permit prison administrators 'to anticipate security problems and to adopt innovative solutions to the intractable problems of prison administration[,]' and thereby prevent unnecessary federal court involvement in the administration of prisons." Al-Alamin, 926 F.2d at 685  [*13] (quoting Turner, 482 U.S. at 89).


To establish a claim under RLUIPA, a prisoner must show that a prison receiving federal funds has enacted a regulation that renders his exercise of a religious practice effectively impractical. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1; Koger v. Bryan, 523 F.3d 789, 796, 799 (7th Cir. 2008); Civil Liberties for Urban Believers v. City of Chicago, 342 F.3d 752, 761 (7th Cir. 2003). If the inmate succeeds, the burden shifts to prison officials to demonstrate that the regulation is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1; Koger, 523 F.3d at 796. A prison has a compelling interest in maintaining security, see Borzych v. Frank, 439 F.3d 388, 391 (7th Cir. 2006); Rios v. Lane, 812 F.2d 1032, 1037 (7th Cir. 1987), and courts are particularly deferential to the judgment and expertise of prison administrators when they analyze whether a regulation is necessary to further that interest, see Cutter v. Wilkinson, 544 U.S. 709, 722-23, 125 S. Ct. 2113, 161 L. Ed. 2d 1020 (2005); Koger, 523 F.3d at 800

Lt. Peterman

The plaintiff identifies defendant Lt. Peterman as the "Jail Administrator" and seeks to sue him in his official and individual capacity. Prison officials cannot be liable under a theory of respondeat superior in §1983 claims. Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995). Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 does not create a claim based on collective or vicarious responsibility. See Pacelli v. deVito, 972 F.2d 871, 875 (7th Cir. 1992). An individual cannot be held liable in a § 1983 action unless he caused or participated in an alleged constitutional deprivation. Sheik-Abdi v. McClellan, 37 F.3d 1240, 1240 (7th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1128, 115 S. Ct. 937, 130 L. Ed. 2d 882 (1995); Rascon v. Hardiman, 803 F.2d 269, 273 (7th Cir. 1986). To the extent Lt. Peterman was not personally involved in a particular decision, he cannot be liable individually under § 1983.

However, the plaintiff's complaint appears to be challenging policies of the Waushara County Jail in addition to the specific actions of its employees. As such, Lt. Peterman in his official capacity is an appropriate defendant.”

In finding for the prisoner on much of his complaints, the court held:

“The court finds that the plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts to support claims regarding his religious items and Halal diet against Lt. Peterman individually. The court also finds that the plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts to support the following claims against Lt. Peterman in his official capacity as jail administrator: (1) failure to provide the plaintiff with a Halal diet while Kosher meals are available; (2) refusal to let the plaintiff order his religious items; (3) denying Muslims group worship; and (4) forcing the plaintiff to purchase a Q'uran while Bibles were given out for free.”


Strip Search

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

An issue that has begun to surface is when agencies develop and implement a policy that meets the legal standards requiring individualized reasonable suspicion before a strip search is authorized, but then as a matter of policy or practice have personnel view the change-over (changing from the subject’s clothing to jail attire) process or have personnel viewing the required showering upon entry into the facility. 

Persons who sue law enforcement over strip searches have begun to argue and courts have begun to accept that these practices do constitute an strip search and as such run afoul of the constitutional standards that have been discussed.  Specifically, that viewing persons during the change-over or showering process without having individualize reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is concealing weapons or contraband, would violated the 4th Amendment limitations on strip searches.

Wood v. Hancock County Sheriffs’ Department,i involved a subject, Woods, who was viewed naked on separate occasions in accordance with agency policy, but who was not strip searched under the policy.  Wood was viewed when undergoing a clothing search procedure which involved the removal of all clothes prior to entry into the jail and was viewed while showering as required by this process.  In reviewing the case, the United States Court of Appeal cited precedent in defining strip search as “an inspection of a naked individual without any scrutiny of the subject’s body cavities.”  The court concluded that although the sheriff’s department employees indicated that the viewing of the naked body of Woods was merely incidental to these other processes; a reasonable jury could conclude that Woods had been strip searched.  Thus, agencies should consider their intake process and determine if customs and practices with respect to the change-over process or the hygienic shower allow viewing of the naked body.  If so, agencies should examine this practice in light of decisions such as Woods.

Note:  Some agencies have taken pro-active steps to avoid this type of viewing while maintaining a level of security.  An example is Carson City (NV) Sheriffs’ Department, which has installed a partial door which provides a limited view for security purposes but does not allow a viewing that would constitute a strip search.


In all cases where a strip search is justified, the manner in which the search takes place must also be reasonable in order to meet 4th Amendment standards.  Thus, these searches should be done in a professional manner, using a searcher of the same sex (unless exigent circumstances exist), under sanitary conditions, without physical contact (unless exigent circumstances exist), and finally, done with a degree of privacy.


In the course of arrest law enforcement personnel are often called upon to conduct a strip search of a person.  These searches are viewed as intrusive and are subject to 4th Amendment restrictions.  While these searches are an important tool for law enforcement, they remain a dramatic liability exposure for agencies and agency personnel.  As such, this article outlines the legal parameters of a valid strip search for purposes of institutional security and encourages agencies and personnel to compare this material to their own practices, policies and training on strip searches.

In reviewing strip searches, one must recognize the issues involving strip searches.  First, there are two distinct types of strip searches.  The first is a strip search for evidence. This first type is not covered in this section. The second is a strip search for institutional security in the jail or lock-up setting.  Secondly, in all cases of a justified strip search, the search itself must still be reasonable. 

It must also be recognized that the rules regarding strip searches for institutional security may vary depending on which particular United States Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the jail where the search takes place. This variation will continue until such time as the United States Supreme Court takes on a strip search case and issues a bright-line rule for all jails to follow.

A survey of recent cases from each circuit is essential to an understanding of the legal issues involved and the decision making process with respect to strip searches.  Until the United States Supreme Court speaks on this issue, an agency’s policies, procedures, and practices must meet the standards of their particular circuit.


Use of Force in Jails / Detention Centers 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

Use of force in jails is an area which is legally complex.  The problem is the result of varying standards which may apply based upon the status of the prisoner. The use of force on a free citizen falls under the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness standard, while the use of force on a sentenced prisoner falls under the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment standard.  The confusion lies with pre-trial detainees.  Some court’s have applied the Fourth Amendment reasonableness standard, while other have applied the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process standard. 

The United States Supreme Court interpreted the Eighth Amendment standard in use of force involving sentenced prisoners in Hudson v. McMillianii and Whitley v. Albers.ii

The Whitley case involved a shooting during a prison riot in which Albers was shot. The facts in Whitley were set forth by the United States Supreme Court:

“At the time he was injured, respondent Gerald Albers was confined in cellblock "A" of the Oregon State Penitentiary.  Cellblock "A" consists of two tiers of barred cells housing some 200 inmates. The two tiers are connected by a stairway that offers the only practical way to move from one tier to another.

At about 8:30 on the evening of June 27, 1980, several inmates were found intoxicated at the prison annex.  Prison guards attempted to move the intoxicated prisoners, some of whom resisted, to the penitentiary's isolation and segregation facility.  This incident could be seen from the cell windows in cellblock "A," and some of the onlookers became agitated because they thought that the guards were using unnecessary force.  Acting on instructions from their superiors, Officers Kemper and Fitts, who were on duty in cellblock "A," ordered the prisoners to return to their cells. The order was not obeyed.  Several inmates confronted the two officers, who were standing in the open area of the lower tier. One inmate, Richard Klenk, jumped from the second tier and assaulted Officer Kemper.  Kemper escaped but Officer Fitts was taken hostage. Klenk and other inmates then began breaking furniture and milling about.

Upon being informed of the disturbance, petitioner Harol Whitley, the prison security manager, entered cellblock "A" and spoke with Klenk.  Captain Whitley agreed to permit four residents of cellblock "A" to view the inmates who had been taken to segregation earlier.  These emissaries reported back that the prisoners in segregation were intoxicated but unharmed.  Nonetheless, the disturbance in cellblock "A" continued.

Whitley returned to the cellblock and confirmed that Fitts was not harmed.  Shortly thereafter, Fitts was moved from an office on the lower tier to cell 201 on the upper tier, and Klenk demanded that media representatives be brought into the cellblock. In the course of the negotiations, Klenk, who was armed with a homemade knife, informed Whitley that one inmate had already been killed and other deaths would follow.  In fact, an inmate had been beaten but not killed by other prisoners.

Captain Whitley left the cellblock to organize an assault squad.  When Whitley returned to cellblock "A," he was taken to see Fitts in cell 201.  Several inmates assured Whitley that they would protect Fitts from harm, but Klenk threatened to kill the hostage if an attempt was made to lead an assault.  Klenk and at least some other inmates were aware that guards had assembled outside the cellblock and that shotguns had been issued.  Meanwhile, [Albers] had left his cell on the upper tier to see if elderly prisoners housed on the lower tier could be moved out of harm's way in the event that tear gas was used.  [Albers] testified that he asked Whitley for the key to the row of cells housing the elderly prisoners, and Whitley indicated that he would return with the key.  Whitley denied that he spoke to [Albers] at any time during the disturbance.

Whitley next consulted with his superiors, petitioners Cupp, the prison Superintendent, and Kenney, the Assistant  Superintendent.  They agreed that forceful intervention was necessary to protect the life of the hostage and the safety of the inmates who were not rioting, and ruled out tear gas as an unworkable alternative.  Cupp ordered Whitley to take a squad armed with shotguns into cellblock "A."

Whitley gave the final orders to the assault team, which was assembled in the area outside cellblock "A." Petitioner Kennicott and two other officers armed with shotguns were to follow Whitley, who was unarmed, over the barricade the inmates had constructed at the cellblock entrance.  A second group of officers, without firearms, would be behind them.  Whitley ordered Kennicott to fire a warning shot as he crossed the barricade.  He also ordered Kennicott to shoot low at any prisoners climbing the stairs toward cell 201, since they could pose a threat to the safety of the hostage or to Whitley himself, who would be climbing the stairs in an attempt to free the hostage in cell 201.

At about 10:30 p.m., Whitley reappeared just outside the barricade.  By this time, about a half hour had elapsed since the earlier breaking of furniture, and the noise level in the cellblock had noticeably diminished.  [Albers], who was standing at the bottom of the stairway, asked about the key.  Whitley replied ‘No,’ clambered over the barricade, yelled ‘shoot the bastards,’ and ran toward the stairs after Klenk, who had been standing in the open areaway along with a number of other inmates. Kennicott fired a warning shot into the wall opposite the cellblock entrance as he followed Whitley over the barricade.  He then fired a second shot that struck a post near the stairway.  Meanwhile, Whitley chased Klenk up the stairs, and shortly thereafter respondent started up the stairs. Kennicott fired a third shot that struck [Albers] in the left knee.  Another inmate was shot on the stairs and several others on the lower tier were wounded by gunshot.  The inmates in cell 201 prevented Klenk from entering, and Whitley subdued Klenk at the cell door, freeing the hostage. As a result of the incident, [Albers] sustained severe damage to his left leg and mental and emotional distress. 

In its analysis of the case, the United States Supreme Court asserted:  “Where a prison security measure is undertaken to resolve a disturbance, such as occurred in this case, that indisputably poses significant risks to the safety of inmates and prison staff, we think the question whether the measure taken inflicted unnecessary and wanton pain and suffering ultimately turns on whether force was applied in a good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline or maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm… As the District Judge correctly perceived, ‘such factors as the need for the application of force, the relationship between the need and the amount of force that was used, [and] the extent of injury inflicted,’, are relevant to that ultimate determination. From such considerations inferences may be drawn as to whether the use of force could plausibly have been thought  necessary, or instead evinced such wantonness with respect to the unjustified infliction of harm as is tantamount to a knowing willingness that it occur… But equally relevant are such factors as the extent of the threat to the safety of staff and inmates, as reasonably perceived by the responsible officials on the basis of the facts known to them, and any efforts made to temper the severity of a forceful response.”

The Court then applied this standard to the facts of the shooting and determined that Albers could not establish an Eighth Amendment claim of cruel and unusual punishment.

Hudson v. McMillian, established that a prisoner need not prove that he or she was seriously injured in order to prevail in a claim of excessive force.

At the time of the incident that is the subject of this suit, petitioner Keith Hudson was an inmate at the state penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. Respondents Jack McMillian, Marvin Woods, and Arthur Mezo served as corrections security officers at the Angola facility. During the early morning hours of October 30, 1983, Hudson and McMillian argued. Assisted by Woods,  McMillian then placed Hudson in handcuffs and shackles, took the prisoner out of his cell, and walked him toward the penitentiary's ‘administrative lockdown’ area. Hudson testified that, on the way there, McMillian punched Hudson in the mouth, eyes, chest, and stomach while Woods held the inmate in place and kicked and punched him from behind. He further testified that Mezo, the supervisor on duty, watched the beating but merely told the officers ‘not to have too much fun.’  As a result of this episode, Hudson suffered minor bruises and swelling of his face, mouth, and lip. The blows also loosened Hudson's teeth and cracked his partial dental plate, rendering it unusable for several months.”
Hudson filed a lawsuit against the correctional officers alleging excessive force.  “The parties consented to disposition of the case before a Magistrate, who found that McMillian and Woods used force when there was no need to do so and that Mezo expressly condoned their actions.”

The case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit where it was determined that the officers had used excessive force, but since Hudson did not have a significant injury, there was no violation.

The United States Supreme Court overruled the Fifth Circuit in concluding that serious or significant injury while relevant to the inquiry as to whether excessive force was used in a jail/prison setting, it is not a prerequisite.  “That is not to say that every malevolent touch by a prison guard gives rise to a federal cause of action. See Johnson v. Glick, 481 F. 2d, at 1033 ("Not every push or shove, even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge's chambers, violates a prisoner's constitutional rights"). The Eighth Amendment's prohibition of  ‘cruel and unusual’‘ punishment necessarily excludes from constitutional recognition de minimis uses of physical force, provided that the use of force is not of a sort  ‘repugnant to the conscience of mankind.’..In this case, the Fifth Circuit found Hudson's claim untenable because his injuries were ‘minor.’  Yet the blows directed at Hudson, which caused bruises, swelling, loosened teeth, and a cracked dental plate, are not de minimis for Eighth Amendment purposes. The extent of Hudson's injuries thus provides no basis for dismissal of his § 1983 claim.”

It should be noted that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has indicated that the Fourth Amendment reasonableness standard applies to any use of force on a pretrial detainee,iii while most Circuits indicate that the Fourteenth Amendment would be the standard to apply.


9th Circuit: Jail (Officer) Failure to Follow Doctor’s Orders 

by Jack Ryan, J.D.
Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute

In Webb v. Douglas County [Oregon], the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed a lawsuit brought on behalf of an inmate, Webb, who suffered serious harm following a brain aneurism while in jail.i 

The court outlined the facts as follows:

“The facts in the record, construed in Webb's favor, are sufficient to find that Dr. Herscher ordered Graham to call him if Webb's headache worsened or recurred after treatment. Having received this order, Graham failed to follow it on December 16, 2000, after Webb had received all three of her regularly scheduled doses of Motrin and continued to complain of the same headache she had been experiencing for nearly a week. Instead of calling Dr. Herscher at that point, Graham dispensed two unprescribed Tylenol to Webb and returned to his post in the jail. Webb introduced additional evidence that, if assumed to be correct, would allow the jury to conclude that Graham knew, prior to dispensing the Tylenol and failing to call Dr. Herscher, that Webb's family had a history of cerebral aneurysm.

The law in this circuit is clearly established that "a prison official acts with deliberate indifference when he ignores the instructions of the prisoner's treating physician or surgeon." Wakefield v. Thompson, 177 F.3d 1160, 1165 (9th Cir. 1999); see also Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1131-32 (9th Cir. 2000) (determining evidence of deliberate indifference was sufficient to overcome summary judgment where prison officials disregarded hospital orders by feeding a prisoner a blended, instead of a liquid, diet and examining him at the prison clinic instead of returning him to the hospital for weekly follow-up appointments). A reasonable emergency medical technician working at a jail, such as Graham, would not have believed that he could ignore a doctor's standing order, especially when that order regarded a detainee with a family history of cerebral aneurysm. See Ford v. Ramirez-Palmer (In re Estate of Ford), 301 F.3d 1043, 1050 (9th Cir. 2002). A reasonable jury could find that Graham acted with deliberate indifference when he gave Webb an additional over-the-counter pain medication instead of calling Dr. Herscher, as Dr. Herscher had ordered him to do.”

  • Humor helps to expose commonly shared experiences and concerns that officers may have trouble expressing. It provides the means to test and bring into the open officers’ attitudes, perceptions and feelings. We feel better when we express ourselves, even in a humorous way.
  • Humor provides social solidarity-or in other words when officers all laugh-they belong. As a supervisor who had five major transfers to different department sections, I knew that I was accepted when my staff made me the brunt of some good natured jokes and humorous banter. The old saying is true-if people like you, they will laugh and be light hearted, if they do not- no one will talk to you.
  • Humor serves as a coping strategy that officers use to manage forces that are beyond their control. “Gallows” humor –the bad jokes, ‘wisecracks’ or one liners can take the edge off a stressful situation, a crisis or a tragedy. By doing so, the situation is less threatening. We calm down; tension ebbs.

Humor can be taken down the wrong road-belittling inmates and staff and sarcastically making them the brunt of jokes, being racially and ethnically prejudiced, and not taking the job seriously. More clearly-humor can be a negative thing at times, and any veteran officer knows it. For example, telling racially charged jokes around staff and inmate minorities is not a way to facilitate a positive work atmosphere. Also, there is not one correctional officer that has not engaged in griping about the upper management at times. But officers joking about the ‘brass” and putting them down over and over can wear thin; don’t forget that the inmates can pick up on that too.

Humor can make us feel better. That is good for our health and stress management. In my ‘burnout days’ I griped a lot. When I learned how to handle my stress, I found a great coping mechanism-humorous videos. After a stressful day, I would come home and put in a funny video. I laughed and felt better. Humor is good for the body and soul. It breaks the tension and the world looks a lot less bleak and dark. Comedy clubs are also a fun way to occasionally unwind. Just laughing and finding humor in every day personal and professional lives are good for us.

So, how do we put more stress relieving humor into the workplace? We realize that loosening up is OK at certain times. These times include after an incident such as an inmate fight or confrontation where we must wind down. We also must realize that when an officer cracks a joke, not everyone may be amused. We must know when to turn it off and on-working in corrections demands attention to detail being vigilant, thoroughness and keeping alert. “Goofing around” on the job too much can make us less efficient.

