Last year, guards at the Northeast Pre-Release Center were accused of sexually preying on female inmates ("Authority Problem," March 12, 2003). Then the guy in charge of investigating abuse was himself accused of sexual harassment ("Fox in the Jailhouse?", August 6). Not to be outdone, the same conditions were documented at the Reformatory for Women in Marion by the group Stop Prison Rape.
Forgive corrections Director Reginald Wilkinson for ignoring the issue. As a member of the Taft administration, he must abide by the governor's credo: "Pursuing Excellence in Sloth & Inactivity for Five Years and Counting . . ." So when the feds began addressing the issue, Wilkinson wrote an op-ed piece for the Cincinnati Enquirer headlined "Federal Prison Rape Law Is Not Needed." As any good manager knows, the quickest way to dispense with a problem is simply to deny it exists.
But the feds didn't see it that way. As steam for congressional action picked up, even Wilkinson realized that the train was leaving the station. So last week, in a remarkable about-face, the director claimed that he "was pleased to take a lead role in suggesting several improvements" to the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act. (Apparently he provided some valuable whining.) Wilkinson also announced a fabulous new 10-point plan -- with lots of references to "zero tolerance" -- and claimed that all Ohio cases had been thoroughly investigated.
Stop Prison Rape isn't buying, however. Though its report chronicled widespread sexual abuse, the corrections department never bothered to follow up on the allegations.
Maybe it's just coincidence, but people who accuse the Warren PD of brutality have a tendency to end up in jail. Lyndal Kimble, who was captured on home video being punched, gored, and body-slammed in June by three notorious Warren cops ("Blue Mob," February 25 and March 3), was carted off to jail last week after a police raid uncovered drugs in his home.
The neighbor who videotaped the beating has also been arrested on gun and drug charges.
And Lamont Murray, whose head was split open in another police beating, has been jailed for not checking in with his parole officer. The arrest, coincidentally, occurred shortly after his parents granted Scene an interview.
According to a recent study by a scholarly scientific journal -- we think it was Maxim -- Cleveland has more bars per capita than any city in America. While we may be lacking in many areas, rest assured that we have an abundance of drunks. Really good drunks. The kind who can blow a paycheck before 6 p.m., barf in the parking lot, then return to mooch drinks within the hour.
Given this bountiful natural resource, St. Paddy's Day would seem to present a handsome economic opportunity. Via DUI arrests alone, the city had a chance to balance its budget through 2028. But according to police, only five -- five! -- drunk-driving arrests were made that day.
Punch guesses that the largely Irish force decided the lost revenue was clearly outweighed by the cultural import of wearing green, holding one's heart while belting out "Danny Boy," and waking up covered in vomit. That's just good science.
Real World-class city
Speaking of lost economic opportunities . . . Take heart, Fair City by the Lake. At least we're not Philly.
When Bunim/Murray Productions recently tried to film its latest installment of MTV's The Real World in Philadelphia, the company was met by picket lines and a giant inflatable rat. It seems Bunim/Murray made the unwise decision to hire non-union carpenters in a labor town.
Punch admits that watching the scab-built set collapse on really good-looking people would have made for compelling television. Yet the move violated section 324.6 of the Rust Belt Labor Code, which clearly states: "What? Are you some kind of moron? Don't even think about pulling that California shit around here."
So Bunim/Murray promptly picked up its ball and went home. Chris Carmody now hopes Philly's belligerence will be Cleveland's gain. "We've been talking about [luring The Real World here] for years," says the Greater Cleveland Media Development boss.
John Ryan, head of the AFL-CIO, promises that Cleveland unions won't be reaching for their inflatable rodents. "We have had good relationships between labor and [visiting] productions," he says.
Unfortunately, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a Real World producer is already scouting locations in Austin, which is in Texas, where they can't even spell "union."
Carmody admits that Cleveland's bid is a long shot. But "at the very least," says Tim Mueller, the city's chief planning officer, "it'll help us get on the radar with MTV."
More praise from our fans
"This article would be fascinating, if the house nigger Jew-pet writing it didn't try to make this delusional Negro 'King's' arrest out to be the white man's fault."
--Posted on Overthrow.com, in response to Scene's January 28 story "Color Scheme," by Frank Lewis.
It's not easy being a tiny speck of fecal matter in the vast cesspool of The Liberal Media (cue the dark orchestral arrangement). But last week Scene had a fool-proof plan. Or so we thought.
The idea was to run a fake cover story about a male-escort scandal in the mayor's office, which would get us banned from City Hall, which would then allow us to spend weeks writing about how brave we are for tackling the tough stories other papers are too afraid to touch. We even had a cool slogan: Scene. Shooting Indiscriminately. Sparing No Ammo. Every Wednesday.
Yes, the plan was exquisite. More important, it didn't involve any real work.
But, alas, we were once again outsmarted by Jane Campbell's henchmen.
Instead of banning us, her aides requested a mounted copy of the cover to give the mayor as a gift. "I got a good chuckle out of it myself," says Press Secretary Celeste Glasgow. "The line that said Hunter's a hunk for an old guy. I just thought that was cute. I don't think I've ever seen him described that way."