Prison News in Brief: Kansas through Texas

Prison News in Brief: Kansas through Texas

Kansas Prison News

Former Sedgwick County Jail guard David Kendall, 23, was charged with crimes ranging from aggravated sodomy to misdemeanor sexual battery for raping two prisoners and sexually propositioning four others.  These prisoners have collectively filed claims totaling over $20 million against Sedgwick County.  Kendall posted a $500,000 bond and was released from the Sedgwick County Jail with a GPS monitoring system.  At an August 30, 2013 hearing, testimony was presented that one of the prisoners accusing Kendall of rape had had consensual sex with him, then fabricated the rape claim to cash in on a civil suit.

Michigan Prison News

Former Michigan Department of Corrections employee Michael Paul Salyers pleaded no contest on August 2, 2013, to a lesser charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct; he was originally charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct of a state prisoner.  Police said that since 2006, Salyers had a sexual relationship with a female Michigan state prisoner who has since been released.  At the time, Salyers was a mechanic at the now-closed Camp Brighton facility.

Minnesota Prison News

A nurse working for a private medical contractor, Advanced Correctional Healthcare/Diamond Pharmacy Services, was charged with illegally obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone for personal use by using the names of prisoners in her care at the Isanti County Jail.  Cara Sue Lindgren was charged with felony fifth-degree drug possession by fraud or deceit on August 9, 2013.  An investigation into the wrongdoing at the Isanti County Jail remains ongoing.

New York Prison News

“I want you to knock his fucking teeth in.”  According to a June 26, 2013 report by the New York Daily News, that was what supervising warden Eliseo Parez allegedly told a team of Rikers Island jail guards.  The team, which had been tasked with reducing violence at the jail, viciously attacked prisoner Jamal Lightfoot after he looked at one of them “funny.”  Prosecutors said the brutal beatdown — which knocked out some of Lightfoot’s teeth and broke his eye socket and nose — led the jail guards to try to cover up the assault.  Sanford Rubenstein, Lightfoot’s family lawyer, said prisoners at Rikers Island are not safe and that the incident was part of a “systemic problem” at the facility.  The jail guards involved in Lightfoot’s beating have pleaded not guilty.

New Zealand Prison News

For 13 years, Roger Brooking had entered New Zealand prisons to conduct drug and alcohol assessments.  In July 2013, however, he was barred from visiting Rimutaka Prison after he criticized the Department of Corrections for a multi-million dollar cell phone call blocking system that he deemed a “failed strategy.”  The New Zealand Department of Corrections alleged that he had “breach[ed]” prison security” by using his personal cell phone in the parking lot of the Rimutaka Prison facility.

Ohio Prison News

August 14, 2013, marked the grand opening of a new rainbow trout farm at the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Lancaster.  The fish are destined for the Columbus Zoo, where about 300 pounds a month will be used to feed the zoo’s penguins.  Another 100 pounds will be fed to polar bears, brown bears, and otters.  The trout will replace fish the zoo currently purchases from another state.  The project is funded by the Southeastern Correctional Complex’s recycling program.

Oregon Prison News

Joseph Akins, Jr., 45, serving time for kidnapping, rape, and murder, was killed in his cell at the Oregon State Penitentiary on August 17, 2013.  Prison officials said Akins was found dead in C-block and the prison facility was immediately placed on lockdown.  A medical examiner ruled that Akins died due to “inflicted trauma,” and state police said the suspect in his death is his cellmate, Craig Dennis Bjork, 53, who had been convicted of 5 previous murders, including killing another prisoner in 1997.

Texas Prison News

One victim of former 404th State District Judge Abel Corral Limas presented impact testimony saying there was “outrage and shock at the magnitude of the corruption” committed by the disgraced judge, who entered a plea to racketeering charges.  In exchange for his plea, Limas was sentenced on August 21, 2013, to 72 months in federal prison, restitution of $6,777,270.50, three years of supervised release following his prison term, and forfeiture of an additional $257,300 from proceeds from his criminal enterprise.  Limas admitted that he routinely used his position as a judge to enrich himself and others through extortion and that his conduct was “not a mistake, it was intentional.”