We also deal with people and must show respect, treating others with basic dignity. For example, my first tour in classification-seven years-had me in intake where I conducted interviews on thousands of inmates. I recall interviewing one who thought that he was a warlock and possessed mystical powers. I conducted the interview with a straight face-a “poker face”. The inmate was obviously delusional. He said that he could move fixed objects. Back in the office, we considered (jokingly) asking him to lengthen a couple of cellblocks so we could fit more inmates into the jail and reduce overcrowding. We all have approached a colleague and commented about a “crazy” inmate that we have encountered. I remember laughing about an inmate who was caught on a fugitive’s warrant and extradited back to our jail from another state. While on the run, he probably watched too many episodes of The Fugitive-he tried to dye his jet black hair blonde with an over the counter women’s’ hair coloring kit. The result was a “day glow” orange color. I recall that he was booked in on a rushed, hell bent for leather day-but we in the office laughed-but not when we talked to the inmate or were around him.

Every squad or section has a “clown”-and the humor makes us feel better; it takes the edge off. A few guidelines for good taste are:
  • Keep it clean: Off color risqué humor-dirty jokes, etc. makes us look less professional and tend to violate sexual misconduct and sexual harassment guidelines. If inmates see staff engaging in unprofessional behavior, they will target them in attempts to manipulate, playing on a lack of ethics. For example, telling dirty jokes within the earshot of inmates can result in the inmates thinking that the officer has a casual attitude towards sex. The next thing would be for inmates to joke around with the officer about sex, the next thing would be to flirt, etc.
  • Keep it timely: People who are hurt emotionally or physically may not appreciate wisecracks and insensitive remarks. Engage your mind before you open your mouth. A stupid comment to the wrong person at the wrong time can trigger a verbal or physical altercation.
  • Keep it occasional: It is not a good idea to joke around all of the time. Let inmates know by your behavior that the missions of security and safety are always number one.
  • Do not use inmates, especially the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, weak, effeminate, or sexually different-such as inmates who are gay, lesbian, transsexual, transvestite, transgender, etc. as the brunt or target of jokes. This also includes not making fun of foreign inmates or inmates of various ethnic or religious groups. Other inmates will add fuel to the fire by engaging in their brand of humor, which could lead into harassment or assaults-verbal and physical. That is all you need-breaking up arguments and fights between inmates or investigating an assault.

                                                                 Humor is good for us. But-staff must exercise discretion in using it.

KINCHELOE, MICHIGAN -- The Kinross Correctional Facility in Chippewa County Michigan is on high alert after three inmates tried to escape by driving a semi through a gate.

                                                                                                       July 16, 2010

 KINCHELOE, MI -- It was a deadly day at a Northern Michigan prison.  3 prisoners hijacked a semi-truck and tried to break out.

One was shot and killed.

This all happened at 9:10 Thursday morning at the Kinross Correctional Facility up in Chippewa County.

The state says these men, Andrew Ross, Brian Davidson and Seth Privacky, assaulted the driver of a Michigan State Industry semi, stole the vehicle and rammed a fence.

Officers shot and killed Privacky -- the other men were caught and locked back up.

'This time, all the prison sirens were going off, I think they were going off for a good 20 minutes, and then I heard, what sounded to me maybe like gunfire, or maybe it was just the fact that they were going through the fence,' said Tonia Dumback, who lives close to the prison.

'We kind of live through it every day, you never think they're going to do something like this, but yeah, it does happen,' said Brian Shepard, who lives near the jail.

Many of the employees I talked to, two that have worked here for more than 20 years, say they have never seen any attempt this serious taken by any inmate to break out of the secured prison walls. Prisoners hi-jacked a semi truck that was delivering food and attempted to break out of the prison walls. These pictures were taken by Brian Shepard, who heard the sirens and was one of the first to see the action.

'Grabbed my camera, came up here, started snapping pictures, and found out a little later that there was three of them, two were apprehended, and one was shot,' said Shepard.

'The prisoner continued to run, would not respond to the staff directions, and was shot and killed,' said Warden Jeffrey Woods.

Warden Jeffrey Woods says the fence did what it was supposed to do, it stopped the prisoners. Alarms went off, staff responded immediately, and that's when the prisoner was shot.

'Just a pop, if you were hunting, and you heard somebody out in the distance shooting, that's what it sounded like,' said Eyewitness Lester Webb.

'All of our security systems protected the public like they were supposed to, as well as the investigation going on, and the officers responding to the scene,' said the Warden.

Here's the truck the inmates tried to escape in, you can see the damage left behind when it tried to run through the barbed-wire fence. For the warden, he says it's constant work to try to stay ahead of a prisoner's next ploy, and in this business, you don't know what to expect.

'Many of these guys, this is as good as it gets for them, it's a level 2 medium security for a lot of lifers that are doing all day, so when you think of what they're doing inside and how they plan, you know, certainly, I'm sure they all think about it once and a while,' said the Warden.

For the community, they're thankful for the officers commitment for keeping everyone safe, but it does add a little uncertainty, that is, what is being thought up as these men serve their time.

'Now I kind of worry more, because like I said, I live across the field here, have little kids, so yeah, it's kind of spooky,' said Shepard.

'It was just very eye-opening to think like something like this could happen,' said Dumback.

Nobody in the prison was hurt. The driver assaulted was not seriously hurt.

The Warden tells me at this time, they have a temporary fence in place and by tomorrow, the permanent fence will be back up. He says until then, armed guards will secure the gaping hole that the truck left. For the two prisoners that were captured, they have been sent to a different prison and have been put in a segregation unit until the investigation is complete.

That investigation could take days, weeks, or even months.

And on a side note, people I spoke with today says this is the first major attempt since a helicopter was flown onto the property to try to help an inmate escape.








Captured                                            Killed                                          Captured
Sergeant Sandvig

County Jail: Nurse smuggled drugs in

Pills, pot given to boyfriend, officials say

July 17, 2010

A nurse allegedly snuck marijuana and ecstasy into the Cook County Jail for her inmate boyfriend accused in a double murder, authorities said Friday.

And she's being investigated as the culprit of last week's jail lockdown after officials received tips she brought a gun into the facility.

Kuna Winding's arrest came after a probe by Cook County Sheriff's investigators, who got word she had been sneaking the drugs into the jail while employed as a nurse at Cermak Hospital, sheriff's spokesman Steve Patterson said.

Last week Winding admitted that on two occasions she smuggled the drugs to her boyfriend while she brought medications to jail tiers, prosecutors said.

When conducting a search warrant at her South Side home on Tuesday, authorities found two ecstasy pills, seven cell phones, packaged tobacco and letters confirming her relationship with the alleged double murderer, prosecutors said.

Although those employed within the jail undergo strict security searches, Winding, 33, was able to smuggle the drugs by concealing them within her body, Patterson said.

Patterson said a jail lockdown last week was prompted by tips alleging Winding brought a gun into the jail.

But no gun has been recovered. Winding has not been charged in that incident.

"We're pretty confident there was no breach of security and no weapon was brought in," Patterson said. "But we're continuing to investigate whether there were any plans."

Winding, of the 7900 block of South Marshfield Street, has been charged with criminal conspiracy, official misconduct, bringing a controlled substance into a penal institution and possession of a controlled substance.

She was ordered held in lieu of $400,000 bail by Judge Peggy Chiampas.

Winding had been suspended without pay.

20 Employees Broke Rules That Allowed Inmate's Escape

March 2, 2010

-- There are major security violations at the Osceola County jail. WFTV learned Tuesday, 20 jail employees broke rules that allowed a violent inmate to escape. New details show exactly how that inmate spent weeks planning and then breaking though his cell block wall.

Escaped Osceola County jail inmate Michael Rigby is still on the run. The attempted murder suspect escaped on February 19.

WFTV found out that jail guards did not check on Rigby they way they should have and he hid the hole he was making in the wall behind the toilet in his cell by acting like he was sick.

There were 20 jail employees who had 63 violations, but no discipline yet.

Rigby used toilet paper to fake vomit and made a tool out of a metal toilet paper holder to cut his way out. He and his cellmate worked on it for two weeks without being caught.

Michael Rigby and his cellmate were never taken out of their cell for the ‘once every 12 hour’ cell search. Rigby faked illness by sitting on the toilet in his cell. He put a towel over the attached sink to cover up his handiwork and the jail officers never moved the towel.

Rigby and his cellmate used three towels tied together as a pulley to break through. They conspired with inmates in the cell above to flood their cell, which prompted maintenance workers to open the plumbing chase access door, which opened up to the yard. Rigby then later pried it open.

The investigation found that Rigby had cut through pipes and even re-bar with his handmade tool.

According to phone records, one jail officer checked the cell once every 30 minutes through a window in the cell door and told investigators he saw
what he thought was Rigby under a blanket.

Officers said they did outside perimeter checks after midnight, but apparently never saw the cell mattress cover near the outside fence behind Rigby's cell block. It’s believed that Rigby used a mattress to get under or over the fences, but jail managers still don't know how Rigby got past the two fences.

WFTV also found out some lights on the fencing don't work. The razor wire can be pulled away easily and locks and chains are rusted.

One jail guard even cut and pasted in his log claiming everything was okay a day earlier. The county manager has had the jail's report for a week, but still won't release it to the public.

Michael Rigby's father, Brian, remains in jail with no bond for helping him escape.

On Monday, an Osceola County judge set a $10,000 bond for his grandmother, 79-year-old Regenia Ralph, and she bonded out. She is accused of hiding Michael Rigby's escape and giving him clothes and cash.

Escaped Osceola Inmate Caught In New Jersey

April 28, 2010

-- A gang member, who has been on the run for two and half months after escaping from the Osceola County jail, is back behind bars. Michael Rigby escaped the jail in February and was caught Wednesday night in Paterson, New Jersey.

It was a remarkable turn of events that led to Rigby’s capture.

Police in New Jersey brought someone in for questioning about a murder case. He looked up and saw a wanted poster of Rigby up on the wall and said, "I know him and I can tell you exactly where he is right now." And he did.

The tipster told Paterson police that Rigby could be found at 90 Auburn Street. They called the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey fugitive unit, which arrived at 9:30 Wednesday night, surrounded the place and saw him in the hallway. They said he had no choice but to give up.

"He just stayed very quiet. At first, he was trying to deny who he was, but once we got him into the detective’s bureau he admitted who he was,” Captain Rodriguez of the Paterson New Jersey Police Department said.

WFTV asked Rigby's attorney, Don Waggoner, what he makes of that. He said it doesn't surprise him.

“He can be tamed. He might be a lion out in the jungle, but he can be tamed,” Waggoner said.

Waggoner said Rigby's mother was relieved to hear how his arrest went down.

“She was worried that the cops would shoot him or he'd get shot and come back in a body bag,” Waggoner said.

Rigby is expected to come back to Osceola County possibly by early next week. Osceola County sheriff's investigators are in touch with authorities in New Jersey and WFTV was told they want Rigby back as soon as possible.

“When he is extradited back, he will be taken to the Osceola County jail. It will be up to them whether they move him to another facility,” said Twis Lizusuain, Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

It is not known when a judge will tell Rigby when he can leave New Jersey.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office had information early on that Rigby had run to that area in New Jersey. There were a few reported sightings, but the big break came Wednesday night.

“They were using information that they had. They didn’t have his specific whereabouts, but they had general information, and we were working with the U.S. marshals on that,” Lizusuain said.

Osceola County deputies said, when Rigby is brought back to Florida, he will face escape charges and go before a judge.

Rigby's grandmother and father were also arrested for helping him after he broke out of jail by giving Rigby money and a car. Rigby ditched the car at one point and then got his girlfriend’s car to drive up north.

Former Jail Chief Greg Futch resigned from his position and the city manager who hired him, Michael Freilinger, was fired. At least 28 jail guards were either fired or disciplined following Rigby's escape; nearly a dozen have been fired.

Kim Bogart, the new chief of the Osceola County jail, started the job April 21.

Meanwhile, federal investigators wrapped up a review Thursday afternoon at the troubled Osceola County jail. Tuesday, two investigators from the National Institute of Corrections arrived at the jail for a three-day audit.

Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Corrections conducted a four-day investigation. The results of that audit have not been released.


Police: Inmate in possession of 'dangerous device'

July 16, 2010 /

An inmate in the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, Indiana is facing additional charges after recently being found in possession of a dangerous device, police say.

After a two-week investigation, John A. Shoultz III, 21, of rural Crothersville, was arrested Wednesday at the jail where he is awaiting trial on charges of murdering his 48-year-old father, John Shoultz, at his residence in May 2009.

According to a report from Detective Bob Lucas, the new charges, which include three Class B felonies, were filed after items were found in Shoultz’s cell.

The items were made into a device that could have been used as a deadly weapon, posing a danger to jail staff and other inmates, Lucas said in a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Information about the situation was obtained by jail staff and relayed to the jail commander. Evidence was collected and processed and interviews were conducted.

The case was sent to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review and a warrant for Shoultz’s arrest was issued by Jackson Circuit Court on Thursday.

Shoultz is also serving time on a charge of possession of a handgun by a felon.

Assisting Lucas in the investigation were Jail Sgt. David Drake and the evening shift and officers Adam Nicholson and Ben Rudolph.


Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California. Often referred to as The Rock, the small island early-on served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986.

Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. In 2008 the nation's first hybrid propulsion ferry started serving the island. Alcatraz has been featured in many movies.


Welcome to the Slammer...The nation's hottest, weekly crime newspaper!

The Slammer is an informative and entertaining weekly newspaper that focuses on local crime in a straightforward, humorous and revealing manner. We have been publishing weekly since 2007.

The Slammer provides important information related to your community- local arrests, breaking crime news, sex offenders, fugitives and most wanted, missing persons, and many more noteworthy crime stories in your area.

Our newspaper boasts countless success stories of readers helping authorities locate dangerous fugitives. We value our relationships with local authorities and publish news bulletins as often as we can in attempts to apprehend most wanteds and more. We have proven to be a very useful tool in providing leads and captures!

The Slammer‘s mission is to help reduce crime, locate missing persons, bring fugitives to justice and provide information that assists authorities in making our communities safer.

We publish all local booking shots taken within the past week. We also feature local crime news, local missing and most wanted persons, local sex offenders, outstanding national criminal news, celebrity run-ins with the law, weird and wild news from around the world as well as other weekly features featuring criminal stories you won't want to miss!

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Request letter for your own files under FOIA and the Privacy Act

Freedom of Information legislation are rules that guarantee access to data held by the state. They establish a "right-to-know" legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information, to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Also variously referred to as open records or (especially in the United States sunshine laws, governments are also typically bound by a duty to publish and promote openness. In many countries there are constitutional guarantees for the right of access to information, but usually these are unused if specific support legislation does not exist.

A basic principle behind most freedom of information legislation is that the burden of proof falls on the body asked for information, not the person asking for it. The requester does not usually have to give an explanation for their request, but if the information is not disclosed a valid reason has to be given.

Role of the Correctional System

The Correctional System has three main goals: punish, protect the population and rehabilitate the offender. However, it is unclear how well the modern U.S. correctional system achieves these goals and whether the money invested in the correctional system might be better spent.


  1. Perhaps the most obvious goals of the correctional system is to punish those who are found guilty of crimes. In theory, this is supposed to serve as a deterrent against one repeating criminal activity and as an example to others of why criminal activity should be avoided. Incarceration is the most common example of punishment in the correctional system, but the death penalty and lesser penalties such as probation are also designed to be punitive.
  2. Protection

  3. In addition to punishing a criminal, the correctional system is supposed to protect the rest of society from criminals. This includes the policing of streets as well as the imprisonment of criminals in jails. By keeping criminals in prison, they are not among the public and are not in a position in which they could harm the public at large with additional criminal acts.
  4. Rehabilitation

  5. The correctional system is also supposed to rehabilitate inmates. Rehabilitation, if done well, will make the criminal functional in normal society after release. This may include vocational training, counseling and drug rehabilitation treatment. Rehabilitation is intended to shift the criminal from being a cost to society to being a contributing member of society.
  6. Cost of the correctional system

  7. Incarceration of criminals is expensive. It often costs more that $40 per day to keep a criminal in a prison. Similarly, the criminal prosecution process is expensive. In addition to paying the salaries of judges and district attorneys, the state must pay for criminal defense attorneys for criminals that do not have the financial means to hire an attorney on their own. This can easily cost thousands of dollars for a felony prosecution.
  8. Effectiveness of the correctional system

  9. There is significant debate about the effectiveness of the modern correctional system. Repeat offenders are common, which suggests that rehabilitation efforts do not work well. Likewise, the frequency of repeat offenders is indicative of a failure of imprisonment to serve as a punishment or a deterrent to criminal activity.

This site is in no way affiliated with law enforcement or
the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department

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Maricopa County was spending approximately $18 million a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs.  Sheriff Joe Arpaio offered to take the Department over, and the County Supervisors said "Okay."  The animal shelters are now all staffed by and operated by Prisoners.  They feed and care for the strays.  Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily.  He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior.  They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal.  He has literally taken strays dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them placed in dog shows.  The best part?  His budget for the entire department is under $3 million.

Note:  The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

Sheriff Arpaio was in trouble with the ACLU back in 2007.  He painted all his prisoner transport vehicles with a mural that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 Deputies specifically trained for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border.

These vehicles were plastered with the hotline number and signs reading "Do not illegally enter" and "Help Sheriff Joe Arpaio Fight Illegal Immigration and Trafficking."  Critics contend that this move constitutes "Racial Profiling";  Sheriff Arpaio maintains that his signs say nothing about ethnic backgrounds:  "It says illegal immigration and trafficking."  "I don't care where they're from".  

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way Sheriff Arpaio runs the jail system in Maricopa County Arizona, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later.

Again....He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For "Discrimination".

Cop quits after on-duty viewing of midget stripper show

Says it was a 'stupid decision' to watch the 3-feet, 9-inch porn star 'Bridget the Midget' while in uniform

By Dave Wedge and O'Ryan Johnson
The Boston Herald
July 22, 2010

STOUGHTON, Mass. — Hitting up a strip joint while on duty to catch "Bridget the Midget" do her act was a "stupid decision" that has cost a Stoughton crimefighter his job and reputation, the repentant cop told the Herald yesterday.

That quick peek inside Alex's gentleman's club, along with other infractions, forced Officer Richard P. Bennett, 28, to hand in his badge.

"A part of me wants to say, "Where was the news when I pulled someone out of a burning car last year?'" said Bennett of Fall River. "You know all the good things you do, and I'm going to be remembered for one stupid decision. It just sucks."

Bennett stepped down after five officers reported he left his patrol to ogle Bridget the Midget, a 3-feet, 9-inch tall porn star, Stoughton Police Chief Paul Shastany said. Bennett was also facing discipline for putting an unapproved laser scope on his gun and lying to investigators, Shastany said.

