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Hazelton inmate discovered responsible of assault on jail guard

An inmate beforehand housed at the USA Penitentiary (USP) Hazelton in Bruceton Mills will now serve further time behind bars after he was convicted of assaulting a correctional officer on Sept. 15, 2021. 

After a two-day trial, a jury of 12 discovered Dwight F. Foster, 50, responsible of assault of a correctional officer involving bodily contact and possession of a weapon, in response to court docket paperwork. 

The incident occurred after Foster was discovered with a prison-made weapon throughout a random search. Courtroom paperwork state when a correctional officer tried to grab the item from Foster and detain him, Foster struck the officer within the face and chest along with his fist. 

Correctional officers on the Hazelton facility have just lately been talking out to make the general public conscious of staffing points on the federal corrections complicated (FCC) which are creating unsafe working situations — just like the incident involving Foster — and will probably trigger threat to public security.   

At a protest in late September, Justin Tarovisky, American Federation of Authorities Workers (AFGE) Native 420 union president, stated the FCC Hazelton was down round 84 officers. Those that do at the moment work there are sometimes being mandated to work 16-hour shifts, 4 to 5 days every week. 

In early October, federal authorities established a civil rights hotline for inmates to name in the event that they felt their rights have been being violated. This got here after studies of abuse by correctional officers.  

Following the hotline announcement, Tarovisky adamantly denied the studies of abuse saying that any allegations of abuse are instantly put underneath investigation, whether or not they’re true or false. 

After listening to the information in regards to the newly established hotline, Tarovisky stated most of the workers at Hazelton really feel their rights are being violated with required additional time and are questioning, “Is there a hotline for us to name after we get mandated 5 occasions every week?” 

With correctional officers discovering it more and more tough to do their jobs due to quick staffing and mandated further shifts, the potential for extra incidents — just like the assault by Foster — additionally will increase, Tarovisky stated.

“What results in homicides? What results in inmates bringing in contraband or stabbing one another or inflicting riots or disturbances?” Tarovisky stated on the protest. “All of it goes to lack of staffing, security and safety. Easy issues. For those who don’t have the our bodies to watch it, what occurs? You might probably get away with homicide.” 

A sentencing listening to for Foster is scheduled for Feb. 8. He faces as much as 8 years in jail for the assault cost and as much as 5 years for the weapon cost. A federal district court docket choose will decide any sentence after contemplating the U.S. Sentencing Pointers and different statutory components. 

Foster’s case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Flower and Christie Utt prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government. Foster was represented by Elizabeth Gross, Hilary Godwin, and L. Richard Walker of the Federal Public Defenders Workplace in Clarksburg. Chief U.S. District Choose Thomas S. Kleeh presided. 

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