N.J. corrections officer pleads guilty to smuggling drugs to inmate

TRENTON — A corrections officer pleaded guilty today to smuggling cocaine and a syringe to an inmate in Southern State Correctional Facility.

Roy Solomon, 33, of Lower Township in Cape May County admitted to official misconduct, which could land him in prison for five years.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 13.

Neither the Department of Corrections nor the Division of Criminal Justice would identify the inmate Solomon smuggled the contraband for last year.

Peter Aseltine, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office, said the inmate has not been charged.

He would not comment on how the drugs or syringe were brought into the prison, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Solomon started working at Southern State in March 2001 and has been suspended without pay since April 2009.

The prison, which holds about 2,000 inmates in dormitory-style housing, is a medium-security prison located in Delmont in Cumberland County.

Corrections spokeswoman Danielle Hunter declined to comment on the investigation.

Last year the department fired 78 officers for infractions including possessing drugs and failing drug tests, as well as for simply not showing up to work, according to records and officials

source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/nj_corrections_officer_pleads.html

NJ prison worker accused of having sex with inmate

RAHWAY, N.J. – A New Jersey prison employee is behind bars, charged with having sex with an inmate.

Michael Hawthorne has taught inmates cooking skills at East Jersey State Prison in Rahway since 2001. That’s the same prison where inmates have conducted the “Scared Straight” program for youngsters since 1976.

Hawthorne is accused of having a sexual relationship with the 28-year-old inmate in April and May and giving him a cell phone.

The 45-year-old Newark resident is suspended without pay and held on $100,000 bail.

Individuals in an official or supervisory capacity are prohibited from engaging in sexual activity with prisoners in New Jersey.

source: http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/state/new_jersey/20090529_ap_njprisonworkeraccusedofhavingsexwithinmate.html

2nd Morris corrections officer arrested, this one sought cash for special treatment

A Morris County corrections officer has been charged with official misconduct for giving special treatment to a jail inmate in return for money.

Lee C. Maimone, 42, of Mount Olive, was charged with second-degree official misconduct for allegedly providing “unauthorized treatment” to the inmate in return for approximately $60,000. Continue reading

Corrections officer commits homicide, suicide and dogicide

PEMBERTON TWP. — A 15-year veteran corrections officer at New Jersey State Prison shot and

killed his wife, then his dog and then himself Wednesday inside their home here in the Browns Mills section.

Police identified him as Victor Segui-Cordero, 59. His wife was named Nelda Segui, also 59. Their

bodies were found by their son, Erick X. Segui of Browns Mills, who called police to their home in the

300 block of Lakeview Boulevard at 9:25 p.m.

“The preliminary police investigation revealed that Victor Segui-Cordero shot his wife and the family

dog then turned the gun on himself,” township police Detective Lt. Ronald Kreig said. “The weapon

and a handwritten note were collected at the scene confirming what had taken place.”

Authorities wouldn’t comment on the contents of the suicide note. Locals contacted Wednesday night

said they didn’t know happened but assumed a major homicide investigation was under way.

“There’s so many police cars over there and helicopters in the sky,” a woman who lives around the

block on Auburn Avenue said an hour after police converged here to probe the homicide-suicide.

“I’m just sad something like this happened. This is really scary. This is a really quiet neighborhood. You

have kids stealing bikes and stuff like that, but nothing like this.”

Authorities wouldn’t discuss why Segui-Cordero went on his rampage. “We’re not aware of any

difficulty he had,” said Deirdre Fedkenheuer, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of

Corrections. “It’s just a tragic situation.”

She said Segui-Cordero earned $72,000 as a senior corrections officer. He first started in state employ

as a human services assistant April 6, 1992, and came to the DOC on Oct. 2, 1993, as a corrections

officer recruit.

His union, PBA Local 105, had no comment, but a member who answered the phone yesterday said,

“It’s kind of tough to talk about it. The family is still grieving right now.”

According to

reunion.com, Victor Segui-Cordero previously lived in Silver Spring, Md., Yukon,Okla., and Trenton, before buying the house in Browns Mills in 1998.

source: http://www.trentonian.com/articles/2008/10/24/news/doc49014db160b58991872612.txt

Hudson County corrections officer gets 5 years for trying to smuggle drugs into jail

A former Hudson County corrections officer was sentenced to five years in prison this morning after pleading guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute for attempting to smuggle marijuana and heroin into the county jail.