Bennett, who was honored by the department in June for his work in helping catch an accused killer, installed a laser sight on his department-issued handgun and then lied to investigators about it, the chief said.

"He modified his weapon without permission," Shastany said. "And when he was interviewed, was untruthful. If an officer is untruthful, you do not have a place in this organization."

Of the strip club visit, Shastany said: "He went there and left his beat and wanted to meet this person."

"This person" was Bridget Powers, a 29-year-old adult film star who performed at Alex's in June. Powers, known as Bridget the Midget, has been a guest on The Howard Stern Show and has appeared in several pornographic films, as well as some mainstream movies, including "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and "8 mm."

Powers could not be reached for a comment, but she is returning to Alex's at the end of August for a three-day run with "two shows nitely (sic)," the club advertised yesterday.

Shastany said Bennett "resigned because he knew he would be terminated."

The chief lauded officers who reported the alleged violations. The suburban department has been wracked by a widespread corruption scandal that led to the downfall of the previous chief.

"Officers in the department have been beat up and maligned by the actions of a few," Shastany said. "Officers, no less than five, reported this. It's an embarrassment and an affront to their efforts to rebuild this department. I applaud them, and this is an example where officers are working hard to hold themselves accountable and are not going to tolerate any wrongdoing."

Hey....I found a couple of "G" rated pics of Bridget the Midget.....enjoy!

"This had to be part of a pattern of behavior, Bridget the Midget had to be just a small part of the big picture."

12-Year-Old Calls Police to Report  Mom's Drunken Driving

Hugh Collins/AOL News
July 28, 2010

A terrified 12-year-old girl dialed 911 to report that her mother was drunk as they drove along a New York interstate, police said.

Jamie Hicks, 49, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 -- over twice the legal limit -- when she was picked up by the police, according to the New York Daily News. She was driving her daughter and 10-year-old son from their grandparents' home in Connecticut back to their home on Long Island on Sunday.

When the girl noticed that Hicks was speaking strangely and driving dangerously along Interstate 84, she called the authorities and told them her mother was drunk, according to police.

"This young girl made a very brave decision," said state Police Capt. Robert Nuzzo, the Daily News reported.

Hicks was furious that her daughter had called the police, and emergency services called the girl back on her cell phone and could hear the sound of a raging argument in the car,the New York Post reported.

When police traced the location of the cell phone, they found Hicks pulled over. Two people parked nearby told the police they had seen Hicks and the girl arguing inside the car.

Hicks was charged under a law that makes it a felony to drive while intoxicated with minors in the car. She was released on a $2,000 bond, The Associated Press reported.

The heroic girl is now staying with her grandfather, Stephen Hicks.

"The family is very grateful my granddaughter had the common sense to make that call," he told the Post. "The situation is -- how can I put it -- a terrible lapse in judgment."

Jail makes changes in inmate mail policy

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 11th, 2010

Sheriff Dennis Dotson recently announced changes to inmate personal mail procedures at the Lincoln County Jail, effective Sept. 1.

All social mail to and from inmates of the Lincoln County Jail will only be allowed in postcard form. Dotson said, “This change makes good economic sense and will also enhance the overall jail safety and security.”

Outgoing mail - Upon being lodged in the jail, each inmate will be provided a postcard with pre-paid postage. This will be included in a pack containing other hygiene items, and the inmate will subsequently be charged for the pack. All inmates receive such a pack even if they have no funds available. Additional postcards will be available for purchase.

This is one of those "I wish I would've thought of that!....LOL 
Bravo Sheriff Dotson and the Lincoln County Jail.

Sergeant Sandvig

Police Investigate Death Of Inmate At Bullitt County Jail


updated 8/11/2010 1:45:50 PM ET

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Police are investigating the death of a Bullitt County jail inmate who had been placed in solitary confinement.

Deputy Jefferson County Coroner Sam Weakley told The Courier-Journal that 34-year-old Melissa Czaga had a history of hepatitis C and died of natural causes.

Court records show she was arrested July 26 on a warrant for failing to pay a $34 fine and was placed in solitary after getting into an altercation with a deputy jailer.

A lawyer for Czaja's family says she was taken to the hospital shortly after not appearing on the jail's monitor during an Aug. 3 court hearing.

The lawyer, Chad McCoy, says he is still working to find out what happened to Czaja while she was in solitary confinement.

Shepherdsville Police Capt. Dan Patchin says an investigation continues.

Maine jail identifies inmate who died in custody
August 6, 2010

PORTLAND, Maine—Authorities at Maine's Cumberland County Jail have identified the inmate found dead in his cell while serving a 5-day sentence for drinking in public. 
On Friday the jail publicly identified the deceased inmate as Richard Mark Wiltshire, said to be a transient.

The 45-year-old man's body was found in the Portland jail on Thursday morning.

Jail officials have said there was no indication of foul play or injury.

2 1/2 years added to prisoner’s sentence for vandalizing Mahoning County Jail

Published: Thu, August 12, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.
Staff report "The Valley's Homepage"


A man accused of making a mess of the Mahoning County jail and creating an unsafe environment for deputies and other inmates has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Anthony Williams, a federal prisoner being housed at the jail, had been on trial before a jury in the courtroom of Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of common pleas court on charges of felony vandalism and felony disrupting public services.

The jury deliberated for an hour and 45 minutes Wednesday before finding Williams guilty of the charges.

Judge Krichbaum sentenced Williams to one year in prison for the vandalism and 11/2 years in prison for disrupting public services, for a total of 21/2 years.

J. Michael Thompson, an assistant county prosecutor, said Williams broke the nozzle off a part of the sprinkler system in the jail. The broken nozzle, he said, made it impossible to get water to 72 inmates as well as deputies in the event of an emergency.

“I certainly hope this verdict sends a message to other inmates at the justice center,” Thompson said about the consequences of committing vandalism at the lockup.

Temporary lapse in better judgement....costly one dude.  Was it worth it?

                                     Sergeant Sandvig

The Correctional Education Association (CEA), founded in 1945, is a non-profit, professional association serving educators and administrators who provide services to students in correctional settings. The CEA is the largest affiliate of the American Correctional Association.


       Heat's on jail guards to cool it

The city jail commissioner doesn't want her inmates to get too hot in the cooler.

Dora Schriro has ordered guards to go around jails with handheld thermometers every two hours to make sure the temperature doesn't rise above 80 degrees.

When it's too sweaty in the slammer or if the outside temp rises above 85 degrees, staffers must serve the city's 13,000 inmates iced drinks at lunch and dinner, give them unlimited access to showers and encourage them to take naps, department orders and memos obtained by The Post show.

And that's not the only cooling going on in the clink. Supervisors were also recently ordered to make sure there are two working fans in all the non-air-conditioned housing areas inside the nine main jails on Rikers Island. They were instructed to send daily e-mail updates verifying that the fans were still spinning.

Correction Department spokesman Sharman Stein said the policy has been in place since a federal judge in 2004 ordered the department to conduct the detailed temperature checks. Federal Judge Harold Baer Jr.'s consent decree was issued after a group of "heat sensitive" inmates on psychotropic medications sued, arguing that their civil rights had been violated.

"In the spring and early summer, when the temperature dropped at night, we stopped monitoring at night and resumed in the morning," Stein added. "Exercising caution so as to be compliant with court orders, with the current high temperatures and the buildings being heat saturated, the jails take temperatures until the A/C unit is repaired."

But several jail supervisors said the department was going beyond what's required by the courts.

"This is so ridiculous," fumed one high-ranking official. "I've been on the job over 20 years, and I've never seen an inmate suffer from heat exhaustion."

That hasn't stopped Assistant Commissioner Patricia Feeney from demanding the temperature tallies be recorded in 33 areas where AC units have broken down. There are 17 broken air conditioners in one adolescent jail alone, the Robert N. Davoren Complex.

The department insists that the broken AC units represent a small percentage of the 1,000 units on Rikers Island.

Three letters come to this ol' Sergeants mind after reading this article....."WTF"

                                                                  Sergeant Sandvig

Below....I've included the current Baghdad, Iraq weather forecast where we have our Troops fighting for their lives and our freedom.  Again...."WTF"?

Baghdad, Iraq


High 115°F | Low 93°F

Something is not making sense to me?











The Escape From Kinross Prison (Michigan):  An Inside Look

For nearly two years, four convicts dug a tunnel under and out of a prison in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Here's how they did it.

By Brian Mockenhaupt / Esquire

The smell changed from stale to sweet. That’s when he knew they’d made it. For weeks he’d sucked in musty, dead air. Now he smelled life, walking home from school after a heavy rain, watching half-drowned worms squirm on the sidewalk, the smell of the world growing. He wriggled and shifted and rolled onto his back, in a pocket no bigger than a pine-box coffin. He lifted the cereal bowl and scraped the tunnel ceiling. Dirt poured down, cascading off his face, falling into his ears. He raised the bowl again, loosed another shower of dirt, and in the pale light of his fluorescent work lamp, Joe Hoffman saw something beautiful: grass roots.

He stopped digging and stared at the roots. So close now. He could break through in minutes and just go, right then, free after fifteen years. But impulsiveness had no place here. For two years they had connived and calculated with precision and care. Stick to the plan.......

This article is very interesting reading......

Read the rest of their story at:
                            click here

Pesky prisoner being sued by officials

Big Pond News / September 15, 2010

A US prisoner who has filed more than 3,800 lawsuits and targeted the famous, the infamous and even the long-dead is now being sued by federal officials who want him to knock it off.

Federal prosecutors who say they have had enough of the frivolous filings have filed a lawsuit of their own asking a judge to take unusual action to stop Jonathan Lee Riches.

Since 2006, Riches has filed lawsuits in nearly every jurisdiction in the country. The inmate who dubbed himself 'Lawsuit Zeus' in one of his thousands of court cases has filed up to four of his handwritten petitions a day.

The 33-year-old inmate at the federal prison in Lexington has sued New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, former President George W Bush, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and even Somali pirates.

Among Riches' targets have been 'Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party,' the ancient philosopher Plato, the celestial body formerly known as the planet Pluto and the Guinness Book of World Records.

In the Guinness case, he wanted to prevent himself from being dubbed the most litigious man in America.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A corrections officer was arrested Wednesday night for trying to smuggle drugs into the Tamoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

 FDLE undercover agents arrested 22-year-old Shantell Adkins. They said he was offered $200 to take marijuana into a state prison.

 It was a tip from the inside to the state Inspector General's Office that started the investigation three weeks ago.

 "Anytime you have a public official, someone who holds the position of an officer and serving the community and you got an accusation that they're committing crimes, that's important," said Danny Banks, FDLE.

 State corrections brought in the FDLE and the Volusia Bureau of Investigation.

 After three weeks on the case, they said Wednesday night Adkins agreed to do what they were told he might.

 As a housing officer, he had access to prisoners, and agents working undercover said they gave him $200 and an ounce of marijuana to take behind the fences at Tomoka Correctional Facilities.

 "We really can't put a finger on how long or how many other times in fact this officer may have done that. What we do know is that we've put a stop to it now," Banks said.

 Adkins has been an officer for three years.

 WFTV went to his family's Daytona home Thursday.

"Did he do what he's been accused of?" WFTV reporter Jason Allen asked Adkins's father.

But his father couldn't explain the charges or tell WFTV if his son was there, after posting a $13,000 bond to get out of jail.

Adkins faces charges of money laundering, sale and delivery of drugs, and illegal use of a phone, which are felony charges. Adkins is looking at spending five years in prison.

Franklin County Guards poisioned food, inmates say 

Morning Sentinel
October 3, 2010

FARMINGTON -- Two former inmates have accused corrections officers at the Franklin County jail of intentionally poisoning their food as a prank.

In separate lawsuits filed this month in Franklin County Superior Court, the men also contend that the jail staff denied them medical attention and laughed when they became violently ill after the meal.

Robert Ayer of New Sharon and Stephen Wing of Industry are seeking compensation for damages related to the alleged 2008 incident. They also are seeking punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

The filing attorney in both cases, Jonathan Hull, did not return several calls seeking comment.

The lawsuit names Sheriff Dennis C. Pike, several jail supervisors and corrections officers as defendants. The administrative unit of Franklin County is also a defendant.

Pike declined to comment on the lawsuits. He said the matter has been turned over to the county's insurance provider to secure legal representation.

A third inmate, Corey Williams, also became violently ill from the alleged food poisoning, according to the complaints; but only the two lawsuits have been filed, according to Pike.

Ayer was serving a sentence related to two charges of assault and one charge of stalking, according to county jail officials, who were unable to give his age. Wing, 33, was jailed on an aggravated criminal trespassing charge, officials said.

According to the lawsuits, Ayer, Wing and Williams shared a dinner on Sept. 5, 2008, and they reported to correctional officers that the food tasted odd; then the officers removed veal patties and spaghetti.

"Shortly thereafter, all three inmates became violently ill, with vomiting, suffering stomach aches and camps, diarrhea, heartburn and other gastro-intestinal distress," according to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that Corrections Officer Samantha Wyman then "admitted" to inmates that other jail staff "deliberately" contaminated their food, "either with pepper spray, mace or some other noxious chemical."

Wyman also admitted that -- along with other officers -- she watched the inmates eat the food and become sick, "all the while laughing and joking about their 'trick,' " the lawsuit continued.

The complaint also stated that Nicole Quick, supervisor on duty, later threatened the three inmates with retaliation if they reported the incident.

Ayer and Wing claimed they suffered "many days" of "significant and debilitating" gastro-intestinal distress and other injuries as a result of the tainted food.

Both men made several requests for medical attention, and all requests were denied, the lawsuit states. They said they remained in distress for several weeks.

After the incident was reported, several correction officers retaliated against Ayer and Wing, as stated in the claim, "attempting to instigate fights with other inmates" and making threats.

Threats and harassment, according to the complaint, continued for Ayer until he was released in March 2009, and for Wing until his release Sept. 29, 2008.

Other defendants named in the lawsuits are jail supervisors Douglas Blouvelt and Sandra Collins and corrections officers Tara Hamilin, Thomas Plogg and Walter Failes.

Inmates can file a complaint through the grievance process at an individual correctional facility, according to the office of Ralph Nichols, director of operations for the state Department of Corrections.

If an inmate is not satisfied with the outcome of the jail's process, he or she has the option of contacting the corrections department to request an investigation.

Since 2007, the department has received seven grievance complaints from seven Franklin County inmates.

One inmate complained of a lack of medical treatment, according to Nichols' office, and another was unhappy with the amount of food and diversity of the menu.

Other complaints included slow grievance responses, harassment by fellow inmates, opposition to a rule that desks must be clear, a lice infestation and denial of a satanic bible.

All of the complaints were deemed to be unfounded after further investigation, according to corrections department officials.


Jail mail: Inmates to be limited to postcards

By Ross Courtney
Yakima Herald-Republic
October 5, 2010

YAKIMA, Wash. --  In an effort to cut down on contraband and witness intimidation, the Yakima County jail will require all inmate mail to be written on postcards.

The ban on enveloped mail, which takes effect Oct. 18, places Yakima County with a growing list of jails across the country adopting similar stances.

"This is just about the newest thing screaming like wildflire," said Lt. Gordon Costello of the Yakima County Department of Corrections.

The Spokane County jail started a similar policy last month. Marion County in Oregon made a move this year. Jails in Florida, Wisconsin, California and Colorado have done the same.

Authorities say too many inmates use envelopes to smuggle drugs or other contraband. Meanwhile, the prisoners also sometimes use concealed letters to orchestrate retaliation against rivals or intimidate witnesses on the outside.

"It's not just safety and security of this facility, it's safety and security of the public," Costello said.


The American Civil Liberties Union believes the postcard policies are invasions of privacy and infringements of first amendment rights.

"It's a disturbing trend," said Doug Honig, a spokesman for ACLU of Washington in Seattle.

The Washington ACLU isn't planning any lawsuits, Honig said, but chapters in other states already have taken action.

Over the summer, the ACLU of Colorado filed a federal lawsuit against the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs and the Boulder County Jail for similar bans. In Boulder County, jail administrators adopted the policy in March after two sex offenders sent letters to children through third parties.

The ACLU of Florida filed a suit in September against the Santa Rosa County jail in Florida.

The policies do not allow for inmates to communicate about personal matters, such as illnesses, with those on the outside without exposing it to the view of mail carriers, jail employees and other inmates, Honig said. Such correspondence helps inmates re-enter society when they finish their jail sentences.

"Having people in jail being able to correspond with people in the community, including spouses, relatives and friends, is important," Honig said.

Also, jail authorities already have the right to inspect letters for contraband and scan them for unsafe or threatening content, Honig said.

Sgt. Joann Lake, a detention services administrator for the Spokane County jail, said she understands those concerns but thinks security outweighs them. She has called hazardous materials specialists when her employees found envelopes containing powder. It was not drugs or anything toxic but still was unnerving, she said.

"We have a lot more of those types of things that are out there and are kind of scary," she said.


Costello said the Yakima County jail is not deterred by complaints or lawsuits.

The jail has recorded phone calls to and from inmates for several years, a common practice that has withstood court challenges across the country, he said.

Meanwhile, an inmate in Maricopa County, Ariz., lost a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio over mail restrictions in a Phoenix jail, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the jails around the country have enacted the measure as a way to save money, figuring it takes less staff time to scan a postcard than it does to open sealed letters.

The Marion County Jail in Oregon said on its website the move would save $30,000 per year in staff wages, cutting the cost of mail scanning in half.

In spite of Yakima County's budget crunch, that's not why the jail here is doing it, Costello said. He hasn't even calculated the cost savings.

"That was just a side benefit; that was not a major concern," Costello said.

However, it will also will save money on stationery. The county provides indigent inmates with paper, envelopes and stamps for three mailings per week, and it will do the same with postcards, he said.


The main reason is security.

Though he said he couldn't share any specifics, Costello said he knows of instances of "orders going back and forth" about beatings through mail between inmates and cohorts from the outside. It's become more common now that phone calls are recorded and with the surge in violent crime, including gang-related crime, in recent years, Costello said.

Also, domestic violence inmates have tried to send threatening letters to spouses or girlfriends with restraining orders through a third party, Costello said.

Costello said mail policy violations happen at least every week. "That's what we catch," he said.

Jail staff opens mail and scans letters for these concerns, Costello said, but cannot thoroughly check every one. Authorities instead put prisoners with histories of using mail for threats and contraband on a "mail watch list" that can be several pages long, Costello said.

Yakima County Prosecutor Jim Hagarty supports the move.

"We've always thought that there's been witness intimidation coming out of the jails," Hagarty said.


So far, none of the state prisons has restricted envelopes, said Rowlanda Cawthon, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.

