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You'll never believe what goes on behind bars

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  • Lacking note paper, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, inmate Robert Attwood used toilet paper to file his 95th complaint challenging his jailing. He was released before a judge could hear it.

  • Cops in Binghampton, New York, spent some long days wondering who the "mystery guest" was in Cell 13 before they finally got an answer. And in the meantime, they had to make sure he couldn't get his fingers near his mouth. Shortly after his arrest for leaving the scene of a traffic collision, their man-without-name chewed the tips of all his fingers, which made the fingerprint ID a bit difficult.
    When all his little ridges, whirls and circles were healed, they identified Lane L. Fontes, wanted for violating parole and probation.

  • In Tacoma, Washington, convict Richard Ben-Neth (aka Richard Wayne Bennett) opened and ran a successful legal practice while on a prison work-release program. He was cited for practicing law without a license and promptly sent back to lock-up.

  • In Bloomington, Indiana, Monroe County uses "spit nets" to protect deputies from spitting by inmates. The mesh hoods fit over a prisoner's head. A mask covers the mouth, blocking spittle.

  • A prison inmate in Marianna, Florida, won a bizarre lawsuit against the federal authorities who are keeping her in jail.
    They proposed to give her time off for good behavior; but Helen Woodsen - who, since 1985 has been serving an 18-year sentence for breaking into a Minuteman nuclear missile site in Missouri and attempting to disarm it - successfully claimed that early release, parole, or pay for work in prison all violated her religious convictions. She's determined to serve the full term.

  • In Bateville, Arkansas, a woman was injured when her car collided with one driven by her father-in-law. After the accident, they got out of their cars and exchanged gunfire.
    When family members came to bail them out of jail, more fighting ensued, and several police officer were injured.

  • Minutes before she was to be beheaded for murder, a weeping woman pleaded for her life and received a pardon from the victim's family. As the executioner cleaned his sword for his second job of the day, Najah Al-Kariss asked to speak to the father of the man she killed.
    She begged Dakheel Al-Luhaybi for forgiveness, the only way she could avoid execution under Islamic laws practiced in Saudi Arabia. He agreed.

  • A paroled rapist got 55 years in prison for trying to rape the therapist in charge of his sex-offender counseling. Joseph Tyler, 42, who had been attending group therapy as a parole condition after serving time for a 1983 rape conviction, was recently convicted of attempted sexual assault. Tyler wrestled the therapist to the floor of her office while she was preparing a bill for him. He had been attending weekly sessions for about six months before the attack.

  • Ms. Hind Abderrahim Mohamed, 17, was raped by a stranger on the street in Cairo, Egypt. The rapist has one chance of avoiding prison: Under Egyptian law, he cannot be punished if the victim agrees to marry him. She did.

  • In Prestonburg, Kentucky, a bride-to-be didn't make it to the church on time for her wedding. She was in jail, charged with shoplifting her bridal gown and other accessories.

  • A man, falsely arrested for robbery in Maine, had a great time in jail. The man said he had fun while spending two nights inside the county jail. "It was like a vacation for me. I got to watch cable television, which I don't have at home. I also played basketball and cards. It was like a mini-vacation"

  • A gorgeous gal helped her husband escape from behind bars by doing a striptease outside to distract the guards. Maria Vara was an instant hit with the prison guards at a Venezuelan jail when she started peeling off her clothes. But while she did her bump and grind and the guys drooled, hubby Jose slipped through a back door and scaled a wall.

  • The walls of the Davidson County, N.C., county jail cells are pink with little blue teddy bears on them.

  • A convict escaped from jail in Washington D.C.. A few days later the same convict accompanied his girlfriend to a robbery trial where she was the defendant. At the lunch break, he went out for a sandwich, but a few minutes later his girlfriend decided she needed to see him and had him paged throughout the courthouse. Police officers in the building recognized his name and arrested him when he returned to the courthouse. Oh yes, he came back driving a stolen car.

  • After receiving a 5,005-year prison sentence for armed robbery, Barry Kemp, appealed to a judge in Louisville, Kentucky, for a reduction. The judge heard the appeal and reduced the sentence to 1,001 years.

  • In Florida, the state prison system plans to trade in their 400 gas-powered lawn mowers. Prison officials had complained that prisoners frequently took advantage of the free gas fumes to get high and sometimes stole gas to make explosives.

  • Laurence Baker's life sentence for murder was cut short when he was electrocuted in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, prison while sitting on a toilet seat. Baker, 47, was wearing a set of homemade headphones plugged into a television so he could watch television at the same time. Police discovered that the wiring in the headset was bad.

  • A convicted murderer was prevented from committing suicide by cutting his head off with a buzz saw, but his dying wish came true when he had a fatal heart attack in the prison psychiatrist's office.
    Two inmates and a guard stopped 43-year-old Arnold Russell, Jr., from sticking his head into the blade of a power saw at the prison woodworking shop in Mount Olive, West Virginia.
    Later, while being examined in the psychiatrist's office, he became violent and dropped dead of cardiac arrest.