“I’m just very sorry,” said Mark Anthony Figueroa, 32, of Bayonne, before being sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan, who snapped back, “Very sorry? You ruined your life . . . You took an oath.”

After the sentencing one of Figueroa’s family members began hyperventilating and had to be held up by two people in the courthouse hallway as she repeated, “I hate you. I hate you,” but seemed to switch to “I love you.”

Callahan said he would have sentenced Figueroa to 20 years in prison if he had been convicted on all the charges he originally faced, which included seven drug counts, attempted official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

Figueroa, who was arrested in October near Lincoln Park, eventually struck a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty in July to drug possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Pete Stoma said.

The corrections officer allegedly bought marijuana from an undercover detective and it was believed the pot was to be smuggled into the Hudson County jail in Kearny, officials said. After the arrest, police recovered the marijuana, as well as additional pot in a blue balloon and three glassine envelopes containing heroin, officials said.

Figueroa’s 6-year-old child was with him when he made the drug deal, officials said. As part of the sentence, Figueroa can never again hold public employment.

“He was the bread winner for his family and he really did a remarkably stupid thing,” said Figueroa’s attorney, Dennis McAlevy. “He has forfeited his job and all the perks that go with it. He has dishonored his shield and his job.”

But McAlevy did ask Callahan to be as lenient as he could, saying “I think my client is for the most part a good family person.”

Stoma asked the judge to “send a message to anyone else who might consider doing what Mr. Figueroa did.”

Figueroa was led from the defense table in handcuffs. For his own safety, Callahan ordered that Figueroa be housed some place other than in the Hudson County jail until he is transferred to state prison.

Callahan’s sentence does not include a minimum amount of time Figueroa must serve before becoming eligible for parole.



Drug-dealing corrections officer to be sentenced Thursday

Mark Anthony Figueroa


A Hudson County Department of Corrections officer faces up to five years in prison and will be barred forever from public employment when he is sentenced Thursday for dealing drugs, officials said.

Mark Anthony Figueroa, 32, of Bayonne, will be sentenced at 9 a.m. by Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan under a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said.

Figueroa, who was arrested in October, faces up to five years in prison, with no minimum amount of time he must serve before becoming eligible for parole, DeFazio said. Figueroa pleaded guilty on July 8.

The corrections officer allegedly bought marijuana from an undercover detective and it was believed the pot was to be smuggled into the Hudson County jail in Kearny, officials said at the time. Police also found additional pot in a blue balloon, as well as three glassine envelopes containing heroin, officials said.

Figueroa was originally charged with six more drug counts, officials said, as well as endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse, for allegedly having his 6-year-old child with him when he made the drug deal.

Figueroa had been a county corrections officer seven years, Hudson County Department of Corrections Director Oscar Aviles said at the time.



2 employees admit smuggling contraband into Union County jail

A janitor and a corrections officer have admitted in an Elizabeth courtroom that they smuggled cigarettes into the Union County jail for inmates.

The janitor, Joseph Pecoraro, 37, also admitted Tuesday to supplying a cell phone to one inmate, convicted murderer Jeremy Watson.

As part of a plea bargain with county prosecutors, corrections officer Stephen Matthews and Pecoraro will get probation, lose their jobs and be banned from working in the public sector.

The conspiracy to smuggle the contraband into the jail began in April 2007. Investigators caught the men through surveillance and intense monitoring, Assistant Union County Prosecutor William Kolano said.

What the investigation revealed was an operation where Matthews, a corrections officer for 17 years and Pecoraro, a county employee for nine years, were accepting bribes in exchange for inmate access to the tobacco and the cell phone.

Watson was allegedly the point man inside the jail, according to the indictment handed down in March. The indictment said Watson’s girlfriend paid $560 in bribes to Matthews and $200 to Pecoraro on “numerous” occasions.

source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/08/2_union_county_employees_admit.html

Officer left gun behind?

