THEFT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

by Julian Heicklen

Arnold King AM­3222 is an inmate in the Department of Corrections (DOC). He was at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Camp Hill at the time of the Camp Hill riot of 1989 and was charged with involvement of the riot. Initially, he was found guilty and sentenced to Disciplinary Custody (DC) in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) and assessed $78,159.46 for damages by the DOC. The monetary assessment is a violation of law, as only a court of law can levy monetary penalties.

Furthermore DOC Hearing Docket NO. H­20 states that: "On March 21, 1997, a hearing was held to determine the amount of damage and expenses incurred as a result of King's misconduct. During the hearing, the Commonwealth failed to present credible testimony and evidence to demonstrate that the Commonwealth incurred a total cost of $78,159.46 for medical care administered to correctional Officers Arnold and Atherton and for replacement of Modular Unit #1." The conclusion of law was that: "Inmate Arnold King is not responsible for reimbursing the Commonwealth in the amount of $78,159.46 for costs incurred by the Commonwealth as a result of Mr. King's violation of established prison rules as outlined in misconduct number 153161." Mr. King informed me in a letter of January 12, 1998, that none of the money that he has paid toward that assessment has been returned to him by the DOC.

Mr. King was transferred to SCI Greene County on October 29, 1997. He is being held in Administrative Custody (AC) in RHU. One of the reasons given is that he was involved in the Camp Hill riot. However a court of law has determined that there was insufficient evidence to implicate Mr. King in the Camp Hill riot. There is a letter of October 24, 1997, from Lyle M. Herr, Senior Probation Officer, to Mr. King. The letter states that the conviction docketed to 909ÐR Criminal 1990 will stay on your record until a certified copy of the reversal order is obtained from the Superior Court. The Clerk from Cumberland County said that he would send out the certified copy today (October 29, 1997).

The DOC pays no attention to the fact that a court of law has cleared Mr. King of participating in the Camp Hill riot. There is a Misconduct Report filed on October 31, 1997, that states, among other things, that King has a detainer sentence pending from involvement in a riot. In the PRC review of November 4, 1997, it states that the "inmate claims that all charges pertaining to Camp Hill have been dismissed. Counselor will review his entire record and report for 11-11-97." The findings of a court of law have no effect on the DOC. The Program Review Committee (PRC) report of November 10, 1997, states that Mr. King was heavily implicated in the Camp Hill riot. As a ringleader, he faces criminal charges. There is a PRC Report of December 9, 1997, that states that Mr. King was a Camp Hill rioter.

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