Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Hostage Situation Waiting To Happen: Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson Houses Inmates Charged With Violent Felonies At Low Security CCA/Jail #2

Marion County (Indianapolis) has two main jails, Jail #1 located on South Alabama Street just south of the City-County Building and Jail #2, on East Washington Street. Jail #1, which is run by the Sheriff, is a much higher security facility than Jail #2 which is run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). While the inmates at Jail #1 are housed in cells, inmates at Jail #2 are housed in a dormitory fashion, allowing for much more interaction between the inmates.

On these pages, I have recounted security problems at Jail #2. CCA, to save money on hiring security, has unarmed, untrained nurses escorting inmates throughout Jail #2. CCA employees have documented TV monitors and radios that did not work. Razor blades are left out in open containers where they are fished out and made into weapons. Numerous places in the facility are not covered by surveillance cameras of which inmates are very aware. Inmates burn holes in glass panes and then lower strings to friends on the ground who then attach drugs and other contraband.

These are all things that have been made known to Sheriff Frank Anderson, repeatedly, to which he has responded in his typical fashion of doing nothing.

The Sheriff's office has always provided assurances to the Council and the public that inmates charged with violent felonies would be kept in Jail #1 and not be housed in the dormitories of CCA/Jail #2. To investigate that assurance, I searched the Sheriff's inmate locator using 20 fairly popular surnames as a sample. In that very small sample, I found scores of inmates at Jail #2 who have been charged with violent felonies and who are mixing with non-violent offenders at Jail #1.

To those not familiar with criminal law, an A felony is the most serious, followed by B, C and D. Here is a sampling of inmates with violent charges who are being housed in low security CCA/Jail #2.

JID: P00662086:
Carjacking: B Felony
Battery w/Injury: D Felony

JID: P00511576
Rape: A Felony (two charges)
Criminal Deviate Conduct: A Felony (two charges)
Robbery: B Felony (two charges)
Intimidation: C Felony

JID: P00662680
Criminal Confinement: B Felony
Battery w/Injury: C Felony
Strangulation: D Felony

JID: p00664731
Rape: B Felony
Strangulation: D Felony
Sexual Battery: D Felony
Criminal Confinement: D Felony

JID: P00565386
Criminal Deviate Conduct: B Felony
Criminal Confinement: D Felony
Sexual Battery: D Felony
Battery w/Injury: A Misdemeanor

JID P00631017
Criminal Confinement: B Felony (four counts)
Robbery: B Felony (four counts)

JID P00481614
Criminal Deviate Conduct: B Felony (four counts)
Criminal Confinement: B Felony (two counts)
Sexual Battery: D Felony
Battery w/Body Waste: A Misdemeanor

JID P00592948
Battery w/Injury: D Felony
Battery w/Injury: B Felony
Aggravated Battery: B Felony

JID P09037688
Arson: B Felony (three counts)
Intimidation: D Felony (two counts)
Battery w/Injury: C Felony

JID P00612171
Robbery: B Felony
Robbery: C Felony (three counts)
Criminal Confinement: D Felony

JID P00588129
Robbery: B Felony
Robbery C Felony (three counts)
Criminal Confinement: D Felony

JID P00659799
Robbery: B Felony (two counts)
Criminal Confinement: B Felony

JID P00622506
Robbery: B Felony (three counts)

JID P00618115
Aggravated Battery: B Felony
Battery w/Injury: C Felony
Battery: C Felony

JID P00589531
Criminal Confinement: B Felony
Intimidation: C Felony
Pointing a Firearm: C Felony
Battery w/Injury: C Felony

JID P00614846
Robbery: B Felony
Criminal Recklessness C and D Felony (one count each)
Pointing a Firearm: D Felony

JID P00639070
Carjacking: B Felony
Robbery: B Felony

JID P00664929
Robbery: B Felony (two counts)

JID P00346051
Robbery: B Felony
Battery w/Injury: B Misdemeanor

JID P00345973:
Robbery: B and C Felonies (one count each)
Criminal Confinement: B Felony

JID P00636727
Robbery: B Felony (two charges)

CCA is paid for on a per diem basis for each inmate housed at Jail #2. In order for CCA to maximize profits, Jail #2 needs to be kept near capacity. My guess is that the Sheriff Anderson simply does not have enough non-violent detainees to send to Jail #2, so he sends detainees who are charged with serious violent felonies to make up the difference. CCA employees and detainess at Jail #2 also report the Sheriff constant shuffles inmates to and from Jail #2. A former CCA employee told me the reason is that as long as an inmate spends any part of the day at Jail #2, CCA is entitled to the full per diem for that inmate.

In making public the housing of people charged with violent felonies at low security Jail #2, it will be interesting to see if Sheriff Anderson continues to do nothing. It will be likewise interesting to see if the Public Safety Committee of the Indianapolis City County Council finally takes up the issue. The Chairman of Public Safety who would be hearing any proposal is headed by Councilor Ryan Vaughn, an attorney at the law firm Barnes & Thornburg, which makes millions defending CCA in lawsuits that are regularly filed against the the company for its operation of Jail #2. The ethically-challenged Vaughn has already shown by Monday's night CIB tax increase vote that he will not recuse himself for having a conflict even when vote involves a client of his law firm.