VINELAND – A report that a female Cumberland County corrections officer allegedly left her gun in a public restroom at South Jersey Healthcare-Regional Medical Center on Sunday night is being investigated by the county Department of Corrections

Cumberland County Jail Warden Glenn Saunders said he could not confirm that the incident really occurred or disclose the name of the officer involved.

“We got the same complaint that you did,” Saunders said. “It is being investigated. I can’t say anything more than that. By statute, I am not allowed to disclose personnel information.”

source: http://www.nj.com/bridgeton/index.ssf?/base/news-15/1219122626111420.xml&coll=10

New Jersey Corrections Officer Charged With Drug Trafficking

NEWARK, N.J. — A veteran Newark prison guard was charged with leading a half million dollar drug ring that bought cocaine in Texas and Florida and distributed it in New Jersey, authorities said Thursday.

 Officials said they began investigating senior corrections officer Eugene Braswell last August when outside his Newark home he fatally shot a former inmate paroled from Northern State Prison.

 Braswell, 29, had worked at Northern State but there is no evidence that he had sold drugs there, authorities said

The dead parolee, Waliford Williams, 34, had served time for drug dealing and had allegedly shot Braswell in the ankle as he sat on his porch, authorities said. Braswell, a prison guard for the past decade, returned fire and fatally struck Williams twice, once in the neck, officials said.

 Braswell and three alleged accomplices were arrested Thursday while two others had been picked up earlier in the month, officials said.

 A search of his home and car found $16,000 in cash and a .357 magnum, authorities said.

 “This was a lengthy and diligent investigation that began as a result of the shooting incident last summer involving a state correction officer who was sworn to uphold the law but instead broke the law by running a massive and illegal drug trafficking operation,’’ Attorney General Anne Milgram said.

 Braswell has been charged with leading a narcotics network, other drug charges, money laundering and conspiracy. Bail was set at $500,000.

source: http://www.wnbc.com/news/16980785/detail.html

NJ corrections officers in ‘Shawshank’ escape keep jobs

ELIZABETH — A spokesman for a corrections officers union says the workers who were on the job during a daring inmate escape from the Union County Jail in
Elizabeth won’t lose their positions.

Jim Roche is a spokesman for the Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 199. He told The Star-Ledger of Newark on Tuesday that the five corrections officers and supervisors will be suspended for six months, but won’t be fired.

All five were on duty in December, when authorities say Otis Blunt and Jose Espinosa broke out in an escape that drew comparisons to the movie “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Another guard on duty, Rudolph Zurick, committed suicide two weeks after the escape.

Authorities say Blunt and Espinosa squeezed through a hole they had dug through a cinder block cell wall. They had covered the hole with a pinup photo, a ploy similar to one depicted in the movie.

Both were eventually recaptured.

source: http://app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080603/NEWS/80603081

Prison guard charged with accepting bribes

A state corrections officer has been accused of accepting more than $1,000 from relatives of an inmate to smuggle cigarettes and liquor inside a state prison and turn them over to the inmate.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office last month charged Senior Officer Andrea L. Grice, 36, of Ewing with official misconduct and bribery, alleging he took part in the bribery scheme uncovered after a month-long investigation by the Department of Corrections, according to a news release.

She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.

Grice, a nine-year veteran making $64,700 a year, worked at the Central Reception and Assignment Facility in Trenton, where newly admitted inmates are taken so officials can determine where they should serve their sentence.

She could not be reached for comment today.

Grice was arrested on May 20 by members of the prosecutor’s governmental corruption unit and prison system’s special investigations division. “The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are imminent,” Senior Assistant Prosecutor Paul Di Lella said in the release.

source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/06/prison_guard_charged_with_acce.html

$60G spent in failed bid to fire guard (lol)

Monmouth County government spent thousands in legal fees on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department in a failed effort to fire a jail guard over an incident involving a sandwich.

The guard eventually resigned but received back wages for the time missed from work during the legal fight over the sandwich, and a portion of the guard’s own legal expenses also were paid by the county. The total county tab was more than $60,000.

The grounds for dismissal were linked to a late evening incident at a convenience store in Belmar. The guard, who was off duty, ordered a sandwich and ate a pack of cupcakes, but found he didn’t have money to pay. He left a form of identification at the store and returned the next day with payment. Police were not called, and no police report was filed.