  • William Warren, serving a life term in an Oklahoma prison has accused prison officials of cruel and unusual punishment after he was denied the right to wear women's bikini panties and forced to don the standard issue white jockeys.

  • Stefan Wolozon, says he's really not crazy. He only said he was crazy so he wouldn't have to go to prison. Now, after 20 years in a state mental institution, he's figured it out if he'd just pled guilty, he would have been released years ago.
    Wolozon, who was charged with rape over two decades ago, claims he pretended to be insane at the time in the belief he would only spend a short time in a mental institution, convince staff he was "recovered," and be set free.
    Whether he came in that way or not, the shrink thinks he's certifiably nuts now. An Alameda County jury will hear his case, but it's doubtful they'll let him plead guilty, get credit for "time served" and hit the road.

  • A prisoner in Nevada sued for cruel and unusual punishment after he ordered two jars of chunky peanut butter, but instead received one jar of chunky and one jar of smooth.

  • In Teheran, Iran, cranky executioner Omar Alik Simavi has become the John McEnroe of beheaders. Reporters there have repeatedly caught the imposing, bearded six-footer snarling in fury when he fails to decapitate a prisoner in a single clean swipe. Sometimes he puts the blame on his assistants, berating them for failing to properly sharpen his sword. On other occasions, he screams at prisoners who've been merely nicked, accusing them of moving at the last moment.

  • Governor William Weld of Massachusetts says he'll file a bill to keep inmates from getting cheaper auto insurance rates by piling up good driver points while they're in prison. The bill would freeze driving records upon conviction.

  • A man convicted in Texas for robbery worked out a deal to pay $9,600 in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he provided the court a check - a forged check. He got 10 years.

  • In Taiwan, the minister of justice ruled that death row inmates have the same right as other citizens to bank their sperm so that the family line can continue even after the execution.

  • Evelyn Daniels, 27, was rearrested in June in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she'd been under house arrest on drug charges. According to police, her latest crime occurred when she was short on cash. She sold the monitoring device the court had installed to keep tabs on her for $5, to a pawnshop.

  • Carol Publishing agreed to pay a convicted murderer $1,000 rather than defend itself against his lawsuit charging that one of the company's books mis-identified him as a serial killer. He complained that he is actually a multiple killer.

  • It took two hours to print out the list of traffic violations against a man who was arrested for making an illegal U-turn. His license had been suspended 633 times in the past five years.

  • A city official who admitted stealing $200,000 in public funds and then resigned, asked for $8,500 for unused time off.

  • Police in Venezuela issued a warrant for the arrest of a known criminal. Unfortunately for them, the man's house was built across the Venezuela-Columbia border.
    When they called to arrest him, he ran into his bedroom, locked the door and phones his lawyer. The bedroom was in Columbian territory, and the offense with which he was charged was not punishable in that country. The Venezuelan police gave up.

  • Two Providence, Rhode Island, police officers were investigated by Internal Affairs after they took a prisoner to his ATM and made him withdraw $80 to pay for the flashlight they lost while arresting him.

  • A male officer arrested a man who later filed a criminal complainant to Internal Affairs that the officer had sex with him in the police car as he was being transported to jail. The complainant said he didn't mind the sex, but he did mind the gun the officer held on him.

  • Sitting in a San Antonio, Texas, room awaiting sentencing, convicted burglar Adam Flores, 20, fled when a bailiff unfastened his handcuffs. Police caught him a minute later as he stood calmly waiting for an elevator at the end of the hall.

  • In Dallas, Texas, three killers who had cut through a foot-thick wall were climbing down a rope made of bed sheets. At the time, a fellow inmate, possibly angry at being left behind, slit their rope with a razor. They tumbled to the ground and were quickly arrested.

  • Recently, Chesapeake, Va., inmate Robert Lee Brock filed a $5 million lawsuit against Robert Lee Brock accusing himself of violating his religious beliefs and his civil rights by getting himself drunk enough to engage in various crimes. He wrote, "I want to pay myself $5 million [for this breach of rights] but ask the state to pay it in my behalf since I can't work and am a ward of the state." In April, the lawsuit was dismissed.

  • A drunkard is suing law enforcement officers in Kentucky because they were too easy on him. Michael Schmitz claims that at the time of his arrests, police officers handed him back his SKS assault rifle with 27 rounds when they couldn't figure out how to operate it.
    Officers instructed him to dismantle and remove the clip from the weapon, even though he was drunk and violent at the time. In his $1.9 million lawsuit, Schmitz says that he could have started shooting people, and the police should never have given the weapon to him once they had seized it. He believes that society should be protected from the likes of him and his lawsuit will teach the officers a lesson.

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