Prison News in Brief: Florida through Maine

Prison News in Brief: Florida through Maine

Florida Prison News

On July 29, 2013, Richard Stotts, 48, was fired from his job as a Pinellas County detention deputy.  Stotts was working in the booking area of the jail on May 8 when he abruptly smacked prisoner David Allan Koons on the head and neck, eventually pinning him to the ground.  The incident was recorded on surveillance video.  Stotts had been the subject of previous investigations into improper conduct involving Pinellas County prisoners; he was charged with assaulting Koons, because Koons declined to cooperate with investigators.  This was the third time in less than a year that a Pinellas County jail guard was fired for using excessive force.

Illinois Prison News

An August 8, 2013 road rage incident resulted in murder charges being filed against a Cook County jail guard.  Police say 23-year-old Montrel Moss threw a cup of water that hit a van being driven by jail guard Edgar Singleton, Jr.  Singleton retaliated by shooting Moss in the neck with a 9mm handgun; Moss was pronounced dead a short time later.  According to a statement from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Singleton was subsequently de-deputized and fired.

Indiana Prison News

A report filed by Marion County jailers stated that on August 1, 2013, an unidentified 24-year-old Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) worker flashed her official ID to gain access to the Marion County Arrestee Processing Center in order to get some “alone time” with a prisoner.  The female DCS employee was escorted to a meeting room where Marion County jail staff said they saw her and the prisoner engage in unauthorized physical contact, including touching and holding hands.  Upon questioning, the DCS worker admitted she had no official business at the Marion County jail; her badge was confiscated and she was ordered to leave.  No criminal charges were filed, but she was fired in connection with the incident.

Indonesia Prison News

About 300 soldiers and 500 policemen were deployed around Tanjung Gusta prison in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, after a riot broke out on July 12, 2013.  The Tanjung Gusta facility, with a normal capacity of 1,054, was holding nearly 2,600 prisoners at the time.  Five people were killed and hundreds of prisoners, including convicted terrorists, escaped during the riot.  The disturbance was apparently triggered by a power outage that disabled the prison facility’s water pumps and left prisoners without water.  Akbar Hadi, a spokesman for prison officials, estimated that about 500 prisoners had resisted orders to stop rioting before security forces retook the Tanjung Gusta prison facility.

Iowa Prison News

Rodney Eugene Long, 38, escaped from the Clarinda Correctional Facility on August 19, 2013 and shot a Taylor County deputy after stealing a gun in a residential burglary.  The wounded deputy’s survival was credited to his protective vest.  After leading police on a 40-minute chase, Long broke into the home of a retired prison guard and his wife, Jerome and Carolyn Mauderly, ages 71 and 66.  Long held the Mauderlys hostage for several hours before Jerome Mauderly killed him using a shotgun.

Kansas Prison News

An unidentified guard at the El Dorado Correctional Facility fell from a watch tower at the prison on July 12, 2013.  According to Kansas Department of Corrections Communications Director Jeremy Barclay, the state’s Workers Compensation Law prohibits the release of the guard’s name.  The guard was alert and talking when taken to a Wichita hospital, and was treated and released less than four hours after the accident.  According to Barclay, the tower at the El Dorado Correctional Facility was secured with proper railings.

Kazakhstan Prison News

On August 29, 2013, a military court sentenced a group of prison guards, including a high ranking official, who had been convicted of torturing a prisoner to death at a labor camp in the city of Zhezkazgan.  The court found that the prison guards had beaten a prisoner for hours, then crucified the dying man on a metal fence in October 2012.  Ten prison guards received five-year prison terms, some of which were suspended, while three received sentences of six years each.  Human rights activists have long protested prisoners’ rights abuses in Kazakhstan.

Maine Prison News

Shane Thomas, an Androscoggin County jail guard, filed suit against the county and Sheriff Guy Desjardins on August 15, 2013 after being cleared in a use-of-force incident.  According to the lawsuit, Thomas was suspended for three days and as a result of the suspension suffered damage to his professional reputation and continues to suffer professional and personal injuries.  A prisoner had filed a complaint after being involved in a physical confrontation with Thomas, but the district attorney decided that Thomas’ use of force was justified.  Sheriff Desjardins said he stood by the suspension because Thomas struck the prisoner in the head in violation of Androscoggin jail rules.

(Reprinted with permission from Prison Legal News)