Thursday, July 4, 2013

MO - Prison guards 'forced inmates to have gladiator-style fights with other prisoners for entertainment'

This is NOT Sparta!
Original Article


Inmates in St Louis have revealed that they were forced to fight each other in order to entertain prison guards.

Now thirty inmates want to join the existing group of eight who have filed a federal lawsuit against the prison guards at the Medium Security Institution on Hall Street as they claim they were baited into fighting one another for their keeper's amusement.

Five guards were named in the suit and they were said to be the ones who forced inmates to fight in 'gladiator-style combat'.

The Fox 2 News reports that the lawsuit came out of a city investigation into inmate abuse.

In one instance, an unidentified inmate was seen leaving another prisoner's cell with his clothes completely shredded and in tatters.

'Individuals who were put in solitary confinement were not supposed to have contact with any other inmate but what was happening was the guards were actually taking inmates out of the cells, placing them in cells with other inmates, and forcing them to fight each other,' attorney Daniel Brown told CBS St. Louis.

The civil rights lawsuit against the city was filed last year asking for $150 million in punitive damages based on the claims of eight men who either have been released from the Medium Security Institution- known as 'the Workhouse'- or who are still serving out their sentences.

The list has grown dramatically, however, but the city does not feel it adds any weight to the claims.

Prison guards Dexter Brinson and Elvis Howard'From when he first got in there he was telling me he was doing fights and stuff like that,' LaDonna Pitchfort, whose son [name withheld] is serving a sentence in the prison.

They have denied all of the accusations and filed a legal response.

The suit names two former guards- Dexter Brinson and Elvis Howard- who have since been suspended, and the other three guards are only identified by their last names as the inmates do not know their first names.

That has not deterred Mr Brown and his clients, who feel they have evidence on their side.

'We know that that is not true of course because we got the video and at the end of the day, once jurors see that video, I think they’ll be with us,' Mr Brown told CBS.

CT - Details Emerge in Fed Case Against Ex-Cop (Samuel DiProto) Charged With Child Porn Possession

Ex-officer Samuel DiProto
Samuel DiProto
Original Article


By Cassandra Day

Federal criminal court records detail photographs purportedly depicting the "bondage" of a clothed 6- to 7-year-old girl taken in the former Middletown police officer's Cromwell home.

Federal authorities have released more damning evidence against the the retired Middletown Police officer charged with possession of child pornography and inappropriate contact with a minor.

Samuel DiProto, 61, of Cromwell is being held in federal custody, according to Thomas Carson of the U.S. attorney's office at an undisclosed location.

Federal criminal court records detail photographs purportedly depicting the "bondage" of a clothed 6- to 7-year-old girl "hogtied and gagged" and others in which she's tied in four-point restraints and crying.

In late May, DiProto's $1M bond was revoked by the court.

The U.S. District Court of Connecticut ruled he "poses a significant danger to the community, particularly children," after he was arrested on May 7 and charged by the federal government with possession of child pornography and again on May 24 for risk of injury to a minor, cruelty to persons, first-degree unlawful restraint and first-degree reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

These latest charges, according to a press release from Connecticut State Police, arose from evidence seized from his Cromwell home, the town where his wife has served as the longtime town clerk.

The criminal complaint alleges that on March 12, 2013, and April 10, 2013, a Connecticut State Police detective assigned to the Computer Crimes Unit logged onto a publicly available Internet file sharing network and downloaded images and videos of child pornography from a computer connected to the network with an Internet Protocol address assigned to DiProto.

At a May 13 detention hearing, DiProto was released on a $250,000 surety bond co-signed by family members on conditions including home confinement. At the time, the government had no evidence that the defendant had ever abused or harmed a minor, according to court documents.

On May 16, additional computer files, including a digital camera memory card and seven thumb drives were found at DiProto's home.

"A review of the photos taken during the May 7 search revealed that the bed depicted in the bondage photos is the same bed that is in the master bedroom of the Cromwell residence," according to the affidavit.

The feds also found a rope that appears to be the same one used in the photographs in the master bedroom closet, similar bedding, and a Pentax Optio P70, according to the court documents.

