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NEWS
November 25, 2012 | By Vicki Smith, Associated Press
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - For people behind bars in six Appalachian states, they are one of the few forms of escape - hundreds of used books, wrapped in brown paper and stacked thigh-high under a table, just waiting to be shipped. Parenting and self-help books. History and law. Dictionaries, biographies, and fiction. Whatever the subject, volunteers with the Appalachian Prison Book Project believe they hold the power to unlock worlds. From a small room in a historic house next to the Morgantown Public Library, they meticulously organize requests, exchanging letters to find just the right read and get permission from prison administrators while simultaneously scrambling to raise money for shipping.
NEWS
November 24, 2012
YORK, Pa. - A carbon monoxide leak at a central Pennsylvania prison appears to have been caused by a problem with the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system that serves the affected housing unit. York County Prison in Springettsbury Township sent 49 female inmates to hospitals late Wednesday and early Thursday. County officials said in a statement that all 49 had been returned to prison by late Thursday afternoon. County Commissioner Doug Hoke said it was an "unfortunate situation" but "could have been a disaster.
NEWS
November 9, 2012 | By Jonathan Lai, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Death-row inmate Hubert L. Michael Jr. has been informed that his life has been spared, for at least two weeks, by the U.S. Supreme Court, authorities said. Michael, the convicted murderer of a 16-year-old girl, was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at 7 p.m. in a central Pennsylvania prison near State College. But six hours before he was to be executed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit granted a stay. The state then filed its own appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the execution to continue.
NEWS
November 9, 2012 | Associated Press
COLUMBUS, OHIO - A doctor says the veins of an obese Ohio inmate condemned to die are inaccessible and questions whether he could be injected with lethal drugs. Ohio State medical center anesthesiologist Sergio Bergese said veins on inmate Ronald Post's forearms are inaccessible from scarring from a suicide attempt. Bergese also said in a Thursday court filing that he could not find veins in Post's hands, and said it's unlikely Post could be injected in his legs because of his weight.
NEWS
November 2, 2012 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer
FOR MOST PEOPLE, a power outage resulting from Hurricane Sandy was a big bother. For four Philadelphia prison inmates, it was a blessing. The quartet used a 10-minute outage Sunday night at the Community Education Center's Hoffman Hall in North Philadelphia to sneak out an unlocked door and escape. Police on Thursday were still seeking the four and urge anyone who sees them to call their local police station or 9-1-1. Rafael Zayas, 34; Robert Collins, 22; James Foulk, 25; and Erik Gomez, 27, were "low-custody" inmates at the hall, the city's only subcontracted jail, prisons spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
HARRISBURG - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on Wednesday was sent to serve his child-molestation prison sentence at an institution in far southwestern Pennsylvania that includes most of the state's death row inmates. The Corrections Department said that Sandusky was transferred to Greene State Prison after being evaluated at a facility outside Harrisburg. Prison officials said he will be housed in protective custody. "We make individual decisions based on facts," Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in a written statement.
NEWS
October 26, 2012 | By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press
HARRISBURG - Lawyers for a death-row inmate who could be the first person executed in Pennsylvania since 1999 asked a federal judge this week to reopen the case and stop the plans to put him to death in two weeks. Hubert Lester Michael Jr. pleaded guilty to the July 1993 murder of Trista Elizabeth Eng, 16, after kidnapping her in northern York County, about a half-hour south of Harrisburg. Michael, 56, has repeatedly changed his mind about pursuing appeals. His lawyers said he suffers from mental-health problems that were aggravated by life inside Graterford Prison, and have gotten better since he was transferred to the state prison in Greene County.
NEWS
October 26, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett signed into law Thursday sweeping prison reform legislation aimed at reducing recidivism and lowering the skyrocketing cost of housing the state's inmates. "It's about time we started thinking a little smarter about how we incarcerate people," Corbett said at a news conference. "The answer isn't always building new prisons. " At the heart of the plan, which received bipartisan support in the legislature, is an effort to move inmates out of state prisons where costs are the highest and to help them become productive members of society.
NEWS
October 13, 2012
An 27-year-old inmate at the federal prison at Fort Dix was sentenced to 10 more years behind bars for pushing a fellow prisoner down a stairwell, killing him. David Besaw, originally convicted in 2010 of possessing child pornography, had been slated to be released in January until he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in federal court in Camden in April. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which announced the sentencing, Besaw, of Newington, Conn., pushed an inmate identified only as F.F. down a stairwell after an argument on Nov. 4, 2010.
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