Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York) canceled his innovative plan to offer basic college education programs to state prisoners. The cancellation was the result of vociferous opposition from other New York State lawmakers. Once again, politics trumped common sense. It’s been proven that prison education effectively rehabilitates convicts. This results in reduced recidivism and
Michigan Prison News
On August 6, 2013, a jury returned a not guilty verdict in the trial of Lansing jail guard David Gladstone, who was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery of a prisoner. Although Gladstone was found not guilty, an internal investigation is pending to determine whether he violated any department policies or procedures. Jail guard Gladstone had been suspended from the Lansing jail pending the outcome of the criminal charges.
New York Prison News
A violent, bloody brawl broke out among rival gangs — the Trinitarians and the Crips — at Rikers Island on August 22, 2013. As many as 50 prisoners were involved in the melee, which was reportedly triggered over the use of a hot plate to cook a grilled cheese sandwich. The fight lasted nearly an hour and eleven Rikers Island prisoners and a guard were injured. In surveillance video, prisoners were seen attacking each other with mop handles and hurling chairs; one prisoner also threw hot water, and several suffered serious stab wounds.
Rhode Island Prison News
On July 18, 2013, Gaulter Botas, a former prison guard at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute, received an 18-month prison sentence. Botas had assaulted prisoners by hitting one with a telephone book and another with a plastic clipboard, a package of paper, a bag of food, and his closed fist. Four Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute prisoners said they were assaulted by Botas and another guard, Kenneth Viveiros. Botas’ conviction was upheld in April 2013 by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and a superior court judge rejected his motion for a reduced sentence. In 2006, Botas and Viveiros were among a number of prison guards named in a lawsuit alleging that they had made a prisoner eat his own feces; that suit settled for $120,000.