However, the Sheriff’s Department learned of the incident and began procedures to fire the guard, who had a previous conviction for drunken driving.

An administrative law judge who heard the case questioned the need for the extensive litigation.

“The only reason this matter found its way into the administrative disciplinary process is the county’s vigorous effort to put it there,” Judge Joseph Lavery wrote in his decision. The judge also noted the county’s “aggressive effort to enhance the facts surrounding so minor a happening.”

The elected county freeholders have yet to publicly discuss this case at their twice-monthly meetings, and it’s unclear how many similar cases the county pursued during 2007.

The county’s legal fees totaled $2.8 million in 2007, about 30 percent over budget.

James Keegan, the guard, resigned Feb. 3, according to Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cynthia Scott. The department initially fired Keegan on Feb. 17, 2007, but he was reinstated by the state Merit System Board on Judge Lavery’s recommendation in January 2008.

Keegan, who could not be reached for comment, had faced earlier discipline from the Sheriff’s Department, being accused in September 2006 of prohibited behavior outside the job resulting from charges in Belmar of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated and refusing a Breathalyzer test. Keegan agreed to a 120-day job suspension and inpatient alcohol treatment at his expense.

Keegan was charged with DWI again this year in Wall, where a municipal court hearing in that case has been scheduled for Tuesday. It was this brush with the law that prompted Keegan to resign from his job as part of an agreement with the county, according to county officials.

But the county, which paid $17,000 to its own lawyers, agreed to pay $40,000 to Keegan in back pay for time missed from work during the administrative hearing process and more than $5,000 to Keegan’s own lawyer, according to records.

Robert J. Hrebek, Wall, a former assistant Monmouth County counsel, said the case is an example of the need for tighter controls over the county’s legal spending.

“This case cost the county unnecessary legal fees, since it never should have been brought in the first place. There is just no way that an administrative law judge is likely to take a law enforcement officer’s job over such an extremely minor incident, despite a past disciplinary record, and someone should have told that to the sheriff,” Hrebek said.

The lead county attorney for the case was Matthew J. Giacobbe of the Scarinci and Hollenbeck law firm. Another member of the firm, Parthenophy A. Bardis, argued the case in the administrative law court.

The same firm is now the employer of former Monmouth County Sheriff Joseph W. Oxley, who was in office when the department tried to fire the guard.

County Administrator Robert Czech said it was jail Warden William Fraser, rather than Oxley, who pushed for Keegan’s removal.

“I disagree with Judge Lavery’s decision on this matter, because there was a prior history here, and ultimately there was a subsequent incident that we feel reconfirmed our position,” Czech said.

Oxley did not run for re-election for sheriff and completed his term in December. He joined Giacobbe at the Scarinci and Hollenbeck firm in January.

Oxley and Giacobbe could not be reached for comment.

For 2007, Giacobbe billed the county a total of $314,000, the highest of 20 outside lawyers. In 2006, Giacobbe worked on a report that argued against ending the county’s practice of relying exclusively on outside attorneys for legal advice, being paid $53,000 for that work alone.

Oxley is in line to become the county Republican Party chairman. He is unopposed in the vote by party leaders that will take place June 10.

If Oxley lands the influential post, Giacobbe will not seek reappointment as assistant county counsel, according to Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry.

Giacobbe wants to avoid a potential conflict of interest, Burry said.

source: http://app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080601/NEWS/806010418&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL

Salem Co. officer gets five years for official misconduct

SALEM — A former Salem County corrections officer was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate last year while she was on duty.

Kimberly Miller, who was 36 at the time of her indictment in November, was sentenced on one count of second degree official misconduct and one count of third degree pattern of official misconduct.

Authorities say the relationship occurred between March and August of last year.

Miller was also found to have provided the male inmate contraband items such as cigarettes and pain killers during their six-month tryst in the confines of the Salem County Correctional Facility.

The Woodstown resident had pleaded guilty to the charges on Jan. 14, court records indicate.
Attorney Tim Quinlan said on her behalf that she was a depressed woman who did not deserve the full weight of the 10-15 years she could have received for the crime.

