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Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities
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You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for purchase. Please review your cart. Email Me. Contact: W. Gregory Dr. Urbana, IL Social: Facebook Page Twitter Page. During the police investigation, Tucker prison director Jim Bruton resigned from his position without warning.
Although the police attempted to conceal from Bruton their true reason for investigating the prison, he fled during the first night of the investigation and never returned. Superintendent O. Bishop assumed control of the prison. In , the federal government accused Bruton of nineteen counts of violating inmate rights and of torture. Of the nineteen counts, the federal government dropped ten, and the jury acquitted Burton of eight more. The continued investigation revealed the unsanitary conditions in the prison, particularly in the kitchen and dining room.
Color of Justice
The prisoners were underweight and overworked, and a disproportionate number died from diseases that they previously had no record of having. Murton had an open communication policy with the media and faced the repercussions when he was fired by the Rockefeller administration for providing details of his findings to the public before formally reporting them to the state. Before he left his position, he found approximately more skeletons buried in the Cummins graveyard, most of which could not be identified. Although Murton was fired after only eleven months of service, he made significant improvements at Tucker and Cummins.
He stopped the use of the Tucker Telephone, improved sanitary conditions, and reduced rape and violence. Another outspoken prison reform supporter was Arkansas commissioner of corrections Robert Sarver. A group of inmates, including Lawrence J. Holt, filed a suit in the federal courts Holt v. On February 18, , Federal Judge J. Smith Henley declared, in the case of Holt v. Sarver II, that the entire Arkansas prison system was unconstitutional, and he required Arkansas to undertake the task of prison reform. Furthermore, he banned the tolerance of contraband, gambling, and other forms of corruption.
One of the most important changes occurred on July 1, , when Arkansas replaced convict personnel with free-world personnel. Despite improvements, however, Arkansas prisons remained places of violence and corruption. On June 1, , the new commissioner, Terrel Don Hutto, assumed control over the Arkansas prison system. During his time as commissioner, he further expanded the personnel and security, as well as bettered conditions for inmates through improved education and work-release programs, bedding, and medical facilities.
He also banned possession of guns by all inmates. Hutto created separate maximum security centers and rehabilitation centers, as well as units for the elderly and minor inmates. In August , the Eighth District Court conducted a hearing on conditions in Arkansas prisons in order to determine constitutionality. During the hearing, both inmates and prison officials testified as to the state of the prisons. The inmates asserted that, despite improvements, violence was still prevalent, and living conditions were unconstitutional. In return, the prison officials discussed the improved medical facilities and claimed that they had no knowledge of gang rape, violence, intimidation, or threats occurring within the prison.
After hearing all testimony, Judge Thomas Eisele ruled that the case against the Arkansas prison system would be dismissed in one year if officials continued plans for improvement. Eisele acknowledged that many problems remained in the prisons, but he felt that none warranted court oversight. The case was dismissed on August 20, Arkansas prisons had improved since the late s when Rockefeller publicized the prison report. However, serious problems still existed. Throughout the s and s, what came to be known as the Arkansas prison blood scandal drew both national and international press to the Cummins Unit.
An investigation in revealed that prison officials at the Cummins Unit had knowingly been collecting HIV-infected blood from prisoners and selling it around the world.