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Camp Hill Prison

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NEWS
March 30, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
HUNLOCK CREEK, Pa. - As state House speaker and Democratic leader, Bill DeWeese held forth many nights at Harrisburg's priciest restaurants, dining on prime rib and fine wine on a lobbyist's dime. On a recent afternoon, in a prison 120 miles from the Capitol, DeWeese carefully peeled a handful of spinach leaves from a container, savoring every bite. "I never get salad here," said DeWeese, now inmate KK-1888. Until his downfall in a 2012 corruption case, DeWeese was among the Capitol's most colorful characters and power brokers.
NEWS
January 27, 1990 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Though he acknowledged criticism in a state report of Corrections Commissioner David S. Owens Jr.'s handling of the Camp Hill prison riots, Gov. Casey said yesterday that Owens would keep his job as head of the state prison system. Casey recommended to Owens, however, that Robert Freeman, the suspended superintendent of the Camp Hill facility, and Robert Smith, a top Freeman aide, be dismissed. The governor also said he would have recommended the discharge of the prison's captain of the guard, John Stover, had Stover not already resigned.
NEWS
January 15, 1993 | by Kathy Brennan, Daily News Staff Writer
A Graterford Prison guard captain ordered his men to beat 15 prisoners arriving from riot-torn Camp Hill prison, stun them with stun guns and run them into tables and chairs, a guard testified in federal court yesterday. James Kowalski, 28, said he was among the guards who obeyed orders by former Capt. Ronald Lucas to beat the prisoners. Some of the prisoners were injured and one, suffering from AIDS and diabetes, died about eight months later. Kowalski, who seemed slightly ill at ease, testified under a grant of immunity against seven former guards charged with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the prisoners and obstruct justice.
NEWS
April 20, 1990 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Gov. Casey's nominee to head the Department of Corrections expressed confidence yesterday that he could handle problems posed by severe prison overcrowding, despite coming from a much smaller state system. Joseph D. Lehman, former deputy secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections, told reporters in a briefing that he welcomed the "challenge" of improving Pennsylvania's prisons. "A lot of problems facing corrections in different parts of the country are not that different," Lehman said.
NEWS
November 1, 1989 | By Robert Zausner, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Someone thought it would be cute if the kids dressed up in Halloween costumes to greet Gov. Casey at the dedication of a child-care center here yesterday. That was until one tot showed up in prison stripes. One of the governor's advance people thought the outfit was "inappropriate" in light of the recent riots at the Camp Hill prison. At the time, about 10 a.m., one inmate was still believed missing from the state facility. The staff person, LaVerna J. Fountain, tried a quick makeover, suggesting that a stick-on panda be placed on the child's black and white uniform.
NEWS
August 15, 2001 | By Jonathan Gelb INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A Phoenixville man with a history of mental illness was arrested yesterday after spending more than 17 hours avoiding capture in the dense woodlands of northern Chester County. James Polarine, 38, was arrested without incident at 8 a.m. on a railroad bridge near the Cromby Generating Station between Phoenixville and Upper Providence. Police believe he traveled about 10 miles on foot. At his arraignment, Polarine's white sneakers were covered in mud. "These charges are exaggerated," he told District Justice Theodore Michaels.
NEWS
June 17, 2012 | By Amy Worden and INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG — Former State House Speaker John M. Perzel has a new address, at least for the next 2½ to 5 years: State Correctional Institution, Laurel Highlands. The once-powerful Philadelphia Republican was assigned to the minimum-security prison in Somerset, in southwestern Pennsylvania, on June 7, three months after pleading guilty to political corruption charges. Laurel Highlands is known as Pennsylvania's prison for the aged and infirm. About 20 percent of its 1,400 inmates are either elderly or suffering from a medical disability, a prison spokeswoman said.
NEWS
February 2, 1993 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal prosecutor yesterday asked a U.S. District Court jury to convict seven former Graterford Prison guards for their roles in the revenge beatings of inmates who they mistakenly believed took part in the Camp Hill prison riots. Naming each of the seven former guards sitting behind her, Assistant U.S. Attorney Valli F. Baldassano told that the jurors the guards had taken "the law into their own hands. " "They charged the 19 inmates with a crime. They held court in the Old RHU (Restricted Housing Unit)
NEWS
May 1, 1990 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Using the now-famous state prison here as a backdrop, Republican gubernatorial candidate Barbara Hafer said yesterday that if elected she would support a state-funded grant program to help counties relieve jail overcrowding. Hafer, who estimated the cost at between $200 million and $400 million, said the proposal, now contained in legislation before the Senate, was one of several ways to improve prisons without raising taxes. She said she would float bonds to pay for the grants to expand jail capacity.
NEWS
March 26, 1994 | By Richard Jones, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Resplendent in a white beaded blouse and off-white pillbox hat, Consuella M. Pitts, 44, paced nervously about City Hall Courtroom 643 yesterday afternoon. She adjusted her skirt, repositioned her hat and tried to make sure everything was just right. "I'm a nervous wreck," Pitts said. "I haven't slept in two days. " Then the bridegroom, Gerald Everett, 44, entered the courtroom, smiling. He was nattily dressed: crisp navy-blue pinstriped suit, navy tie, blue shirt - and handcuffs.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 30, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
HUNLOCK CREEK, Pa. - As state House speaker and Democratic leader, Bill DeWeese held forth many nights at Harrisburg's priciest restaurants, dining on prime rib and fine wine on a lobbyist's dime. On a recent afternoon, in a prison 120 miles from the Capitol, DeWeese carefully peeled a handful of spinach leaves from a container, savoring every bite. "I never get salad here," said DeWeese, now inmate KK-1888. Until his downfall in a 2012 corruption case, DeWeese was among the Capitol's most colorful characters and power brokers.