"The metadata from the photos indicate they were taken with a Pentax Optio P70 digital camera," the affidavit reads. "A review of the photos taken during the May 7 search revealed that the bed depicted in the bondage photos is the same bed that is in the master bedroom of the Cromwell residence."

On May 23, law enforcement identified the victim in the photos. Her father testified DiProto told him, after his May 7 arrest, "he had tied up the minor victim to teach her a lesson about the danger of playing with ropes" in mid-April 2013, the report details.

His probable cause hearing in federal court is scheduled for Aug. 26.

GA - Cave Spring police officer (Patrick Edward Earwood) arrested on aggravated sodomy and child molestation

Ex-officer Patrick Edward Earwood
Patrick Edward Earwood
Original Article


By Kim Jarrett

Cave Spring Police Chief Jerry Ely said he has fired one of his officers after the man’s arrest Monday on sex charges.

Patrick Edward Earwood, 31, of 16 Park St. in Cave Spring, is accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls while on duty, according to Sgt. Teri Davis of the Floyd County Police Department.

He is charged with aggravated sodomy and aggravated child molestation — both felonies — in relation to incidents involving a girl younger than 16, and misdemeanor sexual battery in relation to incidents involving a 16 year-old girl.

According to the warrants, the incidents happened between January and June of this year.

Earwood, who was on paid administrative leave since last week while police investigated, was fired Monday evening, according to Ely.

Earwood had been employed with the CSPD for about a year and a half and there had been no complaints about him before, Ely said.

The investigation began when someone went to Floyd County Police Chief Bill Shiflett, who turned the investigation over to Davis.

Ely said the incidents happened in the county.

He said when he learned of the allegations he was in shock.

Any kind of allegation (about an officer) surprises me,” Ely said. “I’m just disappointed.

Earwood remained in the Floyd County Jail on Monday night and will have a bond hearing this morning.

He is being sequestered at the jail for his own protection. That is the standard procedure when any law enforcement officer is jailed, according to Jerry Duke, a spokesman for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.

A decision has not been made as to where Earwood would be housed if he is not given or cannot make bond, Duke said.

MO - Nixon vetoes sex offender measure

Governor Jay Nixon
Gov. Jay Nixon
Original Article



JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday vetoed legislation that he said would remove sex offenders who commit their crimes as juveniles from websites that let the public know who they are, a day after he signed a measure that strengthens laws against sexual offenses.

Nixon said the vetoed measure is too broad.

It would grant this relief to juvenile sex offenders regardless of the sexual offense for which they were convicted to include forcible rape, forcible sodomy and child molestation,” said Nixon, who was state attorney general before becoming governor.

Moreover, the bill would deprive victims of sex offenses the opportunity to be heard before an offender is removed from the very websites that are designed to protect victims and other members of the public.”

Under the legislation, future juvenile offenders also eventually would have been allowed to petition for their removal from the sex offender registry.

State lawmakers return to the Capitol in September to decide whether they will try to override any vetoes.

On Tuesday, Nixon signed a criminal justice bill that includes a change to what constitutes rape. It had been defined as having sex with another person by use of “forcible compulsion,” which includes the use of a substance to physically or mentally impair another without his or her knowledge or approval.

The new law broadens that to include instances in which someone is incapacitated, is incapable of consent or lacks the capacity to consent.

The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence has said the changes refocus the crimes to include the experience of the victim.

The crime measure renames some sexual offenses and categorizes them into tiers that allow for a jury to convict a defendant of a lesser offense.

The bill also expands who is unable to give consent for sexual contact. Currently, that includes someone who is unable to make a reasonable judgment because of mental illness or intoxication. Now it will include those who have been drugged or who cannot, for any other reason, make a reasonable decision about the nature or harmfulness of the conduct.

Besides sex offenses, the legislation also deals with the state’s public defender system.

Defendants currently are represented by a public defender when they face incarceration, which includes felonies, misdemeanors and probation or parole violations.

Now a public defender will represent defendants in probation or parole violation cases if a judge determines representation is necessary to protect due process rights. A public defender would be appointed in misdemeanor cases unless the prosecutor waives the possibility of a jail sentence.

