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NEWS
by BRIAN SHAPPELL | December 15, 2003
shappell@herald-mail.com State officials are hoping a new $2 million initiative called Project RESTART, which will be stressing treatment and education in area prisons, significantly will reduce crime throughout Maryland. However, a union representing a vast majority of corrections officers at three Washington County facilities - the Roxbury Correctional Institution, the Maryland Correctional Institution and the Maryland Correctional Training Center - believes more pressing safety issues should take precedent.
NEWS
by STACEY DANZUSO | March 13, 2003
chambersburg@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A former Maryland correctional officer on trial on charges he assaulted four guards while an inmate at the Franklin County Prison testified Wednesday that he barricaded himself in his cell and disobeyed orders in an attempt to get the attention of a supervising officer. "When I was refused to see Sgt. (Karl) Crider, I put the mattresses up," defendant David Ardinger said, describing how he blocked the door to his cell last June 24, preventing prison officers from seeing inside.
NEWS
by STACEY DANZUSO | March 12, 2003
chambersburg@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Five Franklin County Prison corrections officers testified they were attacked last summer by an inmate who refused to comply with their orders, and a video of the incident was shown in Franklin County Court Tuesday. Former Maryland correctional officer David Shawn Ardinger, of 17611 Stone Valley Drive, Hagerstown, faces four counts of aggravated assault in the June 24 incident. His jury trial is scheduled to continue today in Franklin County Court before Judge Douglas Herman.
NEWS
By KAREN HANNA and ERIN JULIUS | June 15, 2007
The Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown was locked down today after as many as 225 inmates were involved in fights at the medium-security prison Thursday night. Warden Nancy L. Rouse said this morning that 16 inmates were injured in the fighting, including one inmate who was taken to Washington County Hospital with stab wounds.  No staff members were injured, she said.  Rouse said this morning the inmate who was stabbed was alive, as far as she knew.
NEWS
June 11, 2007
SHARPSBURG - Three Maryland Correctional Institution inmates were treated at Washington County Hospital and released after being injured in two fights Saturday at the prison south of Hagerstown, according to a prison spokesman. George Gregory, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said Sunday that the prison could be locked down through today as corrections officers complete a cell-by-cell sweep. Gregory said officers found six homemade weapons after they broke up a fight in a yard that injured two inmates at about 1 p.m. About one hour later, Gregory said, one inmate was injured in a fight in another yard.
NEWS
By DON AINES | November 11, 1999
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Franklin County Prison warden wants six new officers, the sheriff wants three deputies and the coroner is asking for a three-body refrigerator. Those were among the requests heard Wednesday by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners during 14 hearings on the 2000 budget. Another round of 16 hearings is set for Friday, Nov. 19. Department heads requested 19 full- and part-time positions. "Last year the trend was definitely for increases in technology" as departments prepared to become Y2K compliant, County Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said.
NEWS
September 1, 2005
Corrections officers injured during fight CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two corrections officers at Franklin County Prison had minor injuries Wednesday morning after breaking up a fight between inmates, according to Warden John Wetzel. "The only thing that stands out from this and the two or three other fights we have every week is that is occurred in the chow hall," Wetzel said of the fight, which occurred at about 7 a.m. "It wasn't like we were waiting till the tear gas dissipated," Wetzel said, downplaying rumors that the fight was a more serious incident.
NEWS
By DON AINES | April 29, 2007
CHAMBERSBURG, PA.-When he was interviewed for the Franklin County warden's job five years ago, John Wetzel was told by county officials that the jail was overcrowded, there were major security issues, and relations with the union representing corrections officers were strained. "You paint a pleasant picture," he remembered saying. Wetzel, who had risen through the ranks to become director of training at Berks County Prison, said he was surprised when offered the job. Then 32, he was one of the youngest wardens ever in Pennsylvania.
NEWS
by DON AINES | January 12, 2005
chambersburg@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Years of overcrowding have taken a physical toll on the Franklin County Prison complex, which the county plans to replace with a new $30 million building in 2006. "It's structurally sound, but it's got problems," said Warden John Wetzel. With plumbing, electrical and heating systems all original to the 32-year-old building, maintenance costs continue to rise, he said. The public can get a look at plans for the 450-bed prison at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20, when Wetzel will address the Chambersburg Area Taxpayers Association at St. John's United Church of Christ, 1811 Lincoln Way East.
NEWS
January 15, 2006
Criminals treated better than officers To the editor: I hope this correspondence finds you, Gov. Robert Ehrlich, and your family in good health. I have been a faithful Maryland state employee for 13 years. I'm currently employed by the Division of Corrections, specifically, Western Correctional Institution, as a correctional officer. In response to Division of Correction Directive 110-33 and other trends and changes in the division, I felt it necessary to write you. Secretary Mary Ann Saar and Commissioner Fred Sizer have brought disgrace and dishonor to the corrections officer, and the profession as a whole.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
March 5, 2011
In the "lock 'em up and throw away the key" '90s, a few lone voices in the wilderness asked lawmakers to consider the long-range consequences of legislation that was ultimately designed more for positive re-election campaigns than positive policy effects. They didn't, of course. No one could see past the next election, so tough-on-crime initiatives such as "three strikes and you're out" and mandatory sentences, which took judging out of the hands of the judges, swept the nation. It got so weird that in California, prison guards formed an effective lobbying coalition to pressure the legislature to pass tougher sentences — thus guaranteeing not just their own employment, but the need for more corrections officers down the road.