NEWS
June 17, 2012 | By Amy Worden and INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG — Former State House Speaker John M. Perzel has a new address, at least for the next 2½ to 5 years: State Correctional Institution, Laurel Highlands. The once-powerful Philadelphia Republican was assigned to the minimum-security prison in Somerset, in southwestern Pennsylvania, on June 7, three months after pleading guilty to political corruption charges. Laurel Highlands is known as Pennsylvania's prison for the aged and infirm. About 20 percent of its 1,400 inmates are either elderly or suffering from a medical disability, a prison spokeswoman said.
NEWS
August 15, 2001 | By Jonathan Gelb INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A Phoenixville man with a history of mental illness was arrested yesterday after spending more than 17 hours avoiding capture in the dense woodlands of northern Chester County. James Polarine, 38, was arrested without incident at 8 a.m. on a railroad bridge near the Cromby Generating Station between Phoenixville and Upper Providence. Police believe he traveled about 10 miles on foot. At his arraignment, Polarine's white sneakers were covered in mud. "These charges are exaggerated," he told District Justice Theodore Michaels.
NEWS
June 24, 2000 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Fernando Screnci got home after completing his 10-year prison term, freedom was anything but a relief. At age 29, Screnci returned to South Philadelphia in December 1998 to find that old friends were long gone. Screnci's mother, Maria, his one link to the outside world, died a month after he got back. He had no job skills, no one to turn to, and psychological problems made worse living through the riots that destroyed half the state's Camp Hill prison in 1989. And so on April 28, 1999, after three months alone in his mother's house, Screnci did what he needed to do to get to the only place he said felt like home: He called the federal courthouse in Center City and told a clerk that "a biological bomb has been set. Get ready.
NEWS
December 19, 1995
WANTS FATHER'S KILLER CAUGHT AND PUNISHED You did a story (Nov. 15) about the murder of my father, Milton Wilks, the grocer slain at his store at 6161 Sansom St. I am the oldest of four children. I am in Camp Hill prison doing two to five years for auto theft. I have been in prison for two and a half years for my crimes. And I have learned from my mistake. This world is in bad shape. There is no regard for life anymore. My father meant a lot to me. Since I was a child, he worked 12 hours a day; he put all of his time into that corner store.
NEWS
April 19, 1995 | By Mark Fazlollah, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Sheppard Staples didn't shoot Philadelphia Police Officer Tyrone Wiggins, but Staples served seven months in jail for it, anyway. Leonard Martin admits he was behind the shooting. But last week, a judge dismissed the charges against him because the District Attorney's Office couldn't get him to court - after five tries. Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald B. Merriweather's April 11 decision to dismiss the felony and misdemeanor assault charges against Martin was the latest twist in the already-contorted case.
NEWS
March 26, 1994 | By Richard Jones, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Resplendent in a white beaded blouse and off-white pillbox hat, Consuella M. Pitts, 44, paced nervously about City Hall Courtroom 643 yesterday afternoon. She adjusted her skirt, repositioned her hat and tried to make sure everything was just right. "I'm a nervous wreck," Pitts said. "I haven't slept in two days. " Then the bridegroom, Gerald Everett, 44, entered the courtroom, smiling. He was nattily dressed: crisp navy-blue pinstriped suit, navy tie, blue shirt - and handcuffs.
NEWS
December 17, 1993 | By Julia Cass, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The rate at which inmates are assaulted inside Pennsylvania's prisons is no higher than in the outside world, a researcher testified yesterday as the the state prisons trial continued in federal court. LeAnn Labecki, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Correction's office of planning, research and statistics, said that in 1992, two of every 1,000 inmates in the Pennsylvania system were the victims of a "major assault" by another inmate. The same rate was true using national statistics for aggravated assaults on the street, she said.
NEWS
February 2, 1993 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal prosecutor yesterday asked a U.S. District Court jury to convict seven former Graterford Prison guards for their roles in the revenge beatings of inmates who they mistakenly believed took part in the Camp Hill prison riots. Naming each of the seven former guards sitting behind her, Assistant U.S. Attorney Valli F. Baldassano told that the jurors the guards had taken "the law into their own hands. " "They charged the 19 inmates with a crime. They held court in the Old RHU (Restricted Housing Unit)
NEWS
January 15, 1993 | by Kathy Brennan, Daily News Staff Writer
A Graterford Prison guard captain ordered his men to beat 15 prisoners arriving from riot-torn Camp Hill prison, stun them with stun guns and run them into tables and chairs, a guard testified in federal court yesterday. James Kowalski, 28, said he was among the guards who obeyed orders by former Capt. Ronald Lucas to beat the prisoners. Some of the prisoners were injured and one, suffering from AIDS and diabetes, died about eight months later. Kowalski, who seemed slightly ill at ease, testified under a grant of immunity against seven former guards charged with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the prisoners and obstruct justice.
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