To cut down on contraband, the state is installing kiosks in prisons for inmates to send and receive electronic messages, Cawthon said.

Prison staff screens all correspondence, both paper and digital, Cawthon said.

Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana said his jail has not needed to change mail policy, but he understands why some do.

"We're not at that stage up here at our county," he said.

Dana, co-chair of the corrections committee for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, said many jail managers and directors in the state have been talking about the new policies.

He said some managers are worried about prisoners prohibited from communicating with each other -- such as fellow gang members -- using an outside third party to deliver letters.

"It's getting to be a worse trend," Dana said.


Decatur inmate dies after hanging herself in cell

                                October 07, 2010

Christy Lavonne Hughes DECATUR, AL -- A Decatur inmate who tried to kill herself in her jail cell Tuesday was pronounced dead Wednesday morning, police said. 

Christy Lavonne Hughes, 34, was found in her solitary cell at Decatur City Jail Tuesday around 3:45 p.m. hanging from a improvised rope. She was unresponsive and jail staff performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived.

She was pronounced dead Wednesday shortly after 4 a.m. at Decatur General Hospital, police said.

Police said Hughes was arrested Monday on robbery charges after they say she tried to rob New China Restaurant in the 1600 block of Beltline Road.

Around 8:30 p.m., Hughes walked into the restaurant and pulled out a gun, demanding money, police said. Two restaurant employees wrestled the gun away from Hughes and held her until police arrived.

Decatur police and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation are investigating Hughes' death.

Authorities: NYC jail officer arrested in sex act

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City correction officer is accused of forcing a transgender inmate into performing oral sex on him after he escorted her to a secluded area of a Manhattan lockup.

The Department of Investigation says a yearlong investigation led to the arrest of 40-year-old Roberto Morales, a 13-year veteran.

Morales pleaded not guilty to third-degree criminal sexual act and second-degree harassment on Thursday. He was released without bail. His attorney couldn't immediately be contacted.

Prosecutors say the officer forced the inmate to perform oral sex on Sept. 25, 2009.

Attorneys for the victim say the transgender woman was housed with in all-male facility, where the officer was her escort. The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sexual crimes.

The Department of Correction says Morales has been suspended.

Ummmmm.....definately not good!      Sergeant Sandvig


Sullivan Corrections Officer charged with growing pot in his home

Robert Sanzoverino, 49, and his girlfriend Catherine Dalconzo, 47, a former New York City police officer, were charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a felony.

Around 4 a.m. troopers responded to a reported domestic dispute at the house on Hungry Hill Road, which is located in Delaware County on the Sullivan County line.

While inside, troopers detected a strong odor of marijuana. The plants, about 4-feet tall, were found in a locked room in the basement and also inside a shed, said Capt. James Barnes of the state police's Troop C headquarters in Sidney. Troopers believe Sanzoverino and Dalconzo were growing the pot for sale. Troopers also recovered processed marijuana and more than $1,000 in cash.

“Some were potted plants and some were off the plant,” Barnes said. “It is certainly not your garden variety operation. If it is in the house it takes a lot to do that.”

Sanzoverino has been a corrections officer with Sullivan County since Aug. 25, 2008, but has also been under investigation by the department's Division of Internal Affairs. A year ago, the sheriff's department got a tip that Sanzoverino had been selling marijuana, Undersheriff Eric Chaboty said.

“We were looking at him for approximately one year.” Deputies, however, had not been able to gather enough evidence for authorities to search the home.

There was no evidence that Sanzoverino was peddling marijuana inside the jail.

“He was sophisticated and low key,” Chaboty said.

Sanzoverino has been suspended from duty pending a civil service hearing.

Sanzoverino and Dalconzo were arraigned in the Town of Tomkins Court and sent to the Delaware County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.


Prison Officer took $5K in bribes, gave tobacco to Rochester inmates

A 53-year-old Minnesota woman has admitted that, while working as a federal correctional officer, she took thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for supplying inmates with tobacco.

Former officer Cheryl Wheeler pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis last week to bribery of a public official. Wheeler, who worked at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, admitted receiving about $5,000 from the families of two inmates from mid-2009 until February. She then provided tobacco for the two inmates.

Smoking products, whether they be cigarettes, cigars, pipes, lighters or smokeless tobacco, are banned in the Federal Medical Center. Visitors also cannot bring tobacco products to the center, which provides specialized medical and mental health services to male offenders.

Wheeler faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

As president of EXECUTE COP KILLERS. I have a strong affection for law enforcement; I am a sworn and active Police Officer.   While working one cold night, my life and the lives of many others changed permanently, when one disturbed individual decided to viciously murder two of my co-workers.  Since that devastating night, I have made supporting the Law Enforcement Community a priority.

 This site was founded to show our complete support for the world wide law enforcement community.  Law enforcement is a rewarding career and lifestyle, however, reality and history shows it also dangerous and many times violent in nature.

Jail food doesn’t have to be part of the punishment

MASON CITY — It’s more than bread and water for inmates at the Cerro Gordo County Jail.

While the basic provisions of meals served to inmates in Iowa’s county jails are dictated by law, specific elements vary widely from county to county.

By state standards, inmates must be served three meals a day with at least one hot meal per day and a meal of “adequate nutrition shall be provided,” according to Cerro Gordo County Jail Administrator Shad Stoeffler.

But inmates in Cerro Gordo County are treated better than that.

For their daily “three squares,” inmates receive hot lunches and dinners. And breakfast may be a hot item such as biscuits and gravy, sausage or cold cereal and muffins.

Portion size is not mandated, Stoeffler said, but the portion must be “reasonable.”

The total calories per day average 2,800 per inmate.

Cerro Gordo County contracts with CBM Foodservice of Sioux Falls, S.D., to run the jail kitchen and prepare meals for inmates.

They prepare meals daily for between 40 and 50 inmates.

Stoeffler said the inmate count has fallen since it is easier now to get out of jail on bail. The old jail was routinely housing more than 60 inmates.

The per meal cost varies depending on the number of inmates in the jail. For inmate counts of 60 to 69, the cost is $2.84 a meal. At 50-59 it’s $3.10 a meal and below 50 inmates, it’s $3.49 a meal.

The cooks are employees of CBM. The equipment in the kitchen is owned by the county.

Stoeffler and Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals work with CBM to set the menus. A CBM nutritionist makes sure the menus comply with state law and inmates are receiving adequate nutrition.

Any special dietary needs of inmates are handled by a nurse in conjunction with food service Director Barb Dewall.


Stoeffler said there are occasional complaints about the food including the size of the portions.

“The biggest thing is that inmates, if they don’t like vegetables, they don’t eat the vegetable. They want more meat because they choose not to eat the other stuff on the trays,” Stoeffler said. “It might be one meal they don’t like, not the entire day.”

Pat Nielsen, CBM regional manager, said the menus call for a cup of this or a half-cup of that.

“That’s what these guys serve on the trays,” she said.

On Wednesday, inmates had two hot dogs, carrots, baked beans and a chocolate cookie for lunch. Dinner was salisbury steak.

County jail menu examples:

• Breakfast: Cold cereal with muffins, sausage gravy and biscuits, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk.

• Lunch: Soup and a sandwich, hot dogs, goulash, ham and scalloped potatoes, turkey sandwich, turkey a la king, hamburgers, vegetables, dessert.

• Dinner: Spaghetti, Swedish meatballs, sliced ham, tacos, lasagna, casseroles, chicken-fried steak, meat loaf, salisbury steak, vegetables, dessert.

The kitchen staff includes Dewall and cook Norma Whitehurst and several part-time employees.

The jail kitchen is a real working kitchen. The staff makes all the bread and rolls except hot dog buns served to the inmates. Cooks also produce homemade cinnamon rolls, brownies, cakes with frosting and cookies.

The food is placed onto  trays with tight-fitting lids.

“These are guaranteed to stay hot for an hour,” Stoeffler said.

Jail staff deliver the food to the inmates in their cells within 10-15 minutes of being put onto the trays.

Inmates who miss a meal because of a court date or work release are given a sack lunch when they return to the jail.

“They walk out and they say the meals are great. I just had one make a comment the other day that his pants aren’t fitting him because he ate so much.”

Stoeffler said Cerro Gordo County has gone beyond the minimum standards for jail food. He said in Blackhawk County, inmates are occasionally fed bologna sandwiches for lunch.

On the other end of the spectrum, Hancock County inmates may get meals from Garner cafes or fast food restaurants since the jail is smaller.

“The joke is that if you give them steak, someone would complain that it wasn’t cooked right,”

Stoeffler said. “It doesn’t matter what you serve them. There’s always going to be somebody that doesn’t care for that kind of food.”


Duty to Protect Prisoners from Assault

You are viewing an article from the 7th Circuit

This duty arises under circumstances where the prisoner is threatened by another prisoner, a staff member or vendor, or even themselves. 

A case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Edmonds v. Walkeri  provides an example of how such cases arise.

“Illinois inmate Ronald Eddmonds filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the defendants, all employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections, acted with deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they failed to promptly intervene in an attack upon him by his cellmate. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants. Eddmonds now appeals, and we affirm.

Eddmonds was asleep at 3:30 a.m. when his cellmate Bernick Carothers violently attacked him. Carothers began stabbing him with a pen in the left eye and punching him in the face. As Eddmonds screamed for help, Carothers started to choke him and continued punching. Robert Walker, the gallery officer that night, heard Eddmonds's screams and rushed to the cell while radioing Sergeant Larry Quertermous and Lieutenant Taylor, the supervising officer that night, for backup. Quertermous and Walker arrived at the cell first and saw Carothers putting Eddmonds in a chokehold; Carothers warned the two officers that he would kill Eddmonds if either intervened in the fight. Both officers yelled at Carothers to "stop" and "let him go," or they would use chemical spray.

Within three to five minutes Taylor arrived at the cell. By that point Carothers had released Eddmonds and retreated to the back of the cell, and Eddmonds had approached the officers at the front of the cell. Taylor told Eddmonds he would open the cell door if Eddmonds would let them handcuff him, but Eddmonds refused because he feared being constricted as long as Carothers remained in the cell. But he eventually relented, and the officers opened the cell door and restrained both inmates. Eddmonds was taken in a wheelchair to the health care unit, where he remained for nine days, receiving stitches for the puncture wound and intravenous antibiotics.”

Eddmonds file a lawsuit contending that the officers were not in danger and thus should have acted more quickly in entering the cell and stopping the assault rather than waiting for more help to arrive and demanding that he relent to handcuffs before opening the cell.

In its analysis the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit noted:

Prison officials owe inmates a duty to protect them from violent assaults inflicted by other inmates. An official violates that duty, grounded in the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, if he is deliberately indifferent to conditions that pose a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate.  In order to prove deliberate indifference, though, an inmate must show more than mere negligence; prison officials must have been ‘aware of a substantial risk of serious injury to [the inmate] but nevertheless failed to take appropriate steps to protect him from a known danger.’ Moreover, ‘even if an official is found to have been aware that [the inmate] was at substantial risk of serious injury, he is free from liability if he responded to the situation in a reasonable manner… we have [previously] held that an immediate intervention in an inmate-on-inmate assault is not necessary.” [cites omitted]

The court held that the officers had reasonably responded to the attack on Eddmonds and dismissed the lawsuit.

Inmate escapes from Oklahoma Jail

Associated Press - October 19, 2010 

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The Cleveland County sheriff says a Missouri man has escaped from jail while posing as another inmate.

Detectives said Tuesday that several inmates at the detention center allegedly conspired with Rowdy Offield to deceive jailers into thinking he was a prisoner whose bond had been posted.

Authorities say Offield, who was being held on a robbery charge, may have shaved his facial hair so he could look more like the inmate being released.

Officials last saw him about 8:30 p.m. Monday walking north from the jail, clad in a black T-shirt, a white thermal shirt and black and white tennis shoes.

Sheriff Joe Lester says an investigation is being conducted to determine how to prevent such an escape in the future

Ouch!  Definately not a good situation.       SGT Sandvig

Authorities continue search for escaped Calhoun County Jail inmate

by Cameron Steele
Anniston Star Staff Writer

Authorities have interviewed nearly 60 people in their search for escaped inmate David Andrew Hunt, and law enforcement officials said Wednesday they planned to continue the manhunt all night and into this morning — as long as it takes to catch Hunt, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said.

“We’re working around the clock,” Amerson said.

Hunt, a 22-year-old Anniston resident wanted on five felony robbery charges, escaped from his guarded room at Regional Medical Center around 8 p.m. Tuesday. He was in the hospital receiving treatment for eight bullet wounds that he received during an Oct. 12 shooting at Constantine Homes.

The sheriff’s office has led multiple law enforcement agencies in the manhunt for Hunt that began shortly after his escape and was still ongoing by the time of The Star’s deadline Wednesday night. Amerson said Calhoun County Crimestoppers are offering up to $1,000 in rewards for any county resident who can provide them with information on Hunt’s whereabouts.

“We are using every resource,” Amerson said.

The search has expanded in manpower and scope since its beginning, when deputies and Anniston police focused efforts on the neighborhoods surrounding RMC.

Wednesday saw the additional help of the U.S. Marshals, the Calhoun-Cleburne Violent Crime and Drug Task Force and other off-duty investigators. Amerson said U.S. Marshals are approaching the manhunt as if Hunt has left the county or even the state, while other authorities are powering the local search.

“We’re following several promising leads all at once,” he said. “We’ve got 22 to 24 officers out searching right now.”

Despite those leads and the extra help from other agencies, Amerson told The Star, Hunt’s escape should never have happened in the first place.

“There was an absolute breakdown in the security of this (hospital) room,” Amerson said Tuesday evening. “There is no excuse.”

Amerson said an internal investigation into what exactly went wrong will follow Hunt’s capture. Deputies provided these details of Hunt’s escape:

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, Hunt entered the bathroom in his eighth-floor hospital room, where he tore off his IV and bandages. Afterward, he flung the door open and sprinted past his guards, gaining a head start on them in his descent down eight flights of stairs. When Hunt ran out of the hospital, he was wearing only a hospital gown and a white T-shirt. Officials said he was last seen in the area of East 10th Street.

Hunt is one of two Anniston men who were hospitalized after the Oct. 12 shooting, authorities said. A 21-year-old with Hunt was shot twice but was recently released from the hospital.

After the shooting, Hunt and the other man got into a Nissan Maxima and sped to the hospital, according to police reports. They crashed on the way to RMC, flipping the car at the corner of Leighton Avenue and B Street.

Hunt was ejected from the car, and when police arrived they found him lying in the street, Anniston police said.

During his recovery at the hospital, deputies discovered Hunt was out of jail on bond awaiting trial on five felony robbery charges and one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied building. Circuit Judge Malcolm Street revoked his bond, and Hunt was placed under the guard of a corrections officer and a deputy while he recuperated at RMC.

David Hunt’s father, Clarence Hunt, told The Star Wednesday morning he saw that the guards had handcuffed David Hunt’s wrists to the hospital bed.

That image was part of the reason Clarence Hunt said it was so hard for him to believe deputies Tuesday night when they told him his son had escaped.

“But the officer last night said they took the cuffs off because he (David Hunt) was so weak and sick and stuff,” Clarence Hunt said.

Clarence Hunt also said he assisted deputies in the manhunt for his son, taking them to places where David Hunt might have gone, including homes of family members and public housing projects where David Hunt often hung out.

But Clarence Hunt said Wednesday he’s not so willing to help law enforcement officials anymore.

That’s because deputies picked up his daughter, 25-year-old Christine Hunt, from Constantine Homes around 11 a.m. on a failure to pay warrant out of Oxford, according to Oxford investigators and dispatch.

Oxford authorities said a warrant was issued for Christine Hunt on Oct. 6 after she allegedly failed to pay a $400 cash bond for leaving the scene of a car accident.

But Clarence Hunt disputed the warrant as the reason deputies picked up his daughter, saying he thinks they are trying to “mess with his family,” even though he’s been helping them ever since David Hunt escaped.

Clarence Hunt said he talked to a deputy Wednesday morning who told him authorities were holding his daughter at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office because they think she’s lying about the whereabouts of David Hunt.

“Now, it’s ridiculous,” Clarence Hunt said. “Now they’re locking up my daughter, but she don’t know nothing.”

Amerson wouldn’t comment on whether deputies interviewed Christine Hunt or suspected of her lying, because he said he didn’t want to identify anyone they thought had specific information about the escapee.

Amerson said he and a couple of other deputies were scouring Hobson City late Wednesday after they received information that Hunt may have frequented certain areas there.

“We’re being as proactive as possible,” Amerson said.

Calhoun inmate who escaped through hospital bathroom in custody

Published: October 27, 2010 

A Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department inmate who escaped Oct. 19 while in an Anniston hospital was taken into custody early Wednesday.

David Andrew Hunt, 22, was arrested at an apartment in Birmingham after a team of law enforcement officers assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and deputy U.S. Marshals went to the apartment, according to a news release from Sheriff Larry Amerson.

Hunt was in the hospital after being shot several times during an incident in Anniston. He had been out of jail on bond for multiple felony charges for robbery and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

His bonds were revoked, and, while in the hospital, he was arrested. He was under guard by a deputy sheriff and correctional officer while in the hospital.

Hunt went into the bathroom and removed his IV and other bandages. He ran out of the bathroom and down the hallway and was able to get down the stairs ahead of the officers and get away.

He left the hospital and last was seen running east on 10th Street in Anniston. A search has been ongoing since his escape.

There were no injuries when Hunt was arrested, and he was brought to the Calhoun County Jail.

Deputies of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office have worked many long and difficult hours to locate Hunt, Amerson said. Many other agencies and law enforcement officers were an essential part of the search efforts. During the course of their investigation, officers from Anniston, Oxford, Talladega, Gadsden, Lincoln and Pell City police departments, Etowah and St. Clair County sheriff’s offices and a number of agencies outside Alabama contributed in the search.

Amerson said Calhoun County residents provided leads and information that were a valuable part of the investigation.

What's some of the stupid stuff you've seen Inmates do?

"I had one when I first started that had come in on a transfer at like 845pm. We called for lockdown at 930 and this crazy cat with no reason at all went out to the reck deck, (big square room that's still inside but with caged windows) climbs this 25ft i-beam and falls head first to the concrete. though bloody and hurt, the idiot lived to tell everyone how he broke his back and neck trying to kill himself. He came back from the hospital a few weeks later.

From:  Glorified Babysitter

Several years back shortly after becoming a Police Officer, a deputy I knew was killed in the line of duty. Deputy Morris Taylor died protecting my community. I attended the memorial with thousands of other LE officials from around the country and was truly in awe at what the real meaning of brotherhood was. Officers from all across the globe came to honor our fallen brother, someone had never met but all were respected and honored. After attending and witnessing the memorial I wanted to do my part to allow not only Police Officers but also civilians from all across the globe the ability to honor our fallen brothers and sisters. The core purpose and what my hopes for BOTB are is to do what I can to make sure not a single officer killed in the line of duty is forgotten and that his/her family is taken care of.

