Prison News in Brief: Mississippi through New Hampshire

Prison News in Brief: Mississippi through New Hampshire

This installment of Prison News in Brief concerns news from Mississippi through New Hampshire and is brought to us by our friends at Prison Legal News.

Mississippi Prison News

In three separate incidents that occurred between July 14 and 19, 2013, two guards and the 65-year-old mother of a prisoner were arrested as a result of DOC investigations.  Ciarra Harley, a 27-year-old guard at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF), is accused of having a sexual relationship with a probationer.

Patricia Bennett-Armstrong, also employed at CMCF, was arrested for possession of prohibited items after a large amount of tobacco was found in her vehicle.

Further, Gloria Edwards, the mother of a prisoner serving time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, was arrested for allegedly planning to deliver contraband to a prisoner.  Edwards was at the facility to see her son but was arrested before the visit; she had several pills concealed on her body, and more drugs were found in her vehicle.

Mississippi Prison News

On June 11, 2013, Harrison County jailers Frederick Corso and Joseph Tuten were fired for their roles in the mistreatment of a prisoner and an attempted cover-up of the abuse.  A review of surveillance video confirmed the mistreatment, which was witnessed by a third guard who alerted jail administrators.  Although the prisoner did not suffer any injuries, Corso and Tuten were terminated when one participated in the abuse and the other falsified incident reports.

Montana Prison News

A coroner’s inquest will be held into the shooting death of escaped prisoner Dean Randolph Jess, 42, by a Yellowstone County sheriff’s deputy on July 5, 2013.  Jess had been working on a motor vehicle maintenance service call from the Montana State Prison when he escaped.  He stole a Jeep and drove to Billings, where he ended up in a standoff with authorities.  Jess was shot by Lt. Shane Skillen when he raised a handgun toward one of the officers surrounding the vehicle.  “He may have had it made up in his mind he wasn’t going back to prison, one way or the other,” stated Sheriff Mike Linder.

Nebraska Prison News

Just prior to a fatal crash on June 25, 2013, authorities received at least three calls warning that a prison van was speeding and running red lights.  The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) van was being driven by prisoner Jeremy Dobbe, 35, who had two DUI convictions; he was assigned to the work release driving job two months before the accident.  An NDCS press release stated that prisoners have been allowed to drive other prisoners to work detail sites since 1985.  Online court records indicate that Dobbe’s drunk driving convictions should have disqualified him from the position.  He has since been charged with manslaughter, and the family of Joyce R. Meeks, who died after Dobbe struck her vehicle, has filed a $5 million claim against Dobbe and the State of Nebraska.

New Hampshire Prison News

Jarred Brisbois, a trusty prisoner, was assigned to wash cruisers and do other odd jobs at the East Kingston Police Department on May 11, 2013.  On that particular day, there were no other staff at the department after an officer left on patrol.  With no supervision for hours, Brisbois allegedly broke into an evidence room and stole heroin, breached an officer’s personal locker containing his gun, Taser, and handcuffs, and took a police cruiser for a drive.  Investigators also suspect that he smuggled some of the heroin and a hypodermic needle back into the jail.  Brisbois had been assigned to the police department through a work program at the Rockingham County Jail.  The trusty program has since been temporarily suspended.

(Reprinted with permission from Prison Legal News)