“These are criminal acts motivated by loneliness, and actuated by a need for love,” Quinlan said
With tears rolling down her cheeks, Miller was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Her only words before Judge William Forester were “I’m sorry.” She was barred by the judge from ever holding a public office again.

In the hallway, her mother, Barbara Miller, fumbled through her purse for half a dozen prescription medications Miller needed. Visibly shaken, she said that her daughter just had abdominal surgery last week.

“This is so unfair. You could get less time if you kill someone,” Barbara Miller said.

Judge William Forester waived the parole ineligibility which typically follows the statute for official misconduct.

Quinlan said that his client could be out of prison in about 18 months.

Miller had been a corrections officer at the county jail in Mannington Township for the past four years prior to her Aug. 14, 2007 arrest.

Officials say the prisoner involved was a county inmate, but would not reveal his identity. The facility holds state and federal prisoners as well.

source: http://www.nj.com/southjersey/index.ssf/2008/05/officer_gets_five_years_for_of.html


NJDOC investigates fistfight between two corrections officers

BRIDGETON — The state Department of Corrections is investigating allegations of a fistfight which took place last week at South Woods State Prison between two lieutenants.

According to DOC Spokesman Matt Schuman, sometime after 2 p.m. on May 15, two corrections officers got into a fight.

“There were no witnesses. No one saw the fight. There’s not much else to say. The incident’s still being investigated,” he said.

No one was seriously injured in the incident. Both lieutenants had been suspended with pay until Tuesday, when their status switched to suspended without pay, pending outcome of the investigation, Schuman said.

The names of the lieutenants are not being released by the DOC.

“I’m not sure how serious an incident it was,” Schuman said, adding that he was unaware how the incident came to the attention of the DOC.

SOURCE: http://www.nj.com/southjersey/index.ssf/2008/05/njdoc_investigates_fistfight_b.html


Corrections officer robbed of service weapon in Newark

Four men armed with handguns robbed a corrections officer, taking the officer’s service weapon, in Newark just before midnight Tuesday, city police said.

The officer, whose name and gender were withheld, escaped injury, Detective Todd McClendon said. The thieves remained at large early this morning.

McClendon did not say for whom the officer works.

A broadcast report gave the robbery location as South Orange Avenue near Grove Street, but McClendon did not confirm that information.

Additional details, including whether anything besides the officer’s weapon was taken, were not immediately available.

source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/05/corrections_officer_robbed_of.html

Ex-corrections officer gets 3 years for criminal sexual contact

FLEMINGTON —A former county corrections officer was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison on charges of official misconduct and criminal sexual contact.


Marc Jenkins

(Scott E. Nodes / Hunterdon County)

Marc Jenkins, 36, was sentenced by Judge Roger Mahon in Superior Court in Flemington to three years in state prison on two counts of second-degree official misconduct, and nine months on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, to run concurrently. The charges involved one female co-worker and two female inmates at Hunterdon County Jail while Jenkins was on duty.

Two counts of second-degree sexual assault were dropped when Jenkins pleaded guilty in March to the other charges, avoiding required registration under Megan’s Law.

Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Solari referred to letters submitted by victims and their families about their suffering, including one victim who sent a letter rather than having to face the defendant in person.

Solari commented on the defendant’s lack of prior criminal record, but took exception to letters filed on his behalf begging leniency, claiming it was not possible for Jenkins to have committed such acts.

“They were not here when the defendant pleaded guilty,” Solari said. “This could not be an aberration with three victims and two separate indictments.”

Jenkins sat quietly in a dark suit as Solari described his letter to victims claiming he was “not a street thug” as arrogant, noting that the victims still suffered under his intimidation.

“I submit to your honor that the defendant may not be a street thug, but he should have known better,” Solari said.

Defense attorney Paul M. Uhlik disputed Solari’s claim of arrogance.

“He’s been humilIated, he understands what he’s done, and he’s forfeited a promising career in law enforcement,” Uhlik said.

Jenkins stood to apologize to victims, family and friends.

“Your honor, I’m at your mercy,” Jenkins said. “I apologize for the pain I caused.”

Judge Mahon then read Jenkins his sentence, refusing his request to serve his time at the county jail.