The housing of inmates with violent felony charges at low security Jail #2 is an issue that the Council and the new Public Safety Director for the City (whoever that person may be) needs to address immediately.

10 comments:

jabberdoodle said...

Community Corrections budget is up tonight at 5:30. The Sheriff's budget -- civil, jail, executive and support services is up next Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 5:30. I'm not sure which of the two this falls into.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Probably falls under the Sheriff's budget. Remind me about that hearing. I'd like to attend.

Freedom Fighter said...

Did anyone ever really think that Frank Anderson was actually the sheriff?

Paul K. Ogden said...

FF, well he does wear the uniform.

jabberdoodle said...

Paul -- Community Corrections are the work release and home detention folks. So, you are correct, it would be the Sheriff's budget for this issue.

Leslie Sourwine said...

Paul

The only reason I can think of for why Anderson would allow violent inmates to be housed at Jail 2 is as you said money to the corporation, CCA. With all the shady things going on in Indianapolis with the jail, courts, and prosecutors I am having a hard time believing there are not kickbacks. Young juveniles were sold out by two judges in PA to a private facility and millions were kicked back as rewards. In Indianapolis I've seen judges who refuse to follow the law and court rules. A sheriff who turns a blind eye to violations in the jail he supervises and prosecutors who drag cases out for years while keeping the accused incarcerated in this same private jail, CCA. The only reason people break the law is because it benefits them in some way. With the amount of white collar crime and corruption going on in Indy isn't it time to bring in the big guns?

Leslie Sourwine says, right is right and wrong is wrong. No gray areas between the two. You either are breaking the law or you’re not.

I know said...

Leslie,
Right on. Right is right and wrong is wrong. But in Indiana if you have money you can break the law and even the lawyers look the other way after they are given mounds and mounds of clear evidence of WRONG DOING by the wealthy and the connected.

You know what I am talking about and so does Paul. The gray areas do not exist in Indiana. They don't have to because people in high places let this stuff go on and on and on hoping people that know will get worn down and go away.

I won't go away..... generations will suffer because of people sticking their head in the sand. Indiana needs to have an enema.

Leslie Sourwine said...

I Know:
An enema indeed; It seems I’ve offered that advice once or twice. The problem though, is finding a strong enough tube to do the cleansing. I know with the Treacy case that I’ve been involved in since 2007 that no matter what tube I put out for the job it just doesn’t seem to do the trick. Like you, I don’t give up but it sure is frustrating to keep climbing the ladders only to find the next person up just don’t give a damn. In your case that ladder has broken rungs going all the way up. I would like nothing better than to see the individuals listed in your information prosecuted and sent to the very jail where Treacy is being held. Give me a list of people who have oversight and authority and who isn’t as corrupted as the people we are looking at and let’s go to town. I think you will agree, finding that one honest person who has the authority to order an investigation hard to find. Indiana seems to be full of high ranking individuals who are more interested in who has a hand in their pocket than the amount of corruption and law breaking going on. Shoot, Marion County has judges sitting on the bench controlling the lives of hundreds and thousands of individuals who fail to follow court rules and Indiana law. A sheriff who sleeps with the private jail corporation, while ignoring contract violations and the pain and suffering of people who haven’t gone to trial but who are already in the punishment phase. The mayor and city-county council members who rape the taxpayers over and over again without fear of repercussion. Which mound of dung do we wade into first? I don’t think the lawyers are looking the other way. The amount of information you have forwarded is overwhelming. If we take everything you have and lay it on the desk of someone who can do something with it I don’t know that they would pay a lot of attention. The most important facts need to be siphoned out into a document that will be supported by all the evidence you have. Send me your phone number, let’s talk on Sunday.

Downtown Indy said...

Say, when's the last time you saw any jail trustees out doing roadwork?

I have not seen any all summer. There's a lot of stuff that needs doing, from sweeping the over/underpass sidewalks free of broken bottle glass, to clearing brush from cracks between sidewalk and street.

Frank could even put them to work patching potholes.

Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing much if any of those road crews since Frank had IMPD yanked out of his control.

David said...

Interesting second to last paragraph full of half truth and faulty opinions in general. The contract with CCA is an open record, I recommend you read it for some truth and realize that the Marion Jail 2 saves YOU money. Do you have any clue the difference between a minimum and medium security jail? You cannot claim to understand their security, nor would I expect them to reveal it all to our community. I hope your students know better than to accept your uneducated opinions!

I feel sad for you and for the targets of your ignorant vendetta. Why can't we work together? Has the jail or the company actually done anything wrong? or are you just trying to make it look like they have, since so many of the numerous lawsuits you mention have been filed by yourself, keeping local counsel very busy!

And you are not the only nitwit out there making comments like these. You sound like a politician with a personal agenda.