14 inmates file law suit

14 inmates file lawsuit charging inhumane conditions at Somers prison
Fourteen inmates at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers have filed a lawsuit against the state claiming unfair treatment and poor conditions in prison.
The lawsuit, filed last month in Hartford Superior Court, says the prison has bad water, poor air circulation, inadequate recreational time and facilities, and multiple fire code violations in addition to allegations of cruel punishment.

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Correction Department Spokesman Brian Garnett countered, however, that the state’s prisons “are operated in a safe, secure and human manner.”

Garnett said he could not comment directly on the lawsuit because it is a policy to not comment on pending litigation.

Correction Department Deputy Warden Anne Cournoyer wrote in an e-mail that the department and the attorney general’s office “are reviewing the allegations set forth in the lawsuit filed by offenders housed at Osborn Correctional Institution. Upon completion of this review, we will file our response to the allegations to the Superior Court within the required timeframes.”

One of the inmates, Keith Johnson, is acting as the group’s lawyer. He is serving a 16-year sentence at Osborn for burglary and robbery.

Larry Dorman, spokesman for Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, a union representing Correction Department workers, said the number of inmates housed in the state’s prisons is too high for the inmates and the guards working there.
The lawsuit draws attention to the understaffing several times.

“Prison overcrowding is an issue and it’s going to continue to be an issue,” Dorman said.

The lawsuit says the shower facilities are in terrible condition, with clogged drains causing several inches of water to accumulate. It also says there is mold and fungus growing in the corners, and that guards do not monitor the shower facilities.

Osborn is a Level 3 facility, housing medium-security risk inmates. The department said there are 2,052 inmates there.
The lawsuit says that many inmates are housed in the gym, and sleep on the gym floor, which Garnett confirmed.

“Even when we place offenders in alternative housing it is done in a safe, secure, and humane manner,” Garnett said.

According to the lawsuit, there are many missing windows throughout the facility and a lack of screens, which allow birds and insects to go in and out regularly. It also claims that staff keeps the windows open during cold months to punish the inmates.

The lawsuit further claims the dining facilities are infested with insects and birds, and that medical care waiting time is excessive due to understaffing.
Garnett would not say whether the issues laid out in the lawsuit could be attributed to overcrowding.

“The governor has been very helpful, as has the legislature, in concentrating on this to assist us in ensuring that we can handle the population sent to us by the courts,” Garnett said.





 Feds: Prison Guard Had Sex With Inmate

 DANBURY, Conn. — A 38-year-old male prison guard is accused of engaging in a sex act with a female inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury. U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor said that Michael Rudkin, of Brewster, N.Y., has been charged with sexual abuse of a ward, a federal crime that carries up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Authorities said Rudkin admitted he received oral sex from the inmate once in November in a bathroom at the women’s prison. A Department of Justice investigation report says the admission came after a sample provided by the inmate tested positive for semen.

Justice Department agents arrested Rudkin at the prison Tuesday and a U.S. magistrate ordered him detained. He appeared at a bond hearing Friday in Bridgeport federal court and agreed to the detention order.




Date Posted: 16:13:01 08/13/07 Mon

Suspended Veteran Connecticut Correctional Officer Kenneth Turnbull With 5 Protective Orders Against Him Charged In Fight Over Beer In Refrigerator
ENFIELD, CONNECTICUT — A correctional officer familiar to police faces assault charges after a fight.

Enfield police told Eyewitness News the officer, Kenneth Turnbull, has five protective orders out against him.

“This whole dispute started over who was taking whose beer out of the refrigerator,” Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said.

Enfield police said Turnbull, who works at one of the prisons in town, escalated a fight on July 17 at his West Street home by almost choking his roommate to the point that he passed out. Police arrested on Turnbull on Thursday night.

“It’s alleged that he had a second person helping him with this assault,” Sferrazza said. “This person had a black mask on. We haven’t identified who this second person is.”

Turnbull has been a corrections officer in the state for more than 15 years. The state Department of Correction said Turnbull has been on paid administrative leave all year because of a variety of problems he has had with the criminal justice system.

Turnbull bonded out of court on Friday on the latest charges against him. No one answered the phone when Eyewitness News called Turnbull’s home.


Date Posted: 17:11:21 07/26/07 Thu

Former Connecticut State Corrections Officer Anthony Erodici Faces Drug Charges
BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT — A former state corrections officer faces as much as 19 years in prison as well as forfeiture of $85,000 for allowing a drug dealer to store cocaine on his property.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Felice Duffy accused the former prison guard, Anthony Erodici, 37, of Goldenrod Avenue, of being untruthful to the U.S. Probation Office and using cocaine at least once while free on bond.

She filed court papers urging Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas to impose a prison term within the federal sentencing guideline recommendation of 188 to 235 months.

Meanwhile, Nevas postponed Erodici’s scheduled sentencing Tuesday at the request of Jonathan Einhorn, Erodici’s lawyer. Einhorn sought a delay because of family commitments. The judge has not yet set a new date.

The defense is seeking a sentence of no more than 87 months in prison.

Duffy plans to call Juan Marrero, who stored cocaine on Erodici’s property in exchange for drugs, to testify at the sentencing. Marrero, who is awaiting sentencing after admitting his role in the drug trafficking conspiracy, has been cooperating with the prosecution.

It was Marrero who told the FBI that one of his customers, Shawn Fardy, shared cocaine with Mayor John M. Fabrizi. That led to Fabrizi publicly admitting he had a substance abuse problem. Marrero is expected to testify that Erodici packaged cocaine for resale and delivered it.

Erodici lost his job as a corrections officer because of the conviction. He is now working as a plumber.

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