Wonderful website!  Please see alot more at:
                                                                                                                  Click here

How MADD was created:

Grassroots Activist Turns Personal Tragedy into National Movement.

By Rosanne Skirble Washington, D.C. 21 July 2006

Candice Lightner says grieving is the beginning, middle and rest of her life. "My daughter Carrie was 13 and she was killed by a multiple repeat offender, (a) hit and run drunk driver. And that started the whole movement. I was so angry."

      Candace Lightner                Carrie Lightner

That anger motivated the 34-year-old divorced mother of three to take a stand. She quit her job as a real estate agent and immersed herself into organizing a fight to save lives. In 1980, the year Carrie was killed by a drunk driver, 27,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes. Lightner called her new group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known by its acronym, MADD.

"Our strategy basically was to deal with the issue on the local, state and national level," she says. "On the local level we would ask city councils to implement task forces in order to deal with the problem on the local level. At the state level we would look at legislation and we would look at state-governor-appointed task forces to deal with it at the state level. And at the national level, of course, we looked at it in terms of the Presidential task force."

Within two years, a presidential commission addressed the problem and recommended that the drinking age be raised to 21. By 1987 all states had complied.

Lightner also fought to criminalize driving drunk. "My belief was [that] we needed to have judges and law enforcement and everybody else say that this behavior is not acceptable. It is not tolerable. We are going to do something about it. Then maybe the public would pick up on the fact that this is a crime and it is a serious crime."

During Candice Lightner's first press conference in August 1980 launching MADD, her daughters Carrie and Serena's friends picket the State capitol in Sacramento MADD lobbied for tougher laws and harsher penalties and got them. For the five years between 1980 and 1985 that Lightner ran the organization, 500 new laws were passed across the country to address the drunk-driving issue. "I learned that you really can make a difference, that you really can change attitudes, you can change laws, you can become involved and immersed in something and have a positive impact."

In the 25 years since MADD was founded, alcohol traffic fatalities in the United States have been cut by 40 percent. The organization, now with 600 chapters across the country, estimates that over the past quarter century, it has saved more than 300,000 lives.

When Lightner left MADD, she worked with struggling non-profits and picked up the pieces of her home life. "I get calls all the time from people who want to start a movement, who have had some tragedy that happened to them or a friend or whatever, and there are a number of groups… that exist that I helped in the beginning and that I was happy to do. And, I always tell them: 'It is really important that while you are doing this you still are able to take care of your family, really maintain your life.'"

Lightner followed her own advice. She needed time to grieve and be with her children. Today she sells houses in Virginia. People often ask her how she could go from the head of a national organization to a job as a real estate agent. "I help people make the biggest investment decision of their lives," she says, "There is nothing that makes me feel better than to find the home of their dreams, that they truly love and that I know that they are going to do well, make money and live and be happy. And, to me that is making a difference. It is not saving a life, but it is helping people with the biggest investment in their future. So on the upside, I truly believe that whatever it is that you do, if you look at it a certain way, it is going to help or benefit or do something good for somebody."

Candice Lightner says over the years the pain of her daughter's death has lessened but that it never goes away. The impassioned activist against drunk driving and founder of MADD says, "It is a lot easier to deal with anger and rage than with heartache."



Car Crash Stats: There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes.

Click banner above to visit this site

Inmate locks guards in cell during jail search

October 25, 2010

PARAGOULD, Ark. – An inmate locked three guards and a Sheriff's Deputy
in a cell at the Greene County Jail while the officers were conducting a search for contraband. Sheriff Dan Langston chalked it up to a lack of training.

The Paragould Daily Press reported that the incident happened on Oct. 10, when inmate Jacob Rodden ran out of the cell, shut the door and inserted the security pin, confining the officers inside with some of the inmates they were searching.

Rodden, who then locked himself in a visitation booth, was placed in indefinite lockdown.

The four officers were rescued by a jail matron, without incident.

Langston said the jail is outdated and has tremendous employee turnover. The sheriff says the officers won't be disciplined.

Information from: Paragould Daily Press

Ouch!!.....damn embarrassing for sure!       SGT. Sandvig

                   Learn from past mistakes....right?

Inmate Caught After Escaping With Patrol Car

October 25, 2010
By Hasti Taghi 

GRIMES COUNTY, Texas -- A man who escaped custody while being transported from court back to his jail cell is back in custody.

Deputies said Joshua Johnson was being transported from Grimes County back to the Montgomery County Jail when he overtook the transport deputy, took his gun and drove off in his patrol unit.

Johnson later picked up the radio and started talking to a Grimes County lieutenant as investigators searched for him.

"The subject come on the radio and announced his name was Joshua and to any officer. I immediately heard that, picked up the radio and started a dialogue with him," said Lt. Blake Jarvis of Grimes County.

"I'm just tired of life totally," said Johnson. "I'll turn myself over to you, but I won't turn myself over to Montgomery County," said Johnson.

The chat included Johnson's repeated threats to kill himself. "I ain't hurting no body but myself if I have to," said Johnson.

The negotiations led to investigators to find Johnson on the same road where he had been arrested months earlier. That time, Johnson escaped officers who were trying to detain him as a robbery suspect. It ended with an officer shooting Johnson in the stomach. This time, Johnson surrendered peacefully after tossing the gun out of the window, deputies said.

"I don't want you to hurt me. I've got a wife and kids too, alright?" said Jarvis. "I want you to go home to your kids. You got to make sure your kids know you love them, OK. No matter how old they are," said Johnson.

 Johnson was detained and taken back to jail. Deputies said he would be charged with assault on an officer, escape and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.


CONROE (October 26, 2010)—A Grimes County inmate sentenced to a year in county jail for drug possession has been recaptured after escaping officers, firing a shot at one of them with a service pistol and escaping in a patrol car.

Joshua Johnson of Hockley was held without bond Tuesday in the
Montgomery County Jail facing escape and assault charges.

Johnson was recaptured Monday night after an intensive daylong search in Grimes and Montgomery counties.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell says Johnson, 31, was transported Monday from Conroe to Anderson for sentencing in a drug case.

On the return trip Johnson, while in handcuffs and leg shackles,
allegedly attacked a deputy, grabbed his gun and fired.

The deputy, who was not shot, suffered minor injuries during the

Johnson was able to gain control of the patrol car and escape but Sowell says Johnson gave up after talking with officers via the
police radio.


DA, FBI investigating Jail inmate's injuries

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An internal investigation into how an Allegheny County Jail inmate received severe facial injuries while in jail custody is now a criminal probe with a federal component.

              Before                                   After

Investigators at the Allegheny County Jail are trying to determine whether a corrections officer beat an inmate earlier this month, causing facial injuries so severe that a lawyer last week warned the court that the man is not safe at the facility.

Neither Warden Ramon Rustin nor Allegheny County police inspector Christopher Kearns, who is in charge of internal affairs at the jail, would confirm an investigation into the injuries sustained by David Kipp, 24, of Polish Hill, while in jail custody. In fact, the warden would not even confirm that Mr. Kipp was hurt.

But county spokeswoman Megan Dardanell said Tuesday, "There is an incident at the county jail that is currently under investigation involving an alleged assault on an inmate by a correctional officer."

Pittsburgh police arrested Mr. Kipp Oct. 13 and charged him with aggravated assault for stabbing roommate Matthew Naccarato in the arm during an argument.

Officers also filed numerous drug charges against Mr. Kipp, Mr. Naccarato, 25, and another roommate, Timothy Fishinghawk-Irish, 24, after finding Ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms, marijuana and pills at their home, according to a police affidavit.

When Mr. Kipp was booked into the jail some time after 3 a.m. on Oct. 13, he had no apparent facial injuries, as depicted in a mug shot obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But during a brief appearance at a preliminary hearing Thursday, eight days later, Mr. Kipp was observed sporting medical tape that crisscrossed his face in an "X" at the bridge of his nose. Another strip ran above his upper lip. Much of the scleras, or whites, of both his eyes were blood-red.

"This kid was assaulted. He was clearly beaten up," said attorney Kevin Abramovitz, who met with Mr. Kipp at the jail Tuesday night. Mr. Abramovitz added that he did not believe another inmate was responsible for Mr. Kipp's injuries. He also said, "I don't believe he received immediate medical attention."

Mr. Abramovitz declined to give information about his client's current housing situation at the jail. Asked about his safety, Mr. Abramovitz would say only, "I will do everything in my power to get him out of jail as quickly as possible."

According to sources, the investigation involving jail personnel and county police was launched after Mr. Kipp sustained a broken nose and severe bruising to the area around his eye.

Mr. Kipp's father, Robert L. Kipp, 50, said his son also had a broken bone behind his ear and that he was unable to eat solid food for a period of time because of jaw pain.

Mr. Fishinghawk-Irish said he was in a holding cell next to Mr. Kipp's individual cell when the incident occurred. He said Mr. Kipp was yelling, rattling his cell door for several minutes and demanding to make a phone call when three correctional officers entered the cell.

"I heard them hit him, and I saw what he looked like after. You ever seen a piece of raw meat? Half of his face looked like that," Mr. Fishinghawk-Irish said Tuesday.

"The only thing that separated us was brick. The door was open. We could hear everything," Mr. Fishinghawk-Irish said.

"It was the COs. I watched them walk into the room. I heard body strikes," Mr. Fishinghawk-Irish said. "I heard them throw him and then I heard him get struck."

Mr. Fishinghawk-Irish said he heard Mr. Kipp being hit roughly a dozen times. He said the three guards were "really big." Mr. Kipp is described on his arrest paperwork as 5-feet-11 and either 160 or 170 pounds.

Mr. Naccarato said he was not in the holding cell during the alleged assault on Mr. Kipp but was brought there shortly after.

"I could hear him crying, and he wasn't ready to be moved," Mr. Naccarato said. "I couldn't even recognize him when they brought him out ... His face was black and blue and the whole right side of his face was puffed out almost double."

On Thursday afternoon Mr. Kipp attended a preliminary hearing on the assault charge at the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts Building.

The case was postponed because the victim, Mr. Naccarato, did not show up. He said he was given the wrong date by a police officer.

But Mr. Kipp's public defender, Georgene Siroky, appealed for Judge James J. Hanley Jr. to reduce her client's bond.

"Mr. Kipp is not safe in jail," Ms. Siroky told the judge. "It's just apparent that the court can't keep him safe in that facility."

Ms. Siroky showed Judge Hanley a picture of Mr. Kipp at the time he was booked on the assault charge, in which he had no apparent injuries.

Judge Hanley reduced Mr. Kipp's bail to non-monetary, but he told Ms. Siroky he could do nothing to affect the bail on the drug case, which is set at $50,000. Mr. Kipp faces a preliminary hearing today on those charges.

"Ms. Siroky from the public defender's office did show me a picture of the defendant at the time he was arraigned, he was booked, and his face looked pretty normal to me. Obviously it looked like he got attacked ... at some point in time," Judge Hanley said.

"I just did one of those double takes. Holy smokes. He went in there as good as expected. He looks like he really got a job done on him," Judge Hanley said. "When somebody goes into that facility they have the right to be protected."

Mr. Rustin would not discuss how, when or whether Mr. Kipp was injured and declined to reveal his current housing conditions.

Mr. Kipp's father said Tuesday he had not been able to see his son save for the brief court appearance last week. Mr. Kipp buried his head in his hands and broke down after being confronted with his son's heavily bandaged face.

"It's devastating," Mr. Kipp said. "I understand the stresses involved and the kind of sense of entitlement that kind of job gives you, but it's incumbent on the officer to have restraint and to understand this is a troubled young man. It's the responsibility of the county to police that and maintain professionalism in the guards."




Nurses find drugs inside pregnant woman - right before she delivers

As jail inmate January Newport was preparing to give birth last month via Caesarian section, nurses found something else inside of her that could send Newport to prison – drugs.

The very pregnant Newport, 24, of Dayton, Ohio, was arrested Sept. 23, on allegations she stole a $957 personal computer from the Fairfax Walmart. She was charged with theft and booked into the Hamilton County Justice Center.

The next day, she was rushed to the hospital where she was being prepared for a Caesarian section – a surgical procedure where the child is delivered by cutting the woman’s abdomen open. During a routine examination moments before the procedure, though, nurses found pills in Newport’s vagina – apparently placed there the day before by Newport so they wouldn’t be found as she was booked into the jail.

“She had shoved pills in there,” Assistant Prosecutor Jocelyn Chess said.

Morris County, NJ, Jail Guard suspended for failing to report 'dummy' in cell

By Peggy Wright • Staff writer • October 21, 2010

 A Morris County corrections officer was suspended Wednesday from his job at the jail for not immediately reporting to superiors that an inmate had devised a dummy-likeness of himself and put it in his cell bed.

Officer Richard Medwin, who currently earns $85,726 annually, was suspended without pay by jail Undersheriff Frank Corrente. Medwin is not accused of any criminal wrongdoing but of violating administrative policies and procedures.

Defense attorney Anthony Arbore confirmed that an inmate devised a makeshift dummy -- jokingly, Arbore said -- and left it in his cell. Medwin is accused of delaying a report to his superiors about the incident.

Corrente said he could not comment or describe the alleged incident but called it an ''isolated'' event, not involving any other officers. Corrente said the incident occurred on Oct. 14. He would not comment on exactly what punishment he will seek against Medwin for the alleged breach.

''Officer Medwin is innocent until proven guilty,'' Corrente said, as did county Sheriff Edward V. Rochford.

Arbore said he will vigorously fight any disciplinary action and believes administrative charges should never have been filed in the first place.

The jail uses former Morris County Prosecutor's Office Chief of Investigations Joseph Devine as its hearing officer. Devine's role is to act as an objective judge of the facts and decide whether discipline the jail is seeking is appropriate. Arbore will serve as Medwin's defense counsel at the private hearing and the jail usually uses attorney John Barbarula to act as its ''prosecutor'' on disciplinary cases.

Medwin originally was hired to work at the jail in the early 1990s but was laid off with several others before being rehired in February 1996.

Inmate sues over alleged attack

Claims Allegheny County corrections officers ignored pleas for help

November 02, 2010

An Allegheny County Jail guard not only twice ignored an inmate's pleas to release him from a cell before he was beaten unconscious by a group of fellow offenders but turned off an emergency alarm triggered by the alleged victim, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.

The 30-year-old inmate, who claims in the civil rights suit filed in U.S. District Court that he was also sodomized by at least one of his attackers, was temporarily in a wheelchair after the assault, his criminal defense attorney said.

"I think it's an egregious act that scarred him both physically and emotionally," said attorney George M. Kontos, who is representing the man in his civil suit.

In keeping with a policy of not identifying alleged victims of sexual assault, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is not naming the plaintiff.

The inmate sued Allegheny County and the correctional officer he claims did not intervene to protect him.

The officer is not being named. His attorney identified the guard only by last name in the suit, and there are three correctional officers by that name listed on the jail's payroll.

In addition to the allegations raised in the suit, the jail is also dealing with a pending criminal investigation of at least three guards for their possible involvement in the beating of an inmate last month.

Three guards were suspended Sunday and Monday in connection with that investigation.

The incident that gave rise to the federal suit occurred Sept. 16, 2009, when the inmate was temporarily housed in the county jail during pre-trial preparation for a case.

He was already in the state prison system on a 6- to 12-year sentence after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter in May 2001 and later violating his parole in March 2008.

The suit claims that the man was visiting the cell of another inmate, Maurice Glaze, when four others entered and beat him. They are identified as Montay Bailey, Terry Shields, Terrell Lineburg and David Belton.

All five were charged criminally with assault by prisoner, criminal conspiracy, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.

Mr. Glaze pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit simple assault, and Mr. Bailey pleaded guilty to assault by prisoner. The other cases are pending.

The complaint states that the guard locked the inmate in the cell, leaving him "trapped." He then ignored the plaintiff's request and that of another inmate in a different cell to release the man.

During the assault, the inmate managed to push a "cell alert button," which caused the lights in the entire pod to flash on and off, alerting the guard to the commotion.

Instead of helping, the complaint states, the guard "simply turned off the cell alert and did nothing."

"It was clear beyond any doubt why that had been pushed and who was sending the signal, and the C.O. willfully ignored the distress signal and turned it off," Mr. Kontos said.

The inmate was beaten unconscious and sodomized, according to the complaint. He had a concussion, bruises and cuts on his face and body and a rectal tear.

A police affidavit supporting the charges against the inmates stated the plaintiff's speculation that "possibly the inmates who assaulted him may have thought that he had tobacco on him and may have tried to retrieve it from his rectum/anus."

Mr. Kontos, however, discounted that theory.

"There is no truth to that whatsoever. There was no motivation or any reason for this assault to have taken place," Mr. Kontos said.

The affidavit said the inmate and Mr. Glaze were from the same neighborhood, and that Mr. Glaze offered him food from his cell. When he walked in he heard footsteps behind him and then heard the cell door slam and lock.

Warden Ramon Rustin said he could not discuss the case because it is in litigation.

He also said he could not discuss any of the jail's security measures, such as whether a guard must be the one to lock a cell door and how the emergency alert functions.

Drinking and Driving Pictures/Stories

Unlike the thousands of other web sites that post graphic photos for no reason other than to entertain those who just like looking at them, it is not my intention to just place graphic photo's on my site for no reason! Each picture you will see here has its own message whether its don't drink and drive, wear your seat belt or don't drive reckless. Many pictures were sent to me by various Law Enforcement Officers, family members of victims, victims themselves and even wrecker drivers from around the world. None of the pictures I use will show anyone's face nor will I use names unless written permission is given from someone able to give it


Inmate accused of tossing urine at guard

November 9, 2010 Rivera Whitlock
LAKE GEORGE -- An inmate at the Warren County Jail faces new charges for hurling a bowl of urine at a guard, according to the sheriff's office.
Jerry N. Rogers, 26, of Trenton, N.J., was arrested Monday on charges of felony aggravated harassment and misdemeanor menacing.
In addition to tossing the urine, Rogers threatened to stab jail guards if they tried to enter his cell to restrain him, the sheriff's office said. Guards searched Rogers' cell and found a concealed toothbrush that they believe Rogers was hiding to make into a weapon, authorities said. He was arraigned in Queensbury Town Court and sent back to jail.
Rogers, in jail since July, faced a prior narcotics charges and a charge of being a fugitive from justice, according to the sheriff's office. The Burlington County Sheriff's Office in New Jersey has notified Warren County that it has a warrant for Rogers' arrest.

