August 4, 2016
A man who had been arrested for unrelated drug offenses has been charged with smuggling heroin into the Chester County Prison by hiding it in his dreadlocks, the District Attorney's Office said Tuesday. Jarrett Christopher Mason, 27, of Philadelphia, hid heroin in his hair when he was arrested in Phoenixville on July 15, according to county prosecutors. He then was transferred to the county prison. On July 19, another inmate said Mason was distributing heroin in the prison. When correctional officers told Mason to squat and cough, a bag of heroin fell from his rectum, according to the criminal complaint.
July 23, 2016 |
A former Philadelphia prison guard charged last year in an FBI sting that also ensnared five of his colleagues was ordered Thursday to spend four years and two months in prison for attempting to smuggle drugs and other contraband into a city jail. John Wesley Herder, 50, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to federal counts of attempted extortion, attempted drug distribution, and making false statements to the FBI in January. At the time, he told U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney that he accepted a bribe of $1,000 in 2013 to sneak OxyContin pills and a cellphone into the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
July 8, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - The question for convicted murderer Arthur Johnson seemed simple: Could he explain what his days are like, from the moment he wakes to the time he drifts off to sleep, in the 7-by-12-foot prison cell where he has spent nearly 37 years in solitary confinement? His response was an unstoppable, eight-minute soliloquy about despair and mistrust and lessons learned on the street, the words spilling from his mouth in a crush of thoughts as he tried to convince a federal judge on Wednesday that nearly four decades is enough time for any one person to spend alone.
February 13, 2016 |
The first of six Philadelphia prison guards to face sentencing since being ensnared in an FBI sting was ordered Thursday to spend four years in prison for smuggling drugs and other contraband into a city jail. George Kindle, 29, pleaded guilty to federal counts of attempted extortion and attempted drug distribution in November. At the time, he told U.S. District Judge John R. Padova that he accepted two bribes of $1,000, within weeks of each other, to sneak OxyContin pills and cellphones into the House of Correction in Holmesburg.
January 23, 2016
An inmate died Thursday after a New Jersey Department of Corrections van struck a flatbed truck in Cumberland County, state police said. The crash occurred around 1:45 p.m. in the southbound lane of State Highway 55 in Millville. The van, from Bayside State Prison, was carrying two corrections officers and two inmates, including the one who was killed. The other inmate was taken to Inspira Medical Center in Vineland and remained hospitalized late Thursday afternoon. The officers were taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, state police said.
December 11, 2015 |
A 23-year-old police officer's son on Wednesday became the third of six Philadelphia prison guards charged in an FBI sting to admit he smuggled drugs and other contraband to inmates in city jails. With tears streaming down his face, Marc Thompson, formerly employed at the House of Correction in Holmesburg, pleaded guilty to one federal count each of attempted extortion and attempted drug distribution. He told U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney that he accepted a $1,500 bribe to sneak a cellphone, a charger, and 100 OxyContin pills to an inmate who unbeknownst to him was working with the FBI. Thompson faces up to 40 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for March.
November 23, 2015 |
After inmates at the Camden County Jail complained that corrections officers had stomped on or torn apart personal photos during routine cell searches in November 2014, the internal affairs unit launched an investigation. One of the officers involved in the shakedown then pointed to an even larger problem: Other officers, he said, were smuggling cellphones into the jail for personal use. What investigators discovered next was shocking. A group of white officers, for months, had exchanged racial, homophobic, and anti-Semitic slurs in group text messages.
November 14, 2015 |
The first of six Philadelphia prison guards ensnared in an FBI sting pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court. George Kindle, 29, admitted that he smuggled drugs and a cellphone into the House of Corrections for prisoners. In exchange, Kindle, who spent seven years as a Philadelphia corrections officer, received payments that totaled $2,000. The prisoners, however, were working with the FBI. Kindle pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted extortion and attempted distribution of controlled substances.
April 13, 2015 |
Burlington County has violated a New Jersey law that prohibits strip searches in minor-offense cases unless there is a reasonable suspicion that weapons, drugs, or other contraband are being concealed, a federal judge decided last month in a case filed seven years ago, before the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the issue. Now, more than 10,000 detainees who were strip-searched at Burlington's jails over the years - despite minor offenses such as failure to pay traffic fines or child support - are expected to be certified as a class and may qualify for damages that could total millions.
February 14, 2015 |
TRENTON - A New Jersey lawmaker wants to restrict the use of solitary confinement in the state's jails, warning the practice has "grave consequences" for the safety of inmates and officers. There's just one problem: The Department of Corrections and the unions representing officers say they don't use solitary confinement. A disagreement over semantics dominated an hours-long hearing Thursday held by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, which took testimony on the bill but did not vote on it. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D., Union)