1 of every 133 Americans in prison or jail, Justice Dept. figures show

Posted in Articles on December 9, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

WASHINGTON – The U.S. prison population edged up slightly last year, though the number of total inmates dropped in 20 states, including New York, Georgia and Michigan.

Justice Department figures released Tuesday show the overall state and federal prison population stands at a record 1.6 million and is still rising, but the rate of growth is slowing as state authorities look for cheaper ways to mete out justice.

If you add in those people in jails – where some are held while they await trial – the total number of people behind bars comes to 2.3 million.

The government figures show one out of every 133 U.S. residents was in prison or jail at the end of last year.

The statistics are the latest evidence that the rapid growth of prisons seen in the 1990s has cooled significantly in this decade. Continue reading


US continues to lock ’em up

Posted in Articles on December 9, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

US Justice Department figures have shown the overall state and federal prison population stands at a record 2.3 million and is still rising.

One out of every 133 US residents is now in prison.

The biggest jump in incarceration figures was put down to immigration detainees, a third of whom originated from Mexico.

The population of prisoners has continued to edge up in all but 20 states, causing authorities to look for better and cheaper ways to deliver justice.

Politicians have realised prisons cost too much to maintain and are saving money with alternative sentencing programs, such as treatment or monitoring.

Officials released more prisoners during the year; some 735,454 prisoners.

Eight percent of those were pushed out without conditions.

source: http://story.floridastatesman.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/c08dd24cec417021/id/575060/cs/1/

Ohio inmate ‘traumatized’ after failed execution

Posted in Articles on September 21, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The lawyer for an inmate whose execution was halted after an unprecedented two hours said trying to put him to death again in a week could be a disaster.

Romell Broom is still recovering from Tuesday’s prolonged execution attempt and is physically and emotionally traumatized, his attorney, Adele Shank, said Wednesday.

“It went so badly when he was walking in without injured veins, to go forward so soon afterward just seems to be inviting disaster,” Shank said.

Gov. Ted Strickland’s decision to stop Tuesday’s execution and grant a one-week reprieve appeared to be unprecedented since capital punishment was declared constitutional and the nation resumed executions in the 1970s.

Inmates in several states have experienced delays with the injection of lethal chemicals, but those executions have always proceeded the same day.

Shank said one option was to ask Strickland to consider a request for clemency and to commute Broom’s sentence.

Strickland said he is reviewing the incident and consulting with prison officials and others about the next step.

“That does not mean there will be a review of the larger issue of lethal injections,” Strickland said Wednesday. “That’s been settled. Obviously yesterday demonstrated that we have a problem with this particular set of circumstances.” Continue reading

Inmate injures five prison guards at CFCF

Posted in Articles on September 21, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

A mentally ill inmate injured five prison guards during a vicious attack at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility earlier today, officials said.
The guards were in the process of locking inmates in their cells about 10:30 a.m. when they found Edward Braswell sitting in the wrong cell, said prison spokesman Bob Eskind.
“They tried to move him, but he refused,” he said.
An instant later, chaos filled the cell as Braswell launched into an attack.
He rained fists down on a female sergeant, three male corrections officers and one female officer, all of whom were unable to stop the onslaught, Eskind said.
The guards tried using pepper spray on Braswell, to no avail.
“Pepper spray doesn’t help with mental-health inmates. Nothing can stop them,” said Lorenzo North, the president of the prison guards’ union, Local 159.
Other guards rushed to the scene and eventually subdued Braswell, Eskind said.
When the dust settled, the five guards were all nursing injuries, some of them serious.
One male officer suffered a broken ankle and broken finger, and was being monitored overnight at Aria Health-Torresdale, Eskind said.
The female sergeant suffered head trauma, after Braswell slugged her in the face five times, grabbed her by the hair and slammed hear head into a cinder-block wall, North said. Continue reading

Family blames heroin in Fayette inmate’s jail hanging

Posted in Articles on September 21, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

A Fayette County man who died after he was found hanging in his jail cell had planned to return to school to pursue dreams of becoming a mechanic, but he couldn’t shake a heroin addiction that his mother and sister said fueled his downward spiral.

Cade William Stevens, 25, of 257 Lucky Lane, Dawson, was found at 10:06 a.m. Saturday hanging by bedsheets from cell bars at the Fayette County Prison. He was pronounced dead within the hour at Uniontown Hospital.

State police said Stevens apparently hanged himself between 9:40 a.m. and 10:06 a.m.

Two unidentified corrections officers were suspended yesterday with pay pending completion of an investigation, said Warden Larry Medlock.

The Fayette County Prison Board yesterday indicated it might take additional disciplinary action when it meets later this month. They can’t act until after Medlock and a human resources representative meet with the two guards. The meetings are required as per terms of the county’s contract with the guards’ union, United Mine Workers Local 9113. Continue reading

Report: Prison Worker Sex Abuse Up Sharply

Posted in Articles on September 11, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

Accusations of sexual abuse at the hands of federal prison workers doubled in the past eight years, according to a new government report released Thursday.

Justice Department inspector general Glenn Fine found that claims made against Bureau of Prisons staff members increased dramatically from 2001 to 2008. Claims of sexual misconduct more than doubled, rising 130 percent in the same period.

According to the findings, female prison workers had a disproportionately higher percentage of accusations against them, yet those women who were convicted were less likely to serve time behind bars. Continue reading

Pasco sheriff’s office sued over jail inmate’s death

Posted in Articles on September 11, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

NEW PORT RICHEY – The family of a New Port Richey man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, saying he died because of the poor medical and psychological care he received during a jail stay.

Thomas James Fredenburg died Sept. 10, 2007, at Tampa General Hospital following a two-week stay at the Land O’ Lakes Jail. He was 28. An autopsy found that Fredenburg died of blunt trauma to the head.

Fredenburg was booked into the jail on an aggravated battery charge Aug. 24, 2007. According to the 23-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, he told jail medical staff that he had a drug problem and had been taking Soma, Valium and oxycodone. The next day, he reported experiencing opiate withdrawal. Continue reading