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Brazoria County Jail Stories and Information

Jul 19th, 2012 | Category: Brazoria County

Brazoria County Jail seems to have a lot of problems and death associated with it.

Brazoria County sued over jail inmate’s death 

3/27/2012 9:48 AM By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau

GALVESTON – Brazoria County and its sheriff Charles Wagner are the targets of a federal lawsuit arising from the death of a jail inmate.

In court papers submitted March 12 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Shelley McPeak-Torres alleges the defendants provided her late husband, Lisandro Torres, inadequate health care while he was detained at the Brazoria County Detention Center.

The couple’s son, Alexander, is also a plaintiff in the case.

The six-page original petition shows Torres suffered from a number of physical ailments including diabetes and high blood pressure prior to his arrest for driving while intoxicated on Sept. 19, 2009. The suit states he required daily injections and daily doses of medication.

Torres claims he informed the defendants of his medical issues upon his detention, but the jail “wholly ignored and failed to provide (him) with necessary medical care,” the suit says.

McPeak-Torres claims the decedent suffered a severe stroke because he was not given his medication or any sort of care.

He was transported to the Methodist Hospital in Houston where he was confined for several days.

After his discharge, Torres returned to the BCDC.

The suit further explains the stroke left him unable to walk, talk, chew or swallow.

Despite his and McPeak-Torres’s repeated requests, no proper medical treatment was given, the suit alleges.

According to the complaint, the BCDC jailers and staff mocked Torres and accused him of “faking” his medical condition and physical limitations despite the continuous deterioration of his health.

Torres ultimately was unable to rise from his bed or use the bathroom, so his cellmates got him a small container to use as a bedpan, which drew anger from one of the guards, the suit says.

It states the unnamed jailer entered the cell and emptied the full contents of the improvised bedpan on Torres as he lay in his bed.

The jailer allegedly told the sick inmate that “he can get off his (expletive) and stop faking, or he can lay there in his own waste and stench.”

Torres died on March 12, 2010.

Brazoria County and Wagner are faulted for allowing BCDC personnel to make decisions and commit acts which harmed the decedent and violated his civil and constitutional rights as well as failing to supervise and honor the late prisoner and his spouse’s requests.

Consequently, Torres’s survivors seek unspecified monetary damages.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt is presiding over the case.

Case No. 3:12-cv-75

 

2. Family says prisoner’s medical problems ignored while in Brazoria County Jail

4/16/2012 4:00 PM By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau

The family of Brazoria County resident Jesse Ray Woodard have filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department, alleging the man died while in custody.

The parents of Jesse Ray Woodard, Betty Jo and Arthur Woodard, filed a lawsuit March 28 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas against the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department. Jesse Ray Woodard’s minor son is also a plaintiff.

The suit names Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner, Dr. Charles Daniel Adams, Dr. Ricardo Victoria, registered nurse Charlene Cole, licensed vocational nurses Joseph Conner, Susan Hamlet and Debbie Kissinger and physician’s assistants Abraham and Sandoval – whose first names are not listed in the case – as defendants.

According to the suit, Woodard was being detained in the Brazoria County Jail for an undisclosed offense on April 4, 2010. The plaintiffs allege he was not given proper medical care while in detention, which caused his death.

The defendants knew of the 27-year-old inmate’s history of seizures and hypertension, according to the suit, because he had been in the county jail “numerous times in the past” and was treated for a seizure disorder with Dilantin.

The original petition claims the jail’s medical staff and healthcare providers did not monitor Woodard for his condition nor give him the appropriate medication as he was going through drug withdrawal during his most recent incarceration, which began on March 28, 2010.

The alleged negligence caused Woodard’s blood pressure and pulse to increase, prompting him to be sent to the infirmary on April 2, 2010.

Dr. Victoria recommended transfer to a local emergency room, but was overruled by Dr. Adams, “a decision that would ultimately lead to tragedy,” the suit says.

Woodard was discharged, but another seizure forced him to return.

The suit states the infirmary staff learned from Arthur Woodard that the Jesse Ray Woodard was in a methadone program, but they allegedly let him continue to experience seizures rather than transport him to a nearby hospital.

Woodard was found not breathing and unresponsive later that night and rushed to the emergency room at Angleton Danbury Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The Brazoria County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be seizure disorder and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

“Had the defendants simply gotten Mr. Woodard to the hospital when they should have, Mr. Woodard would still be alive,” the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages and are represented by attorney Jeff Edwards of Austin.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt is presiding over the case.

Case No. 3:12-cv-0095

 

3.  Man in police custody dies of drug overdose, Sunday, January 06, 2008

ANGLETON – An Angleton man who was being booked into the Brazoria County Jail on drug possession charges died after eating what authorities say was a bag of crack.

William Yendis Franklin, 28, was taken to the county jail on Thursday after a Texas state trooper arrested him on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. As Franklin undressed for a body search during the booking process, he reached into his underwear and pulled out a small bag, officials said.

Franklin, whose handcuffs had been removed so he could undress, had been cooperative, said Brazoria County Sheriff’s Lt. Russ Baker. Two officers were in the room at the time.

