Sep 13, 2014

Elderly inmates cared for at SCI-Laurel Highlands

9-13-2014 Pennsylvania:

SOMERSET, Pennsylvania — Though he doesn't like to dwell on it, Charles is fully aware of the fact that he could die within the sterile walls of the Somerset prison where he is confined.

The 67-year-old spent the last four years at SCI-Laurel Highlands because of failing health. He's lost his vision, his right leg and often prays for death.

"I would never hurt myself," he said. "But there's nothing here and there's nothing on the streets."

Charles isn't alone. He's one of hundreds of inmates assigned to SCI-Laurel Highlands because of poor health or rehabilitative needs who will more than likely die while serving their prison sentence. The state Department of Corrections does not allow media reports to include inmate's last names, their crimes or certain personal information, but did allow a reporter and photographer inside the walls of the prison for elderly inmates earlier this summer.

More than 10 percent of the state's prison population is considered "elderly," with anyone 55 years or older being grouped into the category, according to the Department of Corrections.

Many, like Charles, are in poor health as a result of a preexisting condition. Others are recovering from injuries sustained while committing their crimes.

Sep 8, 2014

Child porn trader gets light sentence

Feb 2007 Connecticut:

NEW HAVEN -- A man who traded images of child pornography and sexual abuse on the Internet was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison after pleading for mercy, saying his effeminate appearance would make him vulnerable to abuse behind bars.

David Cuozzo, 42, of New Haven had amassed a collection of 1,780 files of child pornography involving at least 30 children, including images that portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence and the rape of young children, authorities said.

"This defendant used the Internet to trade some of the most disturbing images of infant and toddler child pornography and sexual abuse that law enforcement has seen," said U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor. "Federal laws that target the child pornography trade, and the strict terms of imprisonment to which offenders are exposed, exist to eliminate the victimization of children all over the world, as those who possess child pornography help to create the market for this insidious practice."

Miscellaneous Medical - Psychological Conditions

September 2014 AnyWhere USA:

The purpose of this post, which may be updated as time goes on, is, to bring into focus various unusual conditions which may or may not be relevant to the reason a person is a sex offender or committed a sex offense.

The first case:
A fellow, reported in Snopes as TRUE, as having two conditions (Apert Syndrome and Crouzon Syndrome) which disfigured him very likely causing him to be shunned or ridiculed in life. Snopes reports he passed away in Feb 2012.

If anyone knows of a situation which could be reported here, please e-mail us.

Maryland Court Recognizes Dissociative Amnesia

May 2014 Maryland:

Judge Ronald B. Rubin issued an opinion in Montgomery County Circuit Court yesterday finding that “dissociative amnesia has been sufficiently tested by the psychiatric and psychological community using research methods generally applied in those fields and that it is generally accepted” (p.19).

The court rejected as “unrealistic and unnecessary” Dr. Harrison Pope’s claim that laboratory studies are necessary, noting that “no complete laboratory study could ever be completed on repression of events as traumatic as sexual abuse.”

The court also found that the methodological criticisms of studies offered by the plaintiffs “were effectively rebutted by the testimony of Dr. Silberg, the plaintiff’s hearing exhibits and the well-regarded medical literature” (p.18).

Dr. Pope offered a survey he conducted as evidence that dissociative amnesia was not generally accepted. Judge Rubin concluded: “Dr. Pope’s after-the-fact ‘survey’ of a small number of psychiatrists who are dissatisfied with the work of DSM committees is not persuasive evidence of anything other than some doctors disagree” (p.16).