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)
June 25, 2014 |
Last of three parts During visiting time at the State Correctional Institution at Waymart, Pa., the wives and mothers who have been allowed into the prison nimbly feed money into vending machines that line a wall. The women quickly amass meals of fat and calories to present to their men during their four hours together. Along with their freedom, the inmates have lost the privilege of handling legal tender. Prisoners eat sitting side by side with women and children on hard, fixed chairs.
April 3, 2014 |
I APOLOGIZE to the corrections officers and supervisors who felt tainted by yesterday's story about Michael "Fat Mike" Davis, who died after an incident at the Philadelphia Detention Center. "The article made us all look like animals," said one of the prison employees who had spoken with my colleague Dana DiFilippo and me about inmate Davis, on the condition of anonymity. They said that Davis had been dragged, facedown, to the Detention Center's psych unit, suffering injuries that his family believes contributed to his death.
May 28, 2013
Roy Pinto, president of the union for Pennsylvania corrections officers, was incorrectly identified in an article in Monday's Inquirer. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357) at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101, or e-mail email@example.com .
April 26, 2013 |
Gloucester County is expanding its plan to outsource its entire inmate population beyond South Jersey. Some inmates could be shipped to the Essex County jail in Newark - about 90 miles northeast of the jail in Woodbury. The county Board of Freeholders voted unanimously Wednesday to enter into contracts with Cumberland, Salem, Burlington, and Essex Counties, to which Gloucester would ship its 270 adult male inmates starting June 1 at $100 an inmate. The controversial move drew scrutiny from Gloucester County corrections officers and beleaguered public defenders.
March 29, 2013 |
A fired Delaware County corrections officer filed a complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging rampant racism and illegal conduct at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Glen Mills. Victor McWilliams alleges in his nine-page complaint that the percentage of black corrections officers at the prison had plunged from about 90 percent in 2002 to less than 30 percent in 2012. "This statistical anomaly cannot be ignored for an employer of this size," the complaint states.
March 26, 2013 |
A Gloucester County plan to outsource its adult male inmate population to other counties - making it the only county in New Jersey without its own jail - has come under fire from public defenders who say they can't possibly provide adequate representation to clients housed in jails an hour or more away. The lawyers, like the Gloucester County corrections officers whose jobs are in limbo, say the plan was hatched in secrecy by the freeholder board without consulting them. The ACLU says the plan also violates moral and practical imperatives to keep inmates close to their families.
September 21, 2012 |
Officer Montess Trapp of the Upper Darby Police Department didn't think about what could happen to him as he raced into a burning home while on patrol five months ago. As Trapp arrived at the fire scene in April, the sound of a little girl screaming triggered his "instincts as a parent, instincts as a human," compelling him to run into the smoke-filled house on the 3800 block of Marshall Road and save the 4-year-old. Trapp and Officer Kelly Seace, who joined in the rescue, were among 45 police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers honored Thursday evening at the Awards of Valor Ceremony at the National Liberty Museum in Old City.