 

4. Thursday, August 6, 1998 Last modified at 1:29 a.m. on Thursday, August 6, 1998

Men refuse to testify in jail abuse suit

ANGLETON (AP) – Two former sheriff’s deputies and a former private jail guard have refused to testify in a lawsuit sparked by the 1996 videotaped shakedown of Missouri inmates at the Brazoria County jail, The Facts newspaper reported Wednesday.

Ex-deputies Lester Arnold and David Cisneros, along with former Capital Correctional Resources Inc. guard Wilton David Wallace, invoked their Fifth Amendment right against selfincrimination during deposition testimony Tuesday.

Thirty Missouri inmates have accused the officers of violating their civil rights during the Sept. 18, 1996, shakedown caught on videotape and uncovered last summer by The Facts, a daily newspaper in Brazoria County, south of Houston.

The tape showed some inmates being shocked with a stun gun and another being kicked and bitten by a police dog. Missouri prison officials pulled about 300 inmates out of the jail just days after the videotape became public.

Criminal charges were filed last week in federal court against Arnold, Cisneros, Wallace and current sheriff’s deputy Robert Percival. They are charged with one count each of aiding and abetting the assault of an inmate. Arnold faces additional charges of assaulting two other inmates with a stun gun.

Cisneros, Percival and Wallace each could face 10 years in prison if convicted. Arnold faces 30 years. All have pleaded innocent and are free on personal recognizance bonds. Wallace also has been charged in another attack not caught on tape.

In that indictment, Wallace is accused of slamming an inmate’s face into a wall on Nov. 7, 1996. Wallace also faces 10 years in prison on that charge if convicted.

Lawyers representing inmates in the civil case said the decision by Arnold, Cisneros and Wallace not to testify could place the county and CCRI at a disadvantage when the case goes to trial in federal court next month.

“I think it helps us because you now have Brazoria County officials basically not denying their involvement in the abuse of the inmates,” said Lynn Klement, an Angleton attorney representing the inmates.

In their sworn testimony, both Arnold and Cisneros refused to answer any questions, Klement said.

Wallace answered questions about his prior employment at the Texas Department of Corrections Darrington Unit in Rosharon, but refused to discuss anything related to the Brazoria County Detention Center, Klement said.

Wallace’s attorney, Richard Ely II, confirmed that he refused to testify.

“Mr. Wallace did it on the advice of counsel,” said Ely, who declined further comment.

CCRI attorney Otto Hewitt did not return a telephone message Wednesday from The Associated Press. The county’s lawyers and a lawyer for Arnold also did not return messages Wednesday.

 

5. http://lubbockonline.com/stories/073098/LD0687.001.shtml  – Related to the story above. Very interesting bit about CCRI in there – 500 inmates are suing CCRI in a federal lawsuit.

 

Back to State News Digest

Thursday, July 30, 1998 Last modified at 12:38 a.m. on Thursday, July 30, 1998

Brazoria County jailers arrested for abuse

HOUSTON (AP) – Federal agents rounded up three current and former jailers Wednesday indicted on charges stemming from the 1996 videotaped shakedown of Missouri inmates held at the Brazoria County jail.

Former Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Lester Arnold, 47; former deputy David Cisneros, 38; and current jailer Robert Percival, 36, were named in an three-count indictment returned Monday and unsealed Wednesday.

The men, along with former Capital Correctional Resources Inc. officer Wilton Wallace, 51, are charged with one count each of aiding and abetting the assault of Toby Hawthorne, a Brazoria County Detention Center inmate.

Hawthorne was kicked, shocked with a stun gun and bitten by a police dog during a 30minute incident recorded Sept. 18, 1996, during the making of a training tape uncovered last summer by The Facts, a daily newspaper in Brazoria County.

The other two counts charge only Arnold with shocking prisoners Aaron Giffen and Elvin Logan.

“This indictment represents a commitment by this office to ensure that all citizens, even those who are serving terms of imprisonment, have such basic civil rights as the fundamental protection of the person protected,” U.S. Attorney James DeAtley said.

Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan was pleased to learn of the indictments.

“We were promised this would be taken seriously. I applaud the authorities for going forward with the indictments,” Carnahan said in Jefferson City, Mo.

Cisneros, Percival and Wallace each could face 10 years in prison if convicted. Arnold faces 30 years.

Wallace previously was arrested June 8 and charged with another attack not caught on tape. In that indictment, Wallace is accused of slamming inmate Clarence Fisher’s face into a wall on Nov. 7, 1996. Wallace also faces 10 years in prison on that charge if convicted.

FBI assistant special agent-in-charge Herbert Cousins said Wallace has been summoned to be processed on the new charge. He was not re-arrested because he already had been arraigned by a magistrate judge.

Unless further evidence surfaces, Cousins said the investigation is complete. Cousins said the probe took nearly a year because the agency wanted to leave no stone unturned.

“These types of investigations can be very extensive,” he said. “As a rule, we don’t conduct this kind of investigation in haste. We’ve had to interview a number of individuals throughout the country.”

Cisneros and Percival were released on personal recognizance bonds after an appearance before a Galveston magistrate judge. It was unclear what Arnold’s status was following his arrest in the San Antonio area.