Ewing Corrections Officer suspended following savage beating of inmate

Alex Zdan /
November 09, 2010

TRENTON — A New Jersey State Prison inmate who was allegedly beaten by a corrections officer in July is a prisoner from Rhode Island being held out of state, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed Tuesday.

Bradly Peterson, who records show is 45, was allegedly struck in the head several times with a metal baton while handcuffed by Sgt. Kevin Newsom, a Ewing resident. Newsom and a supervisor who allegedly failed to report the misconduct both received criminal charges late last month.

Only a handful of inmates from outside New Jersey are housed in the state’s prisons, but the practice is not uncommon, corrections spokesman Matt Schuman said.

“If they think for safety or security purposes it’s best for the inmate to serve his time in another state they will sometimes do so,” he said.

Peterson, also known as Bradley Peterson or Troy Johnson, is serving a 10-year felony assault sentence along with a 5-year habitual criminal term, according to Rhode Island corrections records. He had previously served part of a 20-year sentence for robbery, records show.

Newsom, a corrections veteran of 23 years, was charged with aggravated assault and official misconduct after he allegedly ordered his subordinates to write the beating out of their reports. He is suspended without pay from his $91,079 a year job.

Lt. Stephen Alaimo of Cliffwood, Newsom’s superior, was charged with official misconduct. As of Monday, he remained suspended with pay from his $101,625 a year job, but a departmental hearing to remove his pay should take place today or tomorrow, Schuman said.

The corrections department’s Special Investigations Division (SID) alerted prosecutors in August when they found Newsom hit Peterson with a metal baton “while the inmate was handcuffed, shackled and offering no resistance,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
Neither the corrections department nor the prosecutor’s office said why SID began an investigation, but Schuman said the probe was not triggered automatically.

“SID needs to be alerted of something to happen for them to act,” he said.

Inmate caught on camera stealing maintenance workers keys

Associated Press
November 12, 2010

TWIN FALLS -- A 28-year-old Twin Falls County jail inmate is charged with stealing a set of keys from a maintenance worker.

The Times-News reports Scott Lee Beede of Buhl was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of petit theft.

Police say the maintenance worker said he accidentally left the keys out. Deputies said the keys only opened a locked box that houses a security camera.

Beede was identified from security footage as the one who took the keys. He later told officers he wrapped each key in toilet paper and flushed them, although he didn't say why.

Beede faces a recommended 10-year prison sentence for one count of injury to a child. He was charged with 10 counts that included shooting a BB gun at two children and causing burns by forcing a child into a hot bath.

Keep an eye on those maintenance workers.....they're less "security minded" then we are.
                                                                     Segeant Sandvig



It's time to go to page 3!

Jail Guard Sexually Assaulted Inmate, Investigators Say

November 22, 2010
FARMINGTON, N.M. -- A San Juan County jail guard is behind bars after he told authorities that he had sexual contact with an inmate at the jail, according to San Juan County Sheriff's investigators.

Leroy Garcia was arrested early Monday morning.

On Friday, a female inmate reported that a jail guard had sexually assaulted her. The victim said she was in the jail's medical unit when Garcia watched her change, according to investigators. The victim also alleged that Garcia started coming back to her cell to ask her to expose herself to him and to let him touch her.

Garcia admitted that he had sexual contact with the inmate on Sunday, investigators said. He was arrested shortly after.

He is charged with criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact.

He certainly crossed the welcome to our criminal justice system sir.
                                      Sergeant Sandvig


Pasco woman gets 7 months for spitting on Officer at Jail

January 24, 2011
Kristin M. Kraemer, Herald staff writer

A Pasco woman was sentenced to seven months in Jail for spitting on a Corrections Officer following an August arrest.

Dawn Iva-Marie Murray, 42, had pleaded guilty Dec. 14 to third-degree assault.

Pasco police were called Aug. 23 about an intoxicated woman at the Vineyard Inn who had been barred from the property a month earlier. Murray was found about 90 minutes later after police took another report of a woman creating a disturbance at a Bonneville Street address, court documents said.

Officer Sean Granger recognized Murray and handcuffed her.

Murray became extremely upset over the arrest and, once at the jail, kicked and yelled at Granger, documents said. She spit at him but missed, instead hitting Corrections Officer Scott Cram on the side of his face.

Murray's criminal history includes another conviction for third-degree assault, along with possession of a controlled substance.

Ohio Deputies sent to prison over inmate death

Associated Press - January 28, 2011

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two former sheriff's deputies in northern Ohio will be spending time in prison on convictions stemming from the death of a prisoner.

A judge in Toledo sentenced 1 of the former deputies on Friday to three years in prison for failing to get medical help for the prisoner and making a false report about what happened.

Another former deputy was sentenced Friday to one year in prison for making a false report.

Federal prosecutors had charged Lucas County Sheriff James Telb and 3 of his current or former employees with covering up the 2004 death of an inmate at the county jail following an altercation with a deputy.

Jurors in December cleared the longtime sheriff while convicting the two former employees.

2 sentenced in death of Lucas County Jail inmate

Sheriff's ex-staffers to serve prison time

January 29, 2011
Erica Blake

Two former Lucas County sheriff's employees, who for decades worked in the county jail, were each sentenced to time in prison Friday for crimes associated with the 2004 death of an inmate.

During separate hearings in U.S. District Court in Toledo, retired Sgt. John Gray was ordered to serve three years in prison and Jay Schmeltz, a retired deputy, was sentenced to one year and one day.

Judge David Katz allowed the men to leave court with their families but ordered them to report once notified where they would serve their sentences.

The judge explained the prison sentences were designed to be "adequate but not excessive," saying the sentence should "deter future conduct by officers in similar situations and thus protect the public from these crimes."

The two men were among four defendants on trial in November for various crimes associated with the death of inmate Carlton Benton and what federal prosecutors contended was a subsequent cover-up.

A jury found Lucas County Sheriff James Telb and Internal Affairs Capt. Robert McBroom not guilty of criminal charges that they conspired to cover up the inmate's death and lied to federal officials about the incident four years later.

Gray and Schmeltz were each convicted of some, but not all, the charges they faced.

Gray, 72, was convicted of one count of violating civil rights for leaving the inmate in a cell without seeking medical attention and of two counts of writing false reports of the incident. He was acquitted of one count each of lying to the FBI and applying a sleeper hold that rendered a shackled Mr. Benton unconscious.

Schmeltz, 54, was found guilty of writing a false report but was acquitted of a second count of writing a false report and of violating civil rights for pushing the shackled inmate while escorting him through the jail's booking area.

"Law enforcement officers are granted a great deal of power so that they can protect and serve their communities, and those who abuse their power will face consequences," said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general, in a written statement released after the sentence. "The department will aggressively prosecute all cases of police misconduct."

As part of his sentence, Schmeltz was ordered to pay a $6,000 fine, and both men will be placed on two years supervised release after serving their time in prison.

Schmeltz's lawyer, Jeff Helmick, said before the sentence was imposed that his client was "humbled by both his conduct and this experience." Mr. Helmick pointed to Schmeltz's emotional reaction to the verdict and asked the judge to consider that when determining whether he felt Schmeltz was impacted by the gravity of the situation.

It speaks volumes that the court and the government got his attention," Mr. Helmick said.

According to the presentence report, Schmeltz faced a sentence guideline range of 30 to 37 months. Federal prosecutors objected to the judge's sentence.

Both Mr. Helmick and Spiros Cocoves, who represents Gray, noted the lack of a criminal record for each of their clients and the men's lengthy service to the community.

In a written sentencing memorandum submitted to the court, Mr. Cocoves noted that the jury "rejected the government's central theory of the case -- that Mr. Gray caused the death of Mr. Benton by use of the sleeper hold."

Because of Gray's age and various medical conditions, Mr. Cocoves asked the judge to order a sentence significantly lower than the 41 to 51 months that was the calculated advisory guideline range.

Neither Gray nor Schmeltz spoke prior to being sentenced.

Their lawyers told Judge Katz that their silence did not indicate a lack of emotion but instead they were acting on the advice of their civil counsel.

The family of Carlton Benton has sued the county and the defendants individually in a wrongful-death suit filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo. Also named in the complaint are Sheriff Telb and Captain McBroom.

Mr. Benton's parents made brief statements to the court prior to the sentences but declined comment afterward. In a slightly choked voice, Denise Coley identified herself as Mr. Benton's mother.

"I am the mother of the deceased Carlton Benton and I love my son just like any other parent would love their children," she said. "All I have to say is I pray that the Lord forgives them and to have mercy on them."

DeCarlos Benton, Sr., called his son his "friend" and said that "this event has been devastating to my family."

"It has been quite painful. From June, [2004], to now has been a long time," he said. "I'm disillusioned of the fact that those who took an oath to uphold the Constitution perpetrated these events."

Mr. Benton then said that the family continues to feel a "void" at family events and celebrations.

Mr. Benton, 25, was in custody on aggravated murder charges including death penalty specifications for the 2004 deaths of a disabled cousin and his wife. According to police, he confessed to the crimes.

He died June 1, 2004, at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, two days after he was taken from the jail unconscious and unresponsive.

He had just returned from the hospital after he was transported there May 28, 2004, after suffering seizures, according to trial testimony.

At the time, his death was ruled natural.

In March of 2010, the Lucas County Coroner's Office revised the ruling, saying that Mr. Benton's death was a homicide as a result of asphyxia following a sleeper hold.

Federal prosecutors noted that Mr. Benton never received the due process to which he was entitled and said it was the result of the actions of sworn law enforcement officers.

"This is about respect for the law and the ability for the system to function," said Kristy Parker, a federal prosecutor.

When leaving the courthouse, Schmeltz declined to comment on the sentence, saying only that he was "frustrated."

Gray, surrounded by family, left without comment.

Authorities said the two men will be told, probably within 30 days, where and when they must report to begin serving their sentences.

Although there is no early release in federal sentences, there is the ability to earn "good-conduct-time credit."

For every year served with no infractions, defendants are eligible for up to 54 days of good time credit. Only those sentenced for more than a year are eligible for good time credit.

Both Schmeltz and Gray are eligible.

If awarded good time credit, Schmeltz would serve 312 days in prison and Gray would serve just more than 2 1/2 years.

Both men requested that they serve their time in the federal prison in nearby Milan, Mich. The prison is classified as a medium to low-level facility and does not house those sentenced to life in prison.

In addition to family, several sheriff's office employees attended the sentencing, including Sheriff Telb. The sheriff sat in the crowded federal courtroom during the lengthy sentencing but left quickly and without comment after the judge issued the prison terms.

Attorneys for the two men also left without comment but noted that they are considering whether to file an appeal.

JavaScript Free Code
Jail Guard charged in contraband smuggling

"If found guilty....throw the book at him"
                                                  Sergeant Sandvig

Associated Press
February 1, 2011

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Another Broward County jail worker has been charged in connection to a seven-month-long investigation into contraband smuggling.

The sheriff's office charged 37-year-old Keith McPhee on Tuesday with official misconduct and introducing contraband into a detention facility. He was being held on $150,000 bail.

McPhee had resigned from his job as a corrections officer Nov. 19.

The investigation into contraband smuggling had already led to charges against three other jail employees, a vendor's employee and three inmates.

Cache County Jail to ban most mail in envelopes 

"I applaud Cache County for incorporating this policy"......Sergeant Sandvig

February 1, 2011
By Jason Bergreen
The Salt Lake Tribune

The policy aims to cut costs and reduce the number of letters containing contraband, including sexually explicit pictures or the occasional illegal substance, and those sprayed with perfume.

Jail commander Brian Locke said his facility began allowing inmates to send only metered postcards beginning Tuesday. The facility will only accept postcards starting around Feb. 15. Legal mail, including letters between attorneys and inmates, still will be allowed.

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office implemented a similar policy six months ago, as did the Weber County jail. Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower said the move has cut down on the time it takes to review and process mail and allows the jail to run more efficiently.

“I haven’t noticed any real complaints to it,” Gower said.

But Salt Lake City civil rights attorney Brian Barnard said the practice is unconstitutional, and he plans to look into the issue.

“It’s something that can be and will be challenged not only by the inmates but their families,” he said.

Barnard argues the policy constitutes an invasion of privacy because jail personnel who don’t work in the mailroom — and even other inmates — could see the information. He said inmates and their family should be able to write about a loved one’s illness or death in a private letter instead of a postcard that could be read by anyone.

Jail officials say inmates pay to stay

February 7, 2011
Dan Armstrong

Many people think those in jail are getting a free ride.

However, NBC25 found out, in Michigan, that's not the case.

Officials with the Saginaw County Jail say they do charge inmates fees for their stay.

They say they aren't able to collect on everything that is charged, but that they make sure inmates know there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Saginaw Co. Undersheriff Robert Karl says, "We have a room and board here at the Saginaw Co. Jail. It's approximately $40 a day and that's assessed by the inmate's ability to pay."

Karl says the state allows jails to charge up to $60 a day.

In Saginaw County, when an inmate is booked they're charged $12.

Ten dollars goes to Saginaw County and $2 goes to the state.

Saginaw County says it's able to collect on 30% of those charged.

It collects around $57,000 a year from inmates.

NBC25 investigated how the state pays prisoners for doing jobs around the prison.

Muskegon County (Michigan) Sheriff proposes new way to handle bond payments, inmates' money

"This is the way it should be handled!!  Bravo to you Sheriff Roseler".           Sergeant Sandvig 

Februrary 6, 2011

MUSKEGON COUNTY — A Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office plan, being considered by county commissioners, would change the way money is handled for jail inmates.

Sheriff Dean Roesler’s proposal would allow for money to be put in an inmate’s account and bonds to be paid by an inmate’s family and friends through the Internet or by phone. Currently, any cash transactions involving inmates’ accounts and bonds must be made in person at the sheriff’s office and require staff time handling money.

The project calls for Canteen Services to install two cash-handling kiosks — one in the jail to accept inmates’ money when being booked and the other inside the Hall of Justice atrium for public use — for money deposits. As part of the new system, Canteen Services would provide a website and phone number so bond payments and deposits could be made off site by the public.

Roesler stated in a memo to commissioners that he considers the proposed project a way to further automate processes within the sheriff’s office and enhance services to the public. Fees would be charged for the users for transactions, and the project would be free for the county.

If the plan is approved, inmates and their families would be required to use the new electronic payment system.

County commissioners gave their preliminary approval of the proposal this week during a Courts and Public Safety Committee meeting. They are set to finalize the project at their full board meeting Tuesday.

Called the EZ Card & Kiosk, the system is promoted as a way to eliminate cash handling from corrections officers and save on jail staff time spent counting and handling cash.

The user fees for the system range from $2 charged when an inmate is booked to 8 percent of the bail amount plus $10 for an online payment with a credit or debit card. The fee breakdown is:

• Booking — When an inmate is booked, the county charges a $12 booking fee and, if he or she has the money, then Canteen charges the inmate up to $2 in addition. If an inmate is booked with less than $12, Canteen receives no fee.

• Inmate account deposit — Family or friends who deposit cash into the kiosk for an inmate are charged $2.99, or 7 percent if it is more than $200, while family or friends who make a deposit with a credit or debit card are charged $3.99 to $9.99, depending on the amount deposited.

• Inmate bail — If bail is paid through the kiosk, the charge is 7 percent of the bail plus $10. If bail is paid remotely, the charge is 8 percent plus $10.

Roesler expects the system to reduce staff time spent counting money at the end of each shift, making cash deposits at the bank and locating cash discrepancies. It also would eliminate issuing checks to inmates upon their release. The new system would allow for an inmate’s remaining funds to be deposited on a debit card for the released inmate.

Garland County Jail Officer Arrested for Alleged Rape of Woman Inmate

February 8, 2011

A Garland County jail officer has been arrested after a woman inmate told other staff he raped her.

The alleged incident happened Sunday, leading to the arrest of Detention Officer Garvin Reid, 27, of Hot Springs.

Reid pleaded not guilty in court today and was released on bond.

PBSO Jail Deputy arrested on misconduct, battery charges

A Palm Beach County Jail deputy is behind bars after he was accused of encouraging violence between two high-risk inmates and then trying to cover it up, authorities said.

Derrick Daniels, 38, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of official misconduct, aggravated battery, culpable negligence and tampering with physical evidence, according to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.

The arrest follows the investigation of a Dec.12 fight between two inmates in solitary confinement at the main jail, at 3228 Gun Club Road in suburban West Palm Beach, according to a Sheriff's Office arrest report.

Inmate Lajuane Dunnaway, 36, told Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators that another inmate, Taurus Turnquest, threatened to kill him several times in the days leading up to the attack, the report said.

Daniels, the deputy on duty at the time, let Turnquest leave his cell and go into Dunnaway's, locking them both inside, according to the State Attorney's Office.

During the struggle, Turnquest reportedly grabbed a pencil and began stabbing Dunnaway in the head and back. He then pulled a razor-sharp object from his waistband and began slashing Dunnaway in the neck, shoulders and arms.

At that point, Daniels opened the cell and the two men continued fighting in the hallway. Dunnaway was bleeding heavily once the pair was separated, and Daniels reportedly told him to take a shower.

While in the shower, Daniels took the clothing and bed sheets out of Dunnaway's cell and gave him new ones. He gave the inmate alcohol and bandages instead of letting him get medical treatment.

Dunnaway was able to get medical help when Daniels left for the day and another deputy saw his wounds.

Two days later, Dunnaway told Sheriff's Office investigators what happened. They found blood splattered in his cell and spoke to an inmate who witnessed the fight while on the phone. They listened to a recording of the call and heard the yelling in the background.

The fight was never recorded in a log that jail deputies are required to keep.

Daniels had been working as a jail deputy for the Sheriff's Office since 1994, according to Sheriff's Office spokesman Eric Davis.

On Wednesday, Daniels was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. Later in the day, he appeared in court and was ordered held on $96,000 bail.

The deputy has no previous criminal history in Florida, state records show.

Turnquest was also arrested in the incident and charged with aggravated battery.


Corrections Officer allegedly tried to smuggle drugs into County Jail

What the Hell?.....Sergeant Sandvig

2 Jail Officers disciplined in beating

February 11, 2011
Andrea Kelly

Two Jail Corrections Officers were sent to remedial training, and one of them was demoted, after an inmate said they used excessive force against him last year.

The employees were disciplined for actions against Clifford Linebarger, a former inmate who says he was beaten to the point of unconsciousness on Jan. 19, 2010. In a lawsuit against Pima County, Linebarger said his injuries created blood clots that caused a heart attack the following day. Last week, the Pima County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $325,000 to settle the lawsuit.

A Sheriff's Department investigation sustained Linebarger's claim of excessive force.