“I’m satisfied,” Solari said. “On the day of the trial he pleaded guilty. I thought he should not get his request to serve in the county jail, and the judge agreed.”

“I think it’s an unfortunate situation,” Uhlik said. “He regrets what he has done, and he’ll live with it for the rest of his life. He wants to pay his debt to society and move on.”
source: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080523/NEWS/80523030&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL


Officer admits submitting fake degree

A New Jersey state corrections officer from Lawrence has pleaded guilty to two charges in New York City for submitting a fake college degree in his application to become a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

Martin Burch, 33, pleaded guilty to offering a false instrument for filing, a misdemeanor, and a related disorderly conduct violation Tues day in Kings County criminal court in Brooklyn

His sentencing is scheduled for August, but if he completes community service before then, the misdemeanor will be vacated and he will have no veritable criminal record, officials said.

Burch is also a volunteer firefighter with the Lawrence Road Fire Co. in Lawrence. Burch re mains a state corrections officer, assigned to New Jersey State Prison, in Trenton, making about $45,500 annually, the state Department of Corrections said yesterday.

Burch’s lawyer, James M. Ke neally, declined to discuss the case in detail yesterday.

In October, Burch was charged with four crimes, two of which were felonies, in connection with his FDNY application. He was indicted in December. The two felonies were dismissed.

Burch was one of six FDNY candidates charged criminally by the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) in a probe into the educational degrees of firefighters and recruits.

Specifically, Burch submitted an associate degree in fire science from “Belford University” in his ap plication for a firefighter position. The DOI reported it found Burch did not take any courses and did not earn the 70 credits he put on his FDNY documents.

Belford is not an accredited university, has no campus and is basically an online service where people can pay for a degree by using their “life experience.”

source: http://www.nj.com/timesoftrenton/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-4/121021959590540.xml&coll=5#continue

Steroids swiped from Bergen detention center

Four boxes of human growth hormone have gone missing from Bergen County’s juvenile detention center in Paramus, but county officials are saying little about it.

Employees of the juvenile detention facility reported the steroids — valued at $2,500 — missing last month from a refrigerator inside the lockup.
“We have police investigating the matter,” county spokesman Brian Hague said today. The drugs have not been recovered, Hague said.

County officials have declined to release the county police report of the incident, despite a public-records request. Officials cited an “ongoing criminal investigation” as the reason, as well as health privacy concerns.

Hague also declined to say whether the human growth hormone was kept under lock at the East Ridgewood Avenue jail — and, if so, how many employees have access to the keys.

County police responded to a call of “possible theft” at the juvenile detention facility on the morning of March 28, when employees found the drugs missing, officials said.

Employees told police that four boxes — about 28 doses — of Humatrope, a brand name injectable human growth hormone, had disappeared. The medication was being used for an inmate’s medical condition.

Human growth hormone is a natural substance that fuels growth during childhood and helps maintain tissues and organs in adulthood. It is also sold as a prescription drug for short children whose.

The use of human growth hormone, or HGH, among athletes was a key finding in former Sen. George Mitchell’s report for Major League Baseball, which was released on Dec. 13.

The report said that players who used it believed it helped them recover from injuries and fatigue. They also believed it made them stronger.

source: http://www.northjersey.com/news/aroundnj/Steroid_stolen_from_Bergen_detention_center.html

Man is fatally shot by corrections officer outside Irvington bar

An off-duty Essex County corrections officer shot and killed a man early today outside an Irvington go-go bar after the victim fired a handgun during a dispute that had spilled onto the sidewalk, police said.

Clarence Harris, 36, of Newark, was killed at about 1:40 a.m. on Lyons Avenue during a fight with two other men, police said. The corrections officer, who has not been identified, told investigators he fired several shots after Harris refused to drop his weapon, police said.

Harris was taken to University Hospital. The corrections officer surrendered his weapon to investigators when they arrived at the scene, police said.

The dispute started inside Florian and Bob’s Doll House, where Harris and his brother — Kaseem Sutton, 29, of Newark — clashed with a 29-year-old Irvington man, police said. Security guards forced them onto the sidewalk, and Harris drew his gun, firing at the Irvington man, police said.

The corrections officer identified himself, drew his own weapon and fired after Harris refused to drop his gun, police said.

