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Originally posted on KTLA 5:
Screams erupted from a Los Angeles courtroom Monday when a 74-year-old woman who spent the last 32 years in prison received a reduced sentence and was scheduled to be released.
Mary Virginia Jones was convicted with first-degree murder without the possibility of parole in 1982 for her participation in the kidnapping and shooting of two men. On Monday, a judge reduced her sentence to voluntary manslaughter and time-served.
Family members in attendance at Monday’s hearing shouted following the ruling and were asked to “quiet down.”
“My mother never wavered on her belief of No. 1: her innocence, and the fact that she never should have been in custody,” Jones’ daughter, Demitra Jones-Goodie, said outside of the courthouse.
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News OK “McLOUD — Despite a federal report that found incidents of inmate-on-inmate sexual violence were double the national average at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center, representatives from the prison declined to testify at an annual Department of Justice hearing on the matter Wednesday.
The 2012 Bureau of Justice Statistics report found 15.3 percent of the inmates surveyed at the female facility reported some form of sexual abuse or rape from another inmate. This rate was highest in the nation for female institutions.
The study was done as part of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a 2003 federal law aimed at identifying the causes of sexual victimization in prisons and the types of inmates who are most vulnerable.
“We found that the Mabel Bassett facility uniquely stood out as a high-rate facility,” said Allen Beck, a BJS statistician.
“There’s no question that what we’re observing here is a significant amount of physical force, pressure, and coercion are involved.”
The purpose of the hearings is to assist the bureau’s research by gaining insight from prison officials and administration on what policies and procedures work and which ones do not.
A higher than average proportion of undereducated inmates, those experiencing high levels of psychological stress or mental disorders, and offenders who identify as non-heterosexual are all contributing factors to the facility’s elevated levels of sexual victimization, Beck said.” Full Article on News OK
Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:
Excessive sterilizations, unhealthy methods alleged
Corey G. Johnson, Center for Investigative Reporting
February 15, 2014
Dr. James Heinrich continued to work despite allegations.
A prison doctor investigated by the California medical board after ordering tubal ligations without state approval is responsible for hundreds of other sterilizations of female inmates, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
Dr. James Heinrich also has a history of medical controversies and expensive malpractice settlements both inside and outside prison walls. Female patients have accused him of unsanitary habits, medical malpractice and trying to dictate their reproductive decisions.
Despite that history, Heinrich was not only hired by the prison system, but also kept on once a federal judge appointed a receiver to clean up the prison’s medical system.
Heinrich, 69, retired from Valley State Prison for Women in 2011 after working for six years. Federal authorities rehired Heinrich as a contract physician, and he continued…
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Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:
The non-consensual gynecological exam involved a vaginal speculum, a Pap smear and a pregnancy test.
On June 6, 2012, Nechelle Pickett, 25, a resident of Brooklyn with no previous criminal record, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The day after her arrest Pickett couldn’t post bail and was sent to the Rose M. Singer Center, the only complex in New York’s Rikers Island jail that houses detained and sentenced women and female adolescents.
Pickett claims that at the beginning of her stay at Rikers, where she remained for 43 days while awaiting her pretrial, she was forced to undergo a gynecological exam. The exam included a Pap smear, a vaginal exam with a speculum and a pregnancy test.
The charges against Pickett were later dropped. On January 29, Pickett filed a…
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WRCB ATLANTA (AP) – “The top federal prosecutor in northern Georgia and the state’s governor say the state and federal governments need to focus on helping former prisoners readjust to life outside prison.
U.S. Attorney Sally Yates and Gov. Nathan Deal spoke Wednesday at a summit on re-entry. They urged business leaders to give people who have been convicted of a felony a fair chance in the hiring process.
Yates said that simply prosecuting and jailing people is not going to make communities safer. She said effective prevention and re-entry measures are also needed.
Deal said the state has a moral and financial obligation to ensure that prisoners are better equipped and more skilled when they come out than when they were locked up.”
“Officer B solicits and receives oral sex from prisoners in exchange for gifts or new uniforms and underwear. He has a reputation for being aggressive and threatening, and one prisoner described him as a “sexual predator.” In 2012 and 2013, several women reported that he touches prisoners inappropriately, licks his lips at them, and watches them shower at the Tutwiler Annex.”
ThinkProgress – “For the past two decades, female inmates in Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women have been subjected to atrocious acts of sexual abuse – and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) did nothing about it.
A Department of Justice report has found that the state’s rampant abuse violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and calls on Gov. Robert Bentley (R) to make immediate changes or face a lawsuit.
“Tutwiler has a history of unabated staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and harassment,” the report said. “The women at Tutwiler universally fear for their safety. They live in a sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior…”
After interviewing “administrative staff, security staff, medical and mental health staff, facilities” and reviewing internal policies and instructional content, the DOJ concluded that the maximum-security facility grossly violates prisoners’ rights, by inflicting physical and mental harm. Staff members habitually rape and sodomize inmates, women are called derogatory names, and are often watched while they shower or dress. In many cases, women provide sexual favors in order to escape punishment. Staff members also withhold privileges and personal items, including clothing and hygiene products, unless the inmates perform sexual acts…
…Unfortunately, these transgressions are not unique to Tutwiler. Inmates in three other Alabama prison are protesting against ADOC, in response to “not being paid for prison jobs, unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, sentencing and parole policies and other issues.” Another DOJ report found that sexual abuse in prisons nationwide rose 11 percent, between 2009 and 2011. Prisoners across the country are also denied health care and subjected to excessive force.” Full Story