Monday, March 8, 2010

Sheriff Frank Anderson Continues to Ship Violent Inmates to Low Security Jail #2; Looks The Other Way While Dangerous Situation Continues

Marion County Jail #2, located on Washington Street, is run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson is responsible for overseeing the medium security jail and making sure the private vendor (and his campaign contributor) complies with its contract and runs a safe facility. For Sheriff Frank Anderson the best way to fulfill that job responsibility is to look the other way.

The other day, I spoke with a former CCA inmate who just left the facility. He told me that he had bunked next to someone who had strangulation charges against him. He said that when the lights go out at the facility, the inmate dormitories erupt into chaotic violence, inmates regularly attacking one another. He said that CCA guards are nowhere in sight. He was personally attacked and received two black eyes. None of the attacks and acts of violence is documented by CCA officials and any videotape of incidents won't last long before being erased. After all, the facility's rating and staff bonuses are based on their not being "incidents" at the facility. Everyone has an incentive, including the Sheriff, to keep things quiet.

The former inmate told me that the CCA corrections officers were hanging out the the other day smoking pot. He said the turnover among low paid staff is incredible. Many of the corrections officers come from the same neighborhood as the inmates and know them. Trafficking and sexual relations between staff and inmtes are common. The inmate told me that none of the inmates take the CCA correctional officers seriously because they know they are not deputy sheriffs and won't turn them in.

Inmates continue to be denied medical care and medicine despite CCA's contractual obligations. Inmates get hurt and sometimes die. The facility remains a security nightmare - radios and tv monitors not working, unarmed employees who are not trained to do so are required to escort inmates throughout the facility. Razor blades are left in open wastebaskets where they are fished out and fashioned into weapons. Dormitory windows have holes through which inmates can lower strings to the ground to pull up contraband from friends on the outside.

None of this is exactly news. Sheriff Anderson has known about these problems at the facility for years. His response? To look the other way. In nearly eight years, Sheriff Anderson has not done a single audit of the facility or investigated a single wrongful death or injury at the facility. He has not ordered the first CCA employee fired for not doing his or her job, though doing so is within his contractual authority. Sheriff Anderson's tenure has been one of complete neglect of his oversight responsibilities. He does love the commissary and inmate telephone money he's gotten from the jail though, which he's used for an assortment of expenditures not authorized by law including paying his law firm (and political contributor) millions of dollars.

One of the things Sheriff Anderson is supposed to be doing is ensuring that people who might be violent or a security threat are housed at higher security Jail #1 rather than sent to stay at the much lower security dormitories of Jail #2. I did a sample search of surnames housed at CCA Jail #2 to see if this was true. Here's a sample of CCA/Jail #2 inmates and their charges:

Inmate J. Johnson: criminal confinement, robbery, and intimidation. 11 charges pending, of which 7 are felonies.

Inmate A Smith: robbery and criminal confinement; 4 felonies pending.

Inmate J. Davis: battery w/injuy, strangulation; 11 charges pending, including 7 felonies.

Inmate C. White: criminal confinement, robbery

Inmate J. Robinson: rape, strangulation, criminal confinement, battery w/injury

Inmate Allen: strangulation, battery w/injury

Inmate R. Wilson: robbery, battery w/injury; 9 charges pending, 7 are felonies.

Inmate J. Williams: strangulation, battery w/injury, criminal confinement; 5 pending felonies

Inmate Young: strangulation, criminal confinement, domestic battery, sexual battery; 5 pending felonies

Inmate Ruiz: robbery, intimidation, criminal confinement; 5 felony charges

Inmate Daniels: robbery, criminal confinement, battery w/injury; 10 pending charges, 9 of which are felonies

Inmate Viha: battery w/injury, strangulation, criminal confinement; 19 charges, 9 are felonies

Inmate Vanderburg: strangulation, battery w/injury, sexual battery, criminal deviate conduct; 22 charges, 10 are felonies.

Obviously Sheriff Anderson is not doing his job to ensure that potentially violent inmates are not not housed at Jail #2.

Whoever is elected Sheriff needs to clean up the problems at Jail #2 caused by Sheriff Anderson's for eight years neglecting his responsibilities.


Flipper said...

So you believe an inmate?
What is the first thing a bag guy says when arrested?
Duh! I didn't do nuttun!

Diana Vice said...

With all that's going on in Marion County these days, I'd believe the bad guys over the prosecutor and some of his friends who have been sworn to uphold the law.

Paul K. Ogden said...


What the guy said is exactly what all inmates and employees at Jail #2 have been saying for years. It's been confirmed about a 100 times over.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I would add, Flipper, there is no denying the public records, I cited. The Sheriff is clearly sending violent inmates to a low security facility, despite his claims otherwise.

guy77money said...

If the Republican's play their cards right they could use all the problems with the jail to win back the sheriff job in the next election. Then we will see if either Cottey or Fishburn can run things better. Not holding my breath but there is always hope.

Marycatherine Barton said...

So, man's inhumanity to man is still going on downtown, at Mad Maxville, right under the nose of our obscenely highly-paid Marion County Sheriff. Thanks to Paul Ogden for all his continuing tireless efforts to alert the public and officials, about this criminal behavior. Of course, all the candidates for this position should take a stand on the conditions in the jails, privatized or not.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Unfortunately treating inmates like human beings doesn't get a lot of mileage at the polls. It's really hard to get across to people that most of these people who are not getting medical care or beaten up in jail are people simply accused of crimes - they haven'[t been found guilty yet.

This is all about a private company maximizing its profits while the caretaker, Sheriff Anderson, is asleep at the wheel.