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NEWS
April 27, 2008
We asked members of The Herald-Mail's Opinion Club the following question: About two dozen corrections officers have been fired from Western Maryland prisons in recent weeks for alleged use of excessive force. It doesn't take much imagination to think of situations inside of prison walls that may call for severe methods of discipline. On the other hand, a prison that fosters high degrees of tension between inmates and officers can quickly spiral out of control. With that in mind, when does "excessive force" become a fireable offense?
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | February 8, 2008
HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County and City of Hagerstown officials are working on a plan that could cost as much as $900,000 to build an enclosure where prisoners being taken into the Washington County Courthouse would be dropped off. Joseph Kroboth III, county public works director, said the proposal involves placing gates on each end of an alley that borders the courthouse to the south. A prison van would enter from Summit Avenue through one of the gates, which would close behind the van. Kroboth said the county is waiting for city officials to approve a plan that would be aesthetically compatible with Hagerstown's historic architecture.
NEWS
By ERIN JULIUS | January 25, 2008
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. ? Convicted murderer Brandon T. Morris apologized to the family of his victim Thursday afternoon in Howard County Circuit Court. Morris addressed the judge, making an unsworn statement before court adjourned. Judge Joseph Manck must now consider whether he will sentence the inmate to death or to life in prison. "If I could change what happened, I would," Morris said as he stood at the defense table reading a prepared statement. Morris shot Roxbury Correctional Officer Jeffery A. Wroten, 44, of Martinsburg, W.Va.
NEWS
By ERIN JULIUS | January 24, 2008
ELLICOTT CITY, MD. ? Convicted murderer Brandon T. Morris apologized to the family of his victim Thursday afternoon in Howard County Circuit Court. Morris addressed the judge, making an unsworn statement before court adjourned. Judge Joseph Manck must now consider whether he will sentence the inmate to death or to life in prison. "If I could change what happened, I would," Morris said as he stood at the defense table reading a prepared statement. Morris shot Roxbury Correctional Officer Jeffery A. Wroten, 44, of Martinsburg, W.Va.
NEWS
By ERIN JULIUS | January 24, 2008
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Edward "EJ" Green, 18, looked on Wednesday as his older brother - shackled, with his arms bound in front of him - was led into a Howard County Circuit courtroom. Watching correctional officers and deputies bring Brandon T. Morris into court, and later lead him away, is the hardest part about sitting through his brother's trial, Green said Wednesday afternoon. Morris, 22, was convicted last week of first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder during an escape and first-degree felony murder during a robbery, all counts for which the death penalty is a possible punishment.
NEWS
By ERIN JULIUS | January 19, 2008
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Brandon T. Morris was found guilty Friday of first-degree murder in the January 2006 shooting death of Roxbury Correctional Institution Officer Jeffery A. Wroten. The verdict qualifies Morris, 22, of Baltimore, for the death penalty. The trial's sentencing phase begins Tuesday. Wroten's ex-wife and one of his five children were among those in the nearly-full Howard County Circuit courtroom as the jury's foreman read the verdict. Morris showed no reaction, even after guilty verdicts for three capital offenses were read.
NEWS
By ERIN JULIUS | January 11, 2008
ELLICOTT CITY, MD. ? Brandon T. Morris' defense team doesn't dispute that a correctional officer was shot in the face during the early-morning hours of Jan. 26, 2006, or that Morris was involved in the shooting. In fact, Morris is guilty of most of the crimes with which he is charged, defense attorney Arcangelo Tuminelli repeatedly told the jury Friday morning during opening statements in the former Roxbury Correctional Institution inmate's trial. But Tuminelli argued that Morris, who faces the death penalty in the slaying of Jeffery A. Wroten, 44, of Martinsburg, W.Va.
NEWS
By MARLO BARNHART and ERIN JULIUS | January 9, 2008
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Jury selection was to continue today in the trial of Brandon T. Morris, a state prison inmate charged with killing a correctional officer in Hagerstown and escaping from Washington County Hospital nearly two years ago. Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said Tuesday afternoon through a spokeswoman in his Hagerstown office that jury selection was expected to be completed by Thursday, with opening statements...
NEWS
By KAREN HANNA and ERIN JULIUS | June 15, 2007
The Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown was locked down today after as many as 225 inmates were involved in fights at the medium-security prison Thursday night. Warden Nancy L. Rouse said this morning that 16 inmates were injured in the fighting, including one inmate who was taken to Washington County Hospital with stab wounds.  No staff members were injured, she said.  Rouse said this morning the inmate who was stabbed was alive, as far as she knew.
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