Justin Casey has worked for the Corrections Department since 1999, and was promoted from officer to sergeant in January 2009. According to internal affairs records from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the incident caused Casey to fail his promotion probation and he was demoted back to an officer. He makes $46,000 a year.

Casey was ordered to attend a two-hour remedial training course in defensive tactics.

Corrections officer Michael Beals, who makes $43,000 a year, was initially suspended for one day without pay, but the suspension was later revoked and he received back pay. He was ordered to attend the same two-hour remedial training in defensive tactics. He has worked for the department since 2003.

Jail cook accused of sexually assaulting inmate

February 15, 2011

Sheriff's officials have arrested a jail cook accused of touching a female inmate's breast, and are investigating whether he engaged in inappropriate activities with other inmates, authorities said.

James Arroyo, 54, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on Monday after touching a female inmate's breast as she reached for an item on the top shelf of a storage closet in the kitchen area of the Orange County Jail, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Arroyo, a Fullerton resident, was tasked with supervising inmates assigned to work in the jail kitchen, the majority of whom were female, Amormino said.

"He was placed in a position of trust and he violated that trust," Amormino said.

Arroyo had photos of several former female inmates on his cell phone, Amormino said, and is believed to have placed extra money in their jail accounts. Investigators also believe that he kept in contact with some of the inmates after their release.

"It's not against the law, but it's definitely against department policy," Amormino said, adding that investigators are still searching for others who might have been assaulted.

Sheriff's officials have placed Arroyo on administrative leave. It wasn't immediately clear if he is on paid or unpaid leave, Amormino said.

Arroyo was released early Tuesday morning after posting bond, according to sheriff's records.


That takes intestinal fortitude

Florida inmate smuggles 30 items into jail in his rectum, authorities say

February 15, 2011

A Florida inmate is in more trouble after jail deputies found out he was keeping an illegal fanny pack — in his fanny.

Neil Lansing, 33, was charged with drug possession and smuggling contraband in jail for having 30 items tucked up his anus, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported.

Using a rectum as a smuggling compartment is nothing new in Florida, but this has to set some kind of world record or at least a state jail system mark.

On top of 17 blue pills and a cigarette, Lansing was able to fit six matches, a flint, a syringe, some lip balm, an unused condom and a receipt from CVS.

Now that's some serious junk in the trunk. Lansing must have been packing for the entire cell block.

Deputies also found a coupon up Lansing's butt. Not sure why he was keeping that since those things do have an expiration date, but we'd be curious to know what the discount was for.

Lansing allegedly had the items in his anus during the entire time he was before the judge who sent him to prison.

Drunken Man Charged With Posing as Attorney at Jail

Troy Geer, 30 of Medina, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by intoxication and obstructing official business after authorities say he showed up drunk at the Summit County Jail and pretended to be an attorney.
(Holy crap!!...look at his eyes, he LOOKS like an Attorney!!)
 Sergeant Sandvig

February 16, 2011

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio -- A drunken man pretending to be an attorney was arrested after trying to speak with an inmate at the Summit County jail.

According to Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander, 30-year-old Troy Geer of Medina went to the Summit County jail on Tuesday and told deputies he needed to speak with an inmate.

Police asked Geer for identification and he allegedly produced the business card of an attorney with a different name.

Sheriff Alexander says it was clear Geer was intoxicated and deputies say he quickly became uncooperative when questioned.

Geer was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by intoxication and obstructing official business. He was booked into the Summit County jail and is awaiting an arraignment hearing.

Corrections Officer Jailed for Attempting to Sell Drugs

Another black eye for Corrections Officers Miss Reed - enjoy prison.                              
                                         Sergeant Sandvig   

February 19, 2011

CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - A former Nueces County Corrections Officer was sentenced today to 6 years behind bars for attempting to bring drugs into the jail. 29 year old Jamyrria Reed was lead away in handcuffs after the judge accepted her guilty plea.

Reed was accused of bribery and possession of cocaine, with the intention of getting those drugs to an inmate. Our cameras were there, in January 2010, when Reed was arrested during an undercover bust. Officials say they received a tip from an inmate, alleging Reed was attempting to supply them with drugs. If brought to trial, Reed could have faced up to 99 years in prison. With good behavior, it is possible Reed may only spend about a year of her six year sentence in jail.

Jail Guard receives probation in bribe case 

February 19, 2011

A former Socorro County Detention Center guard received a deferred sentence Thursday after pleading no contest to one count of demanding or receiving a bribe by a public officer or public employee (third-degree felony).

Jose Acosta, 23, was arrested last July and originally charged with two counts, the second of which was bringing contraband into a place of imprisonment (fourth-degree felony).

The guard was taken into custody after an undercover investigation was launched on July 7. During the surveillance, Acosta allegedly left the facility and returned with a large soft drink cup, and then proceeded to make contact with an inmate. When a search was conducted of the cell where the inmate was held, investigators found a pack of cigarettes, a package of tobacco and a plastic bag that contained a green substance, believed to be marijuana.

Seventh Judicial District Judge Matt Reynolds accepted the plea agreement that will require Acosta to complete three years supervised probation. If Acosta abides by all of the conditions in the plea agreement, the felony count will be removed from his record.

"We get criticized by the jail for not having a little paperwork and then we have criminal activity going on at the jail right beneath our feet," Reynolds said. "The county of Socorro needs to get their act together about how inmates are being treated and how security guards are supervised."

Because of Acosta's youth and the surrounding circumstances in the case, along with the many letters of support from family and friends, Reynolds accepted the recommendation of the Probation and Parole Division and handed down the deferred sentence.

"Seems like Mr. Acosta was in an atmosphere of dilettantes — that it didn't really matter what was going on in the jail, and he picked up on that, rather than he came in with criminal behavior or attitude," Reynolds said.

Acosta spoke before the court and apologized for his actions.

"I do understand the actions I did take that day were wrong, misguided and misjudged," Acosta said. "I also learned it only takes one mistake to change your life and also the lives of others around you. I'm here today to just ask for forgiveness and a second chance."

Reynolds said forgiveness is not something he is in a position to give.

"I give judgment," he said. "Forgiveness is something you have to deal with as a person."

Senior trial attorney Bob Cates said in a phone interview that the state dropped the second charge because they felt it was important to get the case resolved. Cates said they also received a number of letters in support of Acosta from family members and the community, who felt he deserved a second chance.

"We want to craft a solution so the public feels like there's a just resolution," Cates said. "I think it's a just outcome and that's what we seek."

Ex-Benton Jail Guard Jailed for sex with inmate

(From Outhouse to the Big House.....dumb ass).
                                     Sergeant Sandvig 

February 17, 2011
The Seattle Times


Ex-Benton County Jail Guard Gregory Andre Brown was sentenced Wednesday to five days in jail for having sex with an inmate on a work crew.

The Tri-City Herald reports the 38-year-old Kennewick man entered a guilty plea to a charge of official misconduct.

Prosecutors say the sexual activity with the woman in January 2009 in a restroom might have appeared consensual, but the law says an inmate cannot consent to a sex act with a law enforcement officer.

Brown was fired last summer after he was charged.

A Jail inmate has been charged with the MURDER of a Corrections Officer.

February 21, 2011
Alex Freedman

GOLDSBORO, N.C. - A Jail inmate has been charged with the murder of a Corrections Officer.

Goldsboro police say 24-year-old Chardan Whitehead punched Officer Edward Pounds in the neck a number of times during a physical confrontation.

Pounds has been in-and-out of work ever since.  He died last year and now the medical examiner is calling it a homicide.

So Nine on Your Side Wanted to Know: how safe are these officers who work in the jails?

"You always think about the 'what if?" said Michael Carmon, a Correctional Officer at the Pitt County Detention Center.

It's a question that pass through Officer Carmon's mind as he passes inmates through locked door, after locked door at the Pitt County Correctional Facility.

"You take and run different scenarios through your head or what may happen throughout the course of the day," said Carmon.

Officers walk the halls everyday to provide security for the inmates, but after multiple attacks, it's their own security that's at risk.

"Yes, it crosses my mind every day that I step in here, that I worry about my safety as well as my officers safety,” said Carmon.

It's a safety, measured in steps.  A certain distance called the "Reactionary Gap" that officers keep between themselves and inmates they're moving.

"Of course you pray and hope that you have a good day but, in this line of work, you never know," said Carmon.

In a facility that could house more than 500 prisoners, it's a delicate balance of security for the officers and the inmates.

"We want to make sure the inmate isn't hurt, but at the same time, we want to make sure we're not harmed as well," said Carmon. 

It’s a balance that could tilt either way at any moment.  And it's not just the officers providing safety the jails are built for it too.

Most detention facilities are built strategically to allow better protection for Officers.

Club incident costs Corrections Officer his job

I can think of three (3) letters....WTF?
                      Sergeant Sandvig 

February 21, 2011
Leesha Faulkner
The Selma Times Journal

A Dallas County correctional officer is without a job after a Saturday incident in a local bar, resulting in three misdemeanor charges.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said on Monday he dismissed Tony Barlow, a correctional officer at the Dallas County Jail, after an incident, which resulted in gunfire about 2 a.m. Saturday.

Huffman said Barlow was in Bottoms Up, a bar on Ala. Hwy. 14, and an incident occurred inside the business. Barlow left the bar, went to the outside and pulled out his gun.

Selma city police officers answered a call because the bar is in the police jurisdiction. Once officers realized the suspect was a county correctional officer, police called the sheriff’s department, Huffman said.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived and talked to Barlow, who authorities said was intoxicated.

“The correctional officer pulled the pistol up like he was going to aim it at somebody, and the deputy shot the pistol out of his hand with a shotgun,” Huffman said.

Barlow was taken by ambulance to Vaughan Regional Medical Center and later transported to Baptist Hospital in Montgomery.

Huffman said as protocol dictates when an officer shoots someone; he called the Alabama Bureau of Investigation to probe into the incident. The officer, who Huffman declined to identify, was placed on administrative leave until the ABI completes its investigation.

Barlow, who has worked for as a correctional officer for about seven months, was charged with disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Huffman said Barlow’s pistol permit had expired.


Loaded 9mm Pistol Smuggled into Northampton, Pa., County Jail

February 24, 2011
Yahoo News

Northampton County prison officials were fortunate in defusing a potentially catastrophic situation when they found a loaded handgun hidden behind a cabinet in the prisoner intake area. Unfortunately, the gun had remained hidden for eight days.

A jail security camera allegedly shows prisoner Christian Neith removing an object from his pants and hiding it. Neith had been arrested on a charge of domestic violence. Police had found a small amount of marijuana on his person, but not the gun.

Sometimes you can feel sympathy for cops, deputies, corrections officers, airport security personnel—anyone who has to do "pat-downs." The sensitive and litigious attitudes that permeate America's security environment is but one factor.

Security pat-down personnel can be stuck with infected needles , exposed to disease, and subject to physical attack. The man who smuggled the gun had the weapon tucked inside a crotch holster especially designed for that area.

Police and correctional officers who failed to discover the weapon are being considered for disciplinary action. The results of an investigation are not complete and the names of officers involved have not been released.

Still, the Northampton County prison has seen other security lapses. Another prisoner, Justin "Swag" Reid was discovered to have been in possession of "several large rocks of cocaine" in the prisoner in-processing area. Reid had also been previously searched at Bethlehem police headquarters before he was taken to county jail. That search did not uncover the cocaine possession.

Now the Northampton County Jail is revising their security pat-down procedures, demonstrated in detail this morning on Channel 69 WMFZ television news by Sheriff's Deputy George Volpe . Pat downs must be done with two officers present, said Volpe.

Having two officers present makes it easier to subdue a subject should that become necessary. Another important reason is that persons being searched often file lawsuits against enforcement authorities for 'inappropriate' touching. Having a second officer observing the pat-down can provides a measure of protection for both officers and subjects of the search.

Four different law enforcement agencies conducted a pat down search on Christian Neith December 29, but missed the weapon. Police are prohibited from touching the genital area. Volpe told 69 news reporter Bo Koltnow that officers who did so could be charged with assault.

Police are now equipped with hand-held metal detectors which could detect a gun, depending on sensitivity calibration and metal parts. Meanwhile, police processing and prison intake procedures will be reviewed by an outside agency to discover weaknesses in the Northampton County system.


Corrections Officers indicted after allegedly trading contraband for sex

             (Wow!....speechless after reading this....unbelievable!)
                                                             Sergeant Sandvig

February 24, 2011
Adam Walser

(WHAS11) - Three former corrections officers are indicted for multiple felonies after investigators say they sexually abused female inmates over a 2 year period.

The officers are accused of trading drugs and other contraband for sex.

The alleged incidents happened at the Larue County Jail in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

The three former corrections officers all resigned last year after the Kentucky Department of Corrections investigated the Larue County Jail.

The indictments handed down this week included allegations involving sex, drugs and abuse of power.

WHAS11 obtained blurred mug shots of four women authorities believe were abused while they were inmates in the Larue County Jail from July of 2008 until July of last year.

“We started an investigation in July,” said Kentucky State Police Spokesperson Bruce Reeves.

State police detectives became involved after the Kentucky Department of Corrections asked jailer Mac Trumbo to step down, amid problems, including frequent prisoner escapes.

What they discovered was troubling.

“Marijuana and prescription pills were brought in and were traded to the female inmates for sexual favors,” said Reeves.

The indictments also allege other things were traded for sex, including cigarettes, alcohol and cell phones.

Former Chief Deputy Jailer Travis Strader faces 20 charges, including promoting contraband, sexual abuse, official misconduct and indecent exposure.

The indictment indicates Strader received sexual favors from all four alleged victims.

Former Larue County inmate David Brown says he's not surprised.

“He was one of them sneaky fellers. He was trying to do it just to get by with it,” said Brown. “Making them do degrading stuff just to get a cigarette? Come on. That's unbelievable.”

The other two former jailers indicted include 66-year-old Harold Marcum, who's accused of obtaining favors from three of the four women.

Josh Robinson, 31,  was arrested on four charges of promoting contraband.

Brown believes all took advantage of prisoners' weaknesses.

“You've got addictions in this jail. That's why probably 90 percent of them are locked up. Then they're using these addictions against these girls,” said Brown.

The former corrections officers have not yet been arrested, but we were unable to reach them for comment.

Sources tell us that this investigation is continuing and that additional charges are possible.

All three men are set to be arraigned in Larue Circuit Court on March 7.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office expects their trial to begin sometime this summer.

Lawyer charged with sneaking phone to inmate

                ask for a public defender dude!
                                               Sergeant Sandvig 

February 26, 2011
Spohia Voravong

A Lake County-based attorney is accused of providing a cell phone to a client-inmate at the Tippecanoe County Jail in indiana.

Shante P. Henry, 35, of Merrillville was charged Feb. 17 in Tippecanoe Superior Court 1 with conspiracy to commit trafficking with an inmate and two counts of trafficking with an inmate.

Henry represented the inmate in an armed robbery case last year.

Two of the three counts are felonies.

Henry was arrested this past Tuesday and released from the Tippecanoe County Jail the same day after posting a $10,000 surety bond. The charges against her were unsealed Thursday.

A message left Friday at Henry's Crown Point-based law firm was not returned.

Henry represented Jarrod E. Rodriguez, 27, of Hammond and Edward D. Mercer, 28, of Gary during a bench trial last September in Tippecanoe Superior Court 2.

They were suspects in a robbery involving $3,100 worth of "spinner" tire rims on July 1, 2009, during which several gunshots were fired in the parking lot of Subway at 3990 Indiana 38 E. No one was injured.

After a bench trial, Superior Court 2 Judge Thomas Busch found Rodriguez and Mercer guilty of armed robbery, intimidation and other felonies.

Henry is suspected of smuggling a cell phone and phone charger to Rodriguez, who currently is serving his 10-year Department of Correction sentence at the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Rodriguez's mother, Rachel M. Rodriguez, 50, faces the same charges as Henry. As of Friday, she had not been arrested, said Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington.

Rachel Rodriguez has addresses in both Hammond and Calumet City, Ill.

According to a probable cause affidavit, another jail inmate left a note for corrections officers on Nov. 28 indicating that Rodriguez had a cell phone and charger in their cell block.

The phone and charger were then found in Rodriguez's cell. The phone is registered to his brother, who is not an inmate.

Investigators traced the phone to Henry and Rodriguez's mother based on visitation records. Attorneys are allowed to meet with their clients face-to-face, whereas family and friends speak with inmates over video phones.

However, attorneys cannot take any electronic devices -- for instance, cell phones and recording devices -- without prior approval from jail commander Capt. Denise Saxton.

Phone records showed that the cell phone found in Rodriguez's cell "hit off" cell phone towers covering the jail beginning on Oct. 22. At the time, Rodriguez was waiting to be sentenced.

Nearly 500 inbound and outbound calls were made on the cell phone, along with 51 text messages.

His mother became a suspect after investigators reviewed the jail's internal phone system. Conversations between Rachel Rodriguez and her son included incriminating statements.

The girlfriend of Mercer, the second defendant, also faces criminal charges related to the robbery trial.

Sharnetta M. Barnes of Griffith is charged in Tippecanoe Superior Court 5 with obstruction of justice -- accused of pretending to be an employee in the prosecutor's office and contacting the victim's before the trial began.

Barnes, 23, is scheduled for trial in March.

Mercer is serving a 20-year prison sentence, which was double Rodriguez's punishment because of his violent criminal history.

Ex-jailer accused of exposing himself to inmate

Man indicted on a charge of official oppression may get Jail time

   I just don't understand this.......  
                 Sergeant Sandvig

Feb. 25, 2011

A former detention officer at the Harris County Jail may soon find himself on the other side of the bars after an inmate said he exposed himself to her.

A Harris County grand jury this week indicted Drake Jackson, 40, on a charge of official oppression stemming from the alleged Feb. 10 incident at the jail.

A female inmate told other jail personnel that Jackson fondled himself in her presence, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.

Jackson is free after posting a $1,000 bond. He could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Latest case

Jackson has been working for the Harris County Sheriff's Office since 2003 but has been terminated, officials said.

"I commend the victim in this case for speaking up," Sheriff Adrian Garcia said in a statement. "I encourage anyone else who may find themselves in a similar situation to do the same, whether they are in my custody or not."

Jackson is the latest former Harris County Jail detention officer accused of running afoul of the law in recent months.

A monthlong undercover inquiry ended in November with the arrest of Henry Lee Fairley, 51, who worked at the county jail at 1200 Baker in downtown Houston.

Fairley was accused of delivering 30 grams of the prescription medication Xanax and $75 in marked currency that he had received from an investigator to a jail inmate, court records show.

Drug, assault charges

Fairley was charged with delivering a controlled substance and providing a prohibited substance in a correctional facility — both second-degree felonies.

He was freed after posting combined bail totaling $20,000.