Defense officials could request to discuss caseload issues with the presiding judge in a local circuit, but the public defender system could not limit its availability to accept new cases.

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UK - Prisoners To Be Moved To Jails Near Home

Man in prison holding cell bars
Original Article


A network of 70 resettlement jails that will prepare offenders to be released into the area in which they live has been unveiled by the Justice Secretary.

Existing prisons up and down the country will function as resettlement prisons with a trial starting in the north west of England in the autumn, as part of a prisons shake-up.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling hopes the move will cut the risk of reoffending.
- So how would this reduce the risk of reoffending?

Mr Grayling has also announced plans to build a £250m super-prison in North Wales, and a raft of prison closures covering some 2,600 inmate places in January.

Mr Grayling said: "Rehabilitation in the community must begin behind the prison walls and follow offenders out through the gates if we are to stand a chance of freeing them from a life of crime."

"Currently a local area could expect to receive offenders from dozens of prisons across the country - this is hopeless."

"It is little wonder we have such high reoffending rates when you have a prisoner leaving HMP Liverpool, given a travel permit to get them home to the south coast, and then expected to simply get on with it."

"This approach is a significant step forwards in our reforms to tackle reoffending and lays the groundwork for building a genuine nationwide network of 'through the gate' supervision and support for all offenders."

The Government wants every offender released from custody to receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community.

The Offender Rehabilitation Bill (PDF) currently before Parliament will extend statutory supervision to 50,000 short-sentenced offenders each year, who will serve their time in custody in a resettlement prison and come out to a tailored package of supervision and support.

The women's estate is subject to a separate review announced by the Justice Secretary in January, which will report later in the summer.

Paul McDowell, chief executive of crime reduction charity Nacro and a former Governor of Brixton Prison, welcomed the move and said: "We are still sending too many people to prison when they could be better dealt with in the community - especially many of those serving short prison sentences."

"But putting communities at the heart of the criminal justice system through the development of resettlement prisons is a step in the right direction."

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan MP said: "The idea of resettlement prisons is a good one - prisoners being integrated back into communities where they have family and friends could lead to reduced re-offending and fewer victims of crime."

"However, this is another example of reality being very different from rhetoric. These plans amount to a substantial reorganisation of our prisons system, and it's not clear how it will be funded. Nor is it clear what will happen in London where there is an estimated shortfall of 8,000 places."

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: "Resettlement and rehabilitation do matter but, until and unless you reserve prison for serious and violent offenders, you cannot hope to cut sky-high reoffending rates or maintain safe and decent regimes."

CA - Santa Ana Moves Registration Process Out of Jail for Most Registrants

Justice Scales - Lawsuit
Original Article


The City of Santa Ana has moved its registration process for most individuals convicted of a sex offense out of locked areas within the Santa Ana Jail and to the unlocked lobby of the jail, according to city officials. This move was recently made following a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of three individuals and California RSOL.

This is a great victory for all sex offenders who must register in Santa Ana on either an annual or a monthly basis,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “In the past, sex offenders have been falsely imprisoned in the Santa Ana jail for periods up to four hours during their registration process.”

The only registrants who will still be required to register in locked areas of the jail are those initially registering, according to city officials. The reason given is that the City has only one Live Scan machine, which cannot be moved and is located in a locked area within the jail. Registration for all individuals is expected to be moved to the lobby no later than September 30.

The City of Santa Ana has also agreed not to require or even to provide jail uniforms to anyone required to register during the registration process. Registrants, in the past, have been required to wear jail uniforms as they registered and their photos in jail uniforms have been posted on the Megan’s Law website.

Photos of registrants in jail uniforms creates the false impression that they have recently been released from jail or prison,” stated Frank Lindsay, CA RSOL Treasurer. “Such impressions impede a registrant’s employment and housing opportunities and could invite vigilante violence.”

There are a total of 244 individuals currently listed on the Megan’s Law website. Based upon public data, the total number of registrants in Santa Ana is believed to exceed 300. Of those listed on the website, more than 50 percent are currently pictured in a jail uniform.

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