The inmates were housed at the jail in Angleton, about 45 miles south of Houston, through a contract with Groesbeck, Texas-based Capital Correctional Resources Inc., a private prison company.

After The Facts exposed the videotape, Missouri canceled its contract and 215 remaining inmates were returned. Wallace and other CCRI staffers subsequently were laid off.

About 500 inmates are suing CCRI in federal court, alleging civil rights violations suffered in company facilities in the Texas counties of Brazoria, Limestone and Gregg.

CCRI vice president Jim Brewer and Sheriff Joe King did not immediately return phone messages left by The Associated Press.

 

6. Prisoners abused/treated like dogs while police search for – YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3Dn6UFG3BIhbc

From the documentary HIGH: The True Tale of American Marijuana —http://www.truehigh.com

Documents the abuse and humiliation of prisoners at a Brazoria County, Texas prison, when prison guards and Sheriff’s deputies go searching for marijuana.

 

8. http://abusedwhileincountystatefacilities.blogspot.com/2011/05/worst-sort-of-bullying-in-prison.html

More about CCRI and the training video from one of the 1997 stories I’ve cutpasted above. Good blog with facts.

9.  This is a post from a blog about the same videotape incident but here’s the interesting extra bit of info. Scroll down for the last item about a statewide investigation into 34 privately operated jails by Stae Rep Ron Wilson (D-Houston). I wonder if we can get our hands on the report that came out of the investigation.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104×1688754

I just grabbed the first item I saw. There could be more–I’ll keep looking. This is from an official FL site considering the problem of private prisons–outsourcing. VERY interesting, though no mention of *Bush here.

<<In 1996, Texas experienced five separate incidents of escapes and/or riots where state and local law enforcement were called in to capture escaped inmates or suppress disturbances caused by out-of-state inmates at private correctional facilities. One of the incidents occurred in August, three occurred in September, and one in October of last year.

September 18, 1996
The Brazoria County Detention Center was opened in 1995 and once held several hundred state inmates because of crowding in the Texas prison system. However, the $35 million county jail had a surplus of beds when the Texas Department of Criminal Justice expanded its prison capacity and curtailed contracts to house state inmates in county jails. In May 1996, the Brazoria County Commissioners Court agreed to lease 512 beds at the 1,161-bed Brazoria County Detention Center to Capital Correctional Resources Inc. (CCRI). Guards in the portion of the jail used to house out-of-state inmates are hired by CCRI. Due to its overcrowded prisons, the Missouri DC contracted with CCRI to house 415 inmates at the facility in Texas.

On September 18, 1996, a drug raid inside the jail by guards in riot gear was videotaped by guards, reportedly for training purposes. The videotape showed the inmates, who had arrived that same day, being forced to lie down. A police dog attacked several inmates and the tape showed one inmate being bitten on the leg. The videotape also showed a stun gun being used and several inmates being kicked and dragged while lying on the floor.

Until recently, the videotape had not been made public. It was aired at a county government meeting held to discuss a $100,000 suit filed against the county sheriff by a Missouri inmate who alleged he was among those abused. The tape became public when a local newspaper obtained a copy. The videotape of the incident aired nationally in August 1997.

The allegations are still under investigation and events are continuing to unfold; however, a series of developments have transpired since the videotape was aired nationally, including:
–The Missouri DC, concerned about the alleged abuse of its inmates by the private company, canceled the $6 million contract and brought back the 415 inmates being housed at the facility.
–The Missouri DC canceled two other contracts with CCRI and brought back approximately 300 inmates being housed at other facilities managed by the company.
–The Missouri Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Brazoria County, Texas, for breach of contract for withholding information about what happened to its inmates in September 1996, and refusing to release information, including officer reports, inmate requests for medical attention, and medical records as required in the contract.
–The Oklahoma DC canceled its contract and began transferring 250 of its inmates out of a different facility operated by CCRI.
–One of the CCRI guards, seen in the videotape pushing an inmate to the floor with his foot, had previously in a separate incident plead guilty to federal misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to five months in jail for beating an inmate with a riot stick while working as a state prison guard.
–The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened an investigation regarding the allegations of abuse and civil rights violations raised by a Missouri inmate.
–State Representative Ron Wilson (D-Houston, Texas) has requested a statewide investigation into the thirty-four privately operated jails in Texas.>>

http://www.fcc.state.fl.us/fcc/reports/final97/97priv.h…

10. Official sites with info about visitation etc.

http://www.brazoria-county.com/sheriff/visitation.asp

http://www.brazoria-county.com/sheriff/jail/index.htm

http://www.brazoria-county.com/sheriff/

Jail address & number

3602 County Road 45  Angleton, TX 77515(979) 864-2338

11. Unofficial sites

http://www.jailexchange.com/CountyJails/Texas/Brazoria/Brazoria_County_Jail_Sheriff_Inmate_Search.aspx –  very comprehensive

http://prisonhandbook.com/3710/brazoria-county-jail-angleton-tx/ – good site with lots of answers to FAQs.

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-113428.html

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