In June 2010, retired Harris County Sheriff's deputy Paul Briones was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one court of indecency with a child.

The girl said Briones assaulted her in July 2004 while he was still working as a deputy in the jail and Harris County criminal courthouse.

In an unrelated case, Briones pleaded not guilty in April 2010 after he was charged with having an improper sexual relationship with an inmate.

He was released after posting bails totaling more than $120,000, according to Harris County records.


Kent Corrections Officer fired for misconduct

February 28, 2011

The Kent Police Department has terminated a 42-year-old Kent corrections officer after allegations of employee misconduct were sustained. Corrections Officer Michael Pickens, who worked for the past 3 1/2 years at the Kent City Jail, was fired after an extensive investigation.

In September 2010, Kent Corrections officials determined small sums of money were missing from secured property lockers used to store the personal belongings of inmates while they are incarcerated.

During an internal investigation, detectives identified Pickens as a person of interest. Video surveillance included images of Pickens entering the inmates’ property locker and removing cash.

In addition to the internal investigation, the Tukwila Police Department was asked to conduct a criminal investigation. Tukwila Police completed their investigation last week and the file was turned over to the King County Prosecutor for review and consideration of appropriate charges. A charging decision is expected in the near future.

According to Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas, extensive background checks and polygraph examinations are required for all Kent corrections staff.  “Those checks provided no indication for Pickins’ behavior in this case.”

Thomas added this is a very disappointing situation and a clear violation of the public trust.  “It is an affront to the men and women of this profession that conduct themselves with dignity and respect every day.”

Jail Officer charged in inmate assault

His "joking around" cost him quite a bit....don't ya think?
                                          Sergeant Sandvig 

March 3, 2011
Luke Jennett
Amesw Tribune
A Story County Jail Officer turned himself in to Polk County Sheriff's Department officials Wednesday night on charges of assault causing bodily injury following an investigation by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

Kip Alan Strickland, 29, of 304 K St., in Baxter, is charged with two counts of assault, both serious misdemeanors, for allegedly using the jail’s shock shield on an inmate twice without provocation, allegedly explaining the incident by saying he was “joking around.”

Shock shields are devices used by jailers against unruly inmates that deliver electric current through a series of contacts on the outer part of the shield.

According to an affidavit filed by the DCI, the first incident occurred in October, as Strickland was overseeing several inmates assigned to an overnight cleanup crew. One of the inmates, Edward Kelly, was cleaning an area of the jail when Strickland reportedly shocked him with the shield without provocation.

Kelly was reportedly in jail as a hold for the U.S. Marshall’s service, and is currently facing federal charges for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The assault was allegedly witnessed by another inmate, Cesar Gerardo Rivas-Mendez.

A second incident occurred in late December. Strickland was again overseeing the night cleanup crew and again shocked Kelly with the shield. Kelly told DCI investigators he had his back turned to Strickland before he was shocked and he had no idea it was going to happen.

The shock hurt Kelly and left him with two red burn marks on the back of his arm, according to court documents.

The alleged attack was witnessed by another inmate, who reported seeing Strickland standing behind Kelly holding the shock shield. The witness also said Strickland laughed at Kelly’s reaction to being shocked.

Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald requested that the DCI investigate the incident when reports of inmate abuse came to him. The DCI’s investigation didn’t turn up any reports by Strickland referencing the use of the shock shield or explaining his reason for using it on Kelly.

On Jan. 4, Strickland asked to speak with Story County Jail Administrator John Asmussen. Strickland admitted that he had shocked Kelly with the shield, but said the shock came as a result of Kelly and him “joking around.”

Strickland has since resigned his position with the jail, officials say.

Fitzgerald said the jail’s shock shield is available to detention officers, but it isn’t something that is routinely carried. He said the shield delivers the shock when the holder pushes a button on the handle.

He said that his office has taken the incident very seriously.

“We are charged with the humane and appropriate care and treatment of the inmates when they are brought into the Story County Jail,” Fitzgerald said. “And we make sure that we do just that, and we have zero tolerance for any mistreatment of any kind of inmates who are in our care. When we discover something like we did in this case, we take swift and immediate action.”

Maine Jail cracks down on drugs

March 3, 2011

PORTLAND, Maine—Officials at Maine's largest jail are cracking down on drugs just days after two inmates and two women on the outside were charged with drug trafficking.

Police dogs searched for drugs Thursday morning at the Portland's Cumberland County Jail, with some marijuana and an unidentified powder being found early on.

The Portland Press Herald said jail officials have discovered that inmates have been receiving drugs that have been hidden in the folds of manila envelopes.

Officials said four people were charged this week in a scheme involving the prescription drug Suboxone, which is used to treat opiate addiction.

Two inmates were charged for their role inside the jail, while a sister and a girlfriend of one of the inmates were also charged for allegedly mailing the drugs to them.

Jail Officer charged with smuggling contraband

Dude was playing with fire & got BURNED!  We don't need his type in our profession.
                                                           Sergeant Sandvig 

March 3, 2011

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities said a Shelby County Corrections Officer has been charged with attempting to smuggle marijuana and other contraband into a jail.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office said deputy jailer Rumeal Moore was arrested Wednesday.

The sheriff's office said it set up a videotaped sting operation and Moore was seen taking marijuana, loose tobacco and $300 in cash from someone.

Authorities said Moore acknowledged smuggling tobacco, matches and marijuana into a downtown Memphis jail on several occasions.

He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell marijuana and intent to introduce contraband into a jail facility.

Online jail records do not indicate if he has a lawyer.


Felony charge dropped against Officer who punched a restrained prisoner

After reading this article, I have a feeling I would've done the SAME THING as Officer Patrick did....alot of us have been in this situation.
                Sergeant Sandvig   

March 4, 2011
Heath Heggem - KRTV 

GREAT FALLS - A felony charge against Steven Patrick has been dropped; Patrick is a former Cascade County Detention Officer who punched a restrained prisoner in December.

Patrick was arrested on January 28th and placed on administrative leave; his employment with the Sheriff's office has since been terminated.

Patrick had appeared in court on a charge of mistreating prisoners; his arraignment was continued on two separate occasions, so Patrick never offered a plea to the charge.

The motion to dismiss the charges details how William Anderson continually resisted arrest from the time he was apprehended by Great Falls police for an alleged break-in until he was punched by Patrick.

Detention staff used a Taser to subdue Anderson, due to his failure to comply and slipping two pairs of handcuffs from behind his back to his front.

Immediately after the Taser was used, Patrick tried to restrain Anderson to a handcuff bar; that's when Anderson spat in Patrick's face and was subsequently punched by the officer.

Assistant Attorney General Brant Light wrote in the motion to dismiss: "After being assaulted by the inmate, Detention Officer Patrick reacted instinctively, in self-defense and struck the inmate."

Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards said he was unable to comment on the motion because had not seen it.

Below is the text of the court order dismissing the charge:

On December 7, 2010, Great Falls Police Officer Bill Brooks was dispatched to an attempted break-in and observed William Anderson attempting to break into a house. Officer Brooks approached Anderson and he (Anderson) attempted to pull away from Officer Brooks and was taken to the ground and restrained. Officer Kimmet arrived on scene and assisted Officer Brooks in placing Anderson in the back of Officer Brooks' patrol unit. Anderson kept slipping his handcuffs to the front and eventually the officers hooked an additional pair of cuffs to Anderson's pants in an attempt to prevent him from slipping out of his cuffs. Once in custody, Anderson became very abusive calling Officer Brooks a child molester, stating he was "****ing his daughter" and other profane utterances. According to Officer Brooks, Anderson was yelling at the top of his lungs.

Upon arrival at the Detention Center Officer Brooks requested assistance with Anderson and according to Officer Brooks Anderson lunged at him and shortly thereafter other officers came to assist him. Officer Brooks indicated that while walking back to his car, Anderson attempted to spit on him. Officer Mitchell came to the assistance of Officer Brooks and took control of Inmate Anderson by the arm. Anderson was resisting both Officer Mitchell and Officer Brooks at this time. According to Officer Mitchell, Anderson was calling Officer Brooks a coward and challenging him to fight. Anderson was then escorted to the transfer cell by Officer Mitchell, Detention Officer Steven Patrick, and Detention Officer Fox. Detention Officer Patrick noted at this time that Anderson had slipped his handcuffs from the small of his back and were now to the front with another set of handcuffs attached to his pants and belt which were hanging from the second set of handcuffs. Thus Anderson was able to remove his pants and belt, slide them off and move both sets of cuffs with the jeans and belt attached to his front. This presented a possible danger to officers.

Based on his observations, Detention Officer Patrick attempted to gain control on Anderson as they escorted him into the transfer cell. As soon as Detention Officer Patrick attempted to gain control of Anderson, the inmate immediately began pulling away in an attempt to break Detention Officer Patrick's grip. The detention officers then forcibly took Anderson into the transfer cell and placed him against the wall. Inmate Anderson was enraged and continued to thrash. Detention Officers Fox and Patrick moved Anderson away from the wall to the bench so that they could get him secured to the handcuff bar. Inmate Anderson was fighting their every move.

At this time, SSgt. Spry entered the transfer cell with a taser drawn and instructed Inmate Anderson to stop resisting or he would be tased. Inmate Anderson continued to resist. According to SSgt. Spry, Detention Officer Patrick was yelling at Anderson to sit down and cooperate. Anderson refused to cooperate with the officers. SSgt. Spry stated that Anderson was yelling profanities at them and attempting to stand up or get away from them so he ordered the inmate to stop resisting or he would be tased. SSgt. Spry then delivered a drive stun to the inmate's chest and Anderson slid to his right and within a second or so Anderson was again screaming vulgarities. Detention Officer Patrick then moved in to pin him to the bench again and Inmate Anderson looked directly at Detention Officer Patrick and spit in his face. Detention Officer Patrick then struck Anderson in the forehead with his fist. Anderson continued to yell and curse at the officers and not comply with their orders.

It is clear from the reports and interviews that Anderson was out of control and resisting arrest to the point that a taser was required to control his actions. While attempting to control Anderson, the inmate assaulted Detention Officer Patrick by spitting on him. Montana Code Annotated § 45-5-214 provides that spitting on a detention officer constitutes the offense of Assault with Bodily Fluid. After being assaulted by the inmate, Detention Officer Patrick reacted instinctively, in self defense and struck the inmate.

While Detention Officer Patrick may have violated numerous protocols and rules that are set forth for the handling of inmates by detention officers, those possible violations which might result in a suspension or termination, should be handled by the Cascade County Sheriff and the Cascade County Human Resource Office. However, Counsel for the State does not believe that the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident provides sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

Therefore, the State moves the Court to dismiss the matter.





Police Lure Suspects To Jail With Cash

March 17, 2011

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A sting operation at the Clayton County jail had wanted suspects unknowingly turning themselves in.

Rondreiecko Nash thought he was coming to the jail to pick up funds left in his jail account.

When he showed up, he was locked up.

“Did you know you had outstanding warrants on you when you came in today?” Channel 2’s Erin Coleman asked him.

Nash answered, “No Ma'am.”

This was all part of a sting operation.

By law, law enforcement officials must notify former inmates if there’s money left in their inmate account.

When Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough’s staff checked, 452 former inmates had new warrants out for their arrest.

“The idea was born that hey, we’ll send this letter, ask them to come in and claim their funds and effectively arrest at the same time,” Kimbrough said.

Some are wanted for abandonment, violation of paroles and crimes as serious as child molestation.

“The criminal element changes and evolves,” the sheriff added. “Their tricks, they communicate and share ideas with each other and we have to do the same.”

While the sheriff says he probably won’t use this trick again.

Next time it’ll be something else.

“If we can use anything at our disposal to get these people off the street and get them in custody then that’s what we’re going to do,” Kimbrough said.

Nash was arrested for probation violation.

Rikers Island Jail staff 'sex-starved and promiscuous' says Former Guard

March 21, 2011

  • "They would do it on the midnight shift"
  • Only 3890 women to 12,000 "cute" men
  • "They're working out. They're attractive"
FEMALE Guards working at the notorious US jail Rikers Island were sex-starved and promiscuous - sleeping with the prisoners they were there to keep in line, says a former guard.

"They would do it on the midnight shift when there were not many people around," ex-guard Yolanda Dickinson told the New York Post on Sunday.

Dickinson, who worked at Rikers from 1997 to 2004, recently penned a novel called "Taboo" based on the jail's out-of-control sex scene.

"They have electronic cell doors, and it's not a problem for someone to crack open the door," she said.

With 3890 female officers guarding some 12,000 men, outlaw love blossoms.

"It's a soap opera. There are a lot of lonely single women on the job, and you're surrounded by these cute guys. They're working out. They're attractive," Dickinson said.

"They're criminals, so they have a cunning way of approaching you. They study you all day," she added.

Though she claims she never had sex at work, Dickinson, 41, admits that she met a Rikers inmate on her watch, a gang member from her neighborhood who had admitted to killing a rapist.

"People looked up to him for that. He said he did the world a favor," she said.

She said her soft spot for him developed after he defended her honor behind bars by beating up another inmate who groped her.

"It made me look at him differently," she said.

Another ex-boyfriend, the father of her 17-year-old son, served 10 years in federal prison on drug charges.

She was fired for "undue familiarity" in 2004 after an inmate called her from Rikers and she denied to investigators that she had taken the call.

At least six female guards have been fired or forced out for undue familiarity with prisoners since 2007, including Kimberly Hurd, 39, who bore an inmate's love child, Yolanda Turner-Goodwin, 44, who was photographed hugging and kissing a prisoner; and Kadessha Mulgrav, 34, who allegedly sneaked away for a midnight liaison with cop killer Lee Woods in a shower room.

"Undue familiarity is illegal, and it compromises safety and security," said Correction spokesman Stephen Morello.

Pinellas Deputy FIRED for death of inmate

March 18, 2011
Keyonna Summers

LARGO — A Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Detention Deputy has been fired for failing to summon medical help for a dying jail inmate last year and lying about it in agency records.

Deputy Jimmie Davis, an 11-year veteran, ignored complaints from Kyle Donald Howard and other inmates that 24-year-old Howard was violently ill and vomiting, according to an internal affairs report released this week.

In jail watch logs, Davis claimed he performed checks of inmates' pods every 30 minutes that day, but video surveillance showed otherwise. By the time several inmates tried to rouse Howard for dinner, he was dead and rigor mortis had set in.

"While you were assigned to the Health Care Division, Pod 3H3, you failed to perform your duties as a deputy sheriff," Sheriff Jim Coats wrote to Davis in a termination letter. "You admitted to this violation."

Autopsy findings listed Howard's cause of death as "complications of chronic drug abuse."

The case of 56-year-old Davis is the latest involving alleged inadequate supervision at the Pinellas jail.

The sheriff's office switched health care providers multiple times through the mid 1980s and 1990s due to a series of inmate deaths attributed to a lack of timely medical attention. For example, reports show the medical staff waited 13 hours to call 911 after 24-year-old Melony Bird collapsed in her cell from a possible heart attack in 1996.

A more recent case involves a 50-year-old mentally ill woman from St. Petersburg whose family filed suit last year claiming negligence by deputies and nurses led to her March 2009 death. According to the suit, a corrections officer and nurse lied about regularly checking on Jennifer DeGraw as required, and another nurse failed to supply the allegedly uncooperative woman with medications she needed. A nurse and deputy were disciplined in that case.

In the Davis case, reports state that Howard began complaining to the deputy about stomach pains the morning of July 26.

He had been arrested two days earlier on allegations that he violated probation on prior charges of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. He was booked into a wing of the jail typically reserved for inmates who are detoxing or have other medical issues. He started vomiting repeatedly the first day and did not eat or drink much, if at all, over the next two days.

At least two other inmates approached Davis about Howard's illness on July 26, but the deputy reportedly just handed them forms for Howard to fill out to request a nurse.

After Howard was discovered unresponsive, the jail staff attempted CPR before rushing him to Northside Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner's notes show Howard had methylecgonine, which is a cocaine metabolite, and the tranquilizers nordiazepam, oxazepam and chlordiazepoxide in his system when he died.

Davis, who unsuccessfully appealed his Jan. 14 termination, admitted to investigators that he saw Howard vomiting and didn't check on him. Asked why he didn't contact the medical staff at the inmates' urging, Davis replied that he expected a nurse to make rounds soon and that his "training and experience" led him to believe Howard likely wouldn't explain his problem anyway.

"What kind of training have you had where you have learned that you don't ask inmates when they're having a problem or if they're in need of something?" investigators asked.

"It's not normal for me … to not ask them," Davis said.

"If it's not normal, why didn't you ask Kyle Howard?" investigators asked.

"I can't answer that. Why he was different, I don't know," Davis said.

Reached on his home phone Thursday, Davis declined to comment.

Records show this wasn't the first time Davis had been in trouble. In 2004 and 2006, he was disciplined for viewing "inappropriate material" on his work computer. Davis received written counseling in the first incident and a 40-hour suspension in the second, which specified that he accessed Internet porn.

In Davis' most recent performance evaluation in January 2010, supervisors determined he met agency standards in all categories except "judgment."

Attorney pleads guilty in Jail smuggling case

I just F'd my life but (Snif...Snif) I did it because I LOVE him!!  Who cares what the consequences are!
           Former Jail Sergeant Sandvig

April 7, 2011
Mike Martindale

— A 35-year-old Farmington Hills attorney has pleaded guilty to contraband and drug possession charges after smuggling drugs into the Oakland County Jail for her boyfriend.

Nina Backon made the plea before Oakland Circuit Judge James Alexander this week and is free on bond pending an April 27 sentencing date.

"I don't know exactly what she is facing, but I hope the judge considers probation," her attorney, Neil Rockind, said Thursday.

The charges stem from a visit at the jail last year following the May 2010 arrest of her boyfriend, Eric Edward Wilamowski, 23, also of Farmington Hills. At the time, Wilamowski was serving a 93 day sentence in jail for possession of drug paraphernalia.

On May 5, Backon represented herself as his attorney in order to visit him. At the end of their visit, police say, Wilamowski admitted to the deputies that Backon was actually his fiancee.

When deputies confirmed she was not his attorney of record, she was escorted out of the building and told she would no longer be allowed attorney visits.

Two days later she showed up with legal papers that she had filed as an attorney on his case. Suspicious deputies searched Wilamowski at the end of the visit and found six Xanax pills and 10 pouches of chewing tobacco. Wilamowski admitted Backon had brought the items to him.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for an address the pair shared after learning that Wilamowski was overheard telling Backon to take care of some marijuana growing materials at their home. Police found what they described as a "sophisticated grow operation" and charged the pair with marijuana offenses.

In December, Wilamowski pled guilty to drug charges and having contraband in the jail, and was sentenced to 183 days with credit for 75 days.

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