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NEWS
March 29, 2013 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the federal government can be sued for abuse claims against prison guards. The high court ruled for Kim Lee Millbrook, a prisoner at the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pa., who had accused prison guards of sexually assaulting him in May 2010. Prison officials said Millbrook's claim was unsubstantiated. Millbrook, a frequent litigant, is being held in a high-security federal prison designated as a Special Management Unit for violent and disruptive inmates, and does not have e-mail or phone privileges.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
Pennsylvania's prison halfway houses are a failure. More felons who spent time in halfway houses return to jail than among those released directly from prison to the streets. That stunning conclusion comes from Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, who gets points for having the vision to look for the system's flaws and try to fix them. Wetzel ordered an in-house study, which showed that 67 percent of inmates released from halfway houses wound up back in jail within three years, compared with 60 percent of inmates released directly from prisons.
NEWS
March 28, 2013 | By Sam Wood, PHILLY.COM
Two inmates at a federal penitentiary were charged today in orchestrating the sale of a large quantity of methamphetamine. Jose Cardenas-Covarrubias and Donaciano Contreras-Monje were prisoners at FCI McKean in Western Pennsylvania when they schemed to deliver the drugs from Oklahoma to Philadelphia, according to federal prosecutors. In December, Monje called codefendant Erika Garcia with information on how to contact two Philly drug dealers. In reality, the drug-dealers were undercover officers.
NEWS
March 21, 2013 | By Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - An al-Qaeda in Iraq front group claimed responsibility Wednesday for bloody attacks that killed 65 people across the country a day earlier, underscoring the terror group's potency a decade after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. On an extremist website, the Islamic State of Iraq said it unleashed the car bombs and other explosions to avenge the executions and "massacres" of convicted Sunni inmates in Iraqi prisons. It made no mention of the start of the war, but the claim of responsibility came 10 years after the U.S.-led war began March 20, 2003, with an air strike on Dora Farms in southern Baghdad in a failed attempt to kill Hussein.
NEWS
March 13, 2013 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania prison system is holding hundreds of mentally ill men and women in cruel, isolated, and torturous conditions that worsen their symptoms and can lead to suicide attempts, according to a lawsuit filed this week by a disability rights advocacy group. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania and seeking certification as a class action, says many mentally ill prisoners who are assigned to restrictive housing units spend from 23 to 24 hours a day in small, windowless cells that are lit around the clock, and have little contact with other people.
NEWS
March 12, 2013 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
HUNDREDS of mentally ill inmates in Pennsylvania languish for months and even years in isolated cells, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Monday that says the "Dickensian" practice only exacerbates their condition. The federal lawsuit accuses state prison officials of punishing the mentally ill for headbanging, hallucinations and other psychotic behaviors instead of getting them needed medical care. About one-third of the 2,400 inmates kept in restricted custody across the state suffer from serious mental-health problems, according to the suit.
NEWS
March 8, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I am in a county jail for parole violation, and I have been struck with some not-so-good news while here. On a recent visit with my parents, I learned that my mother, who suffers from a variety of health problems, can no longer work. My father, who must work to cover the cost of her medical care, has been diagnosed with liver cancer. I don't feel like I have come to terms with my father's illness. Although I know what is eventually to come, I have yet to feel any emotion, good or bad. I'm not sure if I'm blocking it or if I'm being the strong-willed adult I was raised to be by my father and best friend.
NEWS
February 28, 2013 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patrick Giblin pleaded for "one final chance" when he wrote to a federal judge in 2009 asking for a reduction in his prison sentence, so that he simply "could do the right thing. " "I will not let the court down," the self-professed gambling addict penned to U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler, who had sentenced Giblin to 15 years in 2007 after Giblin admitted that he had romanced women to scam thousands of dollars. Two years later, Giblin wrote that he had been a model inmate, ready for release and to observe rules and curfews.
NEWS
February 28, 2013
An inmate has killed a guard at a federal prison in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Prison officials say that Monday night at the Canaan penitentiary in Waymart, about 20 miles northeast of Scranton, Correctional Officer Eric Williams was working in a housing unit when an inmate attacked him with a homemade weapon. Williams was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. The Bureau of Prisons says Williams is the first federal corrections officer killed on the job in nearly five years.
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