Ex-warden to go to federal prison for safety reasons

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

A former Shawnee Correctional Center warden convicted of reckless homicide and drunken driving will serve his sentence in federal prison because of concerns for his safety, an Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman said Tuesday.

William Barham, 48, will leave Massac County Jail in far southern Illinois for federal prison this week, said department spokesman Sergio Molina.

Federal authorities will not say where Barham will serve his sentence until he arrives at the facility, said Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley. She also declined to comment on any safety measures that may be put in place for his protection.

As of late Tuesday, Barham was still at the jail, Molina said.

Barham, a 24-year DOC employee, has been at the lockup since Jan. 18, when Judge Michael Henshaw sentenced him to four years in prison after finding him guilty of reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving.

Prosecutors said Barham caused a car crash near the southern Illinois town of Simpson in October 2000 that left fellow prison employee Jerry Isom, 47, dead. Tests showed Barham was legally drunk at the time.

Molina said DOC officials did not necessarily expect the former warden to come to harm in state prisons, but instead wanted to avoid the possibility.

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