Browsing: Prison Life

john.patrick.walterBreakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: The death of John Patrick Walter in Fremont County jail was absolutely unnecessary, according to a lawsuit filed by his family. The complaint contends that Walter was allowed to slowly, painfully expire as a result of withdrawal from a prescription medication by representatives of a private, for-profit company under contract to provide health-care services for inmates. Westword has the story.


A federal judge is putting the Texas prison system on trial over suffocating conditions of extreme heat due to lack of air conditioning in the summer.

Between 1998 and 2011, at least 21 inmates died of heat-related illnesses in prison, with ten of them dying in 2011 alone. And that count only includes inmates whose cause of death was specifically and solely due to the heat, not deaths in which heat was a contributing factor. In 2012, the family of a man who died of hyperthermia in the Hutchins State Jail sued the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, claiming top officials’ indifference to the inhumane conditions of the prison led to Larry McCollum’s death in 2011.

According to the judge’s order, the prison had a heat index of 150 degrees the week McCollum died.


You would think that if corrections officers wanted to talk in graphic and violent terms about the people they get paid to watch and, theoretically, take care of every day, they would do so in private.

But apparently not.

After the Texas Observer published a story about a transgender inmate appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of her lawsuit seeking gender confirmation surgery, people who self-identified on Facebook as working for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice posted the story in a group called Texas Correctional Employees – Huntsville and proceeded to make crude and violent comments about the inmate.

22563070154_629ccea9b1_zSusan Van Haitsma/Flickr

After failing to comply with Prison Rape Elimination Act standards requiring that 17-year-olds be separated from adults in the Harris County Jail, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly drafting plans to send the teens off to Limestone County—roughly three hours away from their families.

Limestone County officials told the Houston Press that they expect the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to begin transporting up to 180 17-year-old pretrial inmates as early as next month, if the contract is finalized and if it is approved by Harris County Commissioners Court.

jimmy_sabatinoCourtesy of Baby T

In 2013, Miami New Times called Jimmy Sabatino Florida’s “most notorious con man.” For a con man, the word “notorious” basically means “has been caught a bunch of times,” so we’ll refrain from calling the 39-year-old “talented” — but damn if he isn’t persistent.

Case in point: Federal authorities said Thursday that Sabatino has once again been caught posing as a Sony record executive from prison in order to steal valuable property from people. That’s the same ruse that allowed Sabatino to build and blow several ill-gotten fortunes in the past.

stephanie.anderson.facebook.1Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Anderson had been hospitalized the night after she was taken into custody on a shoplifting charge, then returned to her cell block, where she experienced the medical crisis that would eventually kill her. One report of a jailer’s response to her cries for help: “Officer no habla español.” Westword has the story.

Christopher Hendricks with his mom, Tamara Hendricks

Christopher Hendricks with his mom, Tamara Hendricks

Christopher Hendricks’ family learned the details of his suicide through a Harris County Sheriff’s Office press release.

On June 17, 37-year-old Hendricks hung himself in a shower inside the Harris County jail’s medical detox tank, where his sister says he was likely placed because he suffered from alcoholism. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Hendricks had no pulse when they found him, but medical personnel were able to restore his vitals. He was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Medical Center — where, almost immediately, doctors knew he would likely never wake up.

His family wouldn’t find out what had happened to Hendricks until two days after he was taken to the hospital.

“That’s probably the part that hurts the most,” said his sister, Tamara Moe.

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