Sutton was charged with assault.
source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/04/man_fatally_shot_by_correction.html

ACLU Seeks Sanctions Against New Jersey DOC For Witness Tampering And Retaliation

Witnesses Describe Beating Of Female Prisoner For Exposing Corruption

TRENTON – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Jersey filed court papers today requesting that the New Jersey Superior Court impose sanctions against the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) for witness tampering, official misconduct and violations of court rules. The ACLU’s motion for sanctions charges that the DOC obtained false and misleading statements from women prisoners about conditions in the prison in an attempt to defend the prison against claims of inhumane treatment. A female prisoner who exposed the DOC’s misconduct reports being beaten as a result.

“Witness tampering is a serious criminal act,” said Ed Barocas, ACLU of New Jersey Legal Director. “The Mercer County Prosecutor should immediately investigate the allegations of abuse of power by DOC personnel and attempted fraud on the court.”

The ACLU asserts that James Drumm, Assistant Administrator of the New Jersey State Prison, offered female prisoners reductions in their disciplinary sentences in exchange for making false statements describing women’s prison conditions in the New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) – a men’s supermax prison – as better than they were. The statements were obtained from women prisoners held in NJSP’s women’s disciplinary segregation unit but described conditions in a different part of the prison where these women did not even reside. DOC officials then introduced the women’s statements in court. After one prisoner, Kareema Thomas, disclosed what had occurred to the ACLU, she was beaten by a prison guard, according to the sworn statements of Thomas and three other women prisoners.

This is the latest chapter in Jones v Hayman, an ACLU class action lawsuit against the DOC challenging the improper transfer of a group of women to the men’s prison and subjecting them to inhumane and virtual lock-down conditions. On February 8, 2008, the Department of Corrections offered into evidence in that case a letter written by Thomas as proof that conditions for the transferred women prisoners were adequate, even though she had never seen the unit in which the transferred women are held.

Although most women prisoners in New Jersey are confined in the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clinton, women subject to “disciplinary segregation” have for years been held in a section of New Jersey State Prison known as unit “1FF.” The ACLU clients who were transferred to the men’s prison, however, are being held in a separate unit called “1EE.” Furthermore, none of the women in 1EE were transferred for violating prison rules – the usual criteria for disciplinary segregation – but were transferred arbitrarily to the men’s prison without justification.

“Mr. Drumm made it sound like if I wrote him a letter saying certain things, my time in segregation would be cut,” Thomas said in her sworn statement. Thomas’ account was corroborated by another woman prisoner to whom Drumm made the same offer.

Thomas alleges she was brutally beaten by a prison guard the day after she met with ACLU attorneys to tell her story, raising questions about whether the beating was retaliatory. Thomas says that during the beating, the guard said, “You have a big mouth” and called her a “nigger with no home training.” Thomas also alleges that, following the beating, Drumm told her, “You’re causing problems in my institution,” and that she should “stop causing trouble.”

In addition to seeking sanctions against the Department of Corrections for witness tampering and retaliation, the ACLU also charges that prison officials violated court rules by conducting psychiatric examinations of the women the ACLU represents without first notifying their attorneys, and under the guise of the examinations, extracted information from the women about the case. The ACLU’s request for sanctions also presents evidence of prison officials regularly reading confidential attorney-client correspondence and listening in on prisoners’ phone calls to lawyers.

“The Department of Corrections is taking a scorched earth approach to the civil rights lawsuit brought by these women prisoners,” said Mie Lewis, the ACLU’s lead counsel in the case. “The women deserve a fair hearing of their claims, and that means the Department has to obey the law and court rules.”

Sanctions sought by the ACLU include striking from the record all of the unlawfully obtained evidence; reassignment of the guard who allegedly beat Thomas; a ban on further evidence-gathering by James Drumm; and permission for the ACLU to further investigate the Department’s misconduct.

A hearing in the New Jersey Superior Court is scheduled for April 11, 2008.

Attorneys on the case are Lewis and Lenora Lapidus from the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and Barocas from the ACLU of New Jersey.

The sanctions brief is available at:

More information on the case is available online at:

source: http://www.aclu.org/womensrights/gen/34654prs20080326.html