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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2008, 09:43 
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*New York City Department of Correction Must Take Responsibility for Sexual Abuse* WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 29, 2008. Just Detention International (JDI), an international human rights organization, calls on the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) by participating in a public hearing addressing rampant sexual violence at Rose M. Singer Center (RMSC), a women’s jail at Rikers Island. In a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report, RMSC was ranked as having one of the highest rates of sexual abuse among U.S. jails. The report was based on a BJS survey with detainees at county jails nationwide about their experiences with sexual victimization. The Department of Justice Review Panel on Prison Rape is mandated under PREA to hold public hearings with the jails found to have the nation’s highest and lowest rates of sexual abuse. So far, the New York City Department of Correction is the only corrections system that has refused to appear before the Review Panel on Prison Rape. While the BJS estimated that approximately three percent of jail detainees nationwide had been sexually victimized in the previous six months, the rate at RMSC was more than seven percent. Based on these results, the Review Panel on Prison Rape scheduled a public hearing for September 25th, 2008, but RMSC officials refused to cooperate. “The only way to eliminate sexual violence behind bars is to examine the factors that underlie the problem and to hold accountable officials who fail to take serious steps to prevent and respond to this egregious type of abuse,” said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of JDI. “The DOC’s refusal to appear before the Review Panel on Prison Rape sends a dangerous signal to jail officials and detainees that sexual violence is not taken seriously.” Just Detention International (JDI), formerly known as Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR), is the only organization in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to eliminating sexual abuse in all forms of detention. JDI was instrumental in securing passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). For a copy of the BJS report, “Sexual Victimization in Local Jails Reported by Inmates, 2007,” please go to http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/svljri07.pdf For more information, please call JDI’s East Coast Program Director Melissa Rothstein, at 202-580-6971 or 718-873-4036 (cell). --^----------------------------------------------------------------This email was sent to: gmkleinmartin@hotmail.com EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?a2iUn5.bnMmMv.Z21rbGVpOr send an email to: notpartofthepenalty-unsubscribe@topica.com

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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2008, 08:56 
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*Hearing to Highlight Issues Faced by LGBT People in California Prisons* SAN FRANCISCO – The Senate Committee on Public Safety will hold an informational hearing on Dec. 11 to look at issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in California’s prison system. Chaired by Sen. Gloria Romero, D-East Los Angeles, the hearing will focus on the LGBT population in prison and the unique issues LGBT inmates face while incarcerated. Speakers will discuss issues related to prisoner classification systems, harassment and abuse, and access to healthcare. A media availability will immediately follow the hearing with representatives from Equality California, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Just Detention International, the Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project, and the Transgender Law Center. What:Informational Hearing on Issues Facing LGBT People in California PrisonsSenate Committee on Public Safety When:Thursday, December 1110 a.m. to 1 p.m.Includes public comment period Where:Hiram Johnson State Building455 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco Equality California Founded in 1998, Equality California celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California. EQCA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. http://www.eqca.org The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. http://www.nclrights.org Just Detention International (JDI) is a human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention. JDI seeks to: engender policies that ensure government accountability for prisoner rape; change ill-informed and flippant public attitudes toward sexual assault behind bars; and promote access to resources for survivors of this type of violence. http://www.justdetention.org The Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project's mission is to challenge and end the human rights abuses committed against transgender, gender variant/genderqueer and intersex (TGI) people in California prisons and beyond. http://www.tgijp.org Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC provides free legal services to transgender people throughout California and works with community members and partnering organizations on cutting-edge transgender rights policy initiatives. http://www.transgenderlawcenter.org Media Contacts: Molly Tafoya NCLRw: 415.392.6257 x305c: 415.205.2420mtafoya@nclrights.org Ali BayEquality California w: 916.554.7683c: 916.284.9187ali@eqca.org Ray DanielsJust Detention Internationalw: 202-580-6974c: 202-669-3039RDaniels@justdetention.org

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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2009, 09:14 
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*New Attorney General Must End Sexual Violence in U.S. Prisons and
Jails*

January 28, 2009, Washington, DC. Just Detention International (JDI)
congratulates Eric Holder on his appointment today as Attorney General,
and calls on him to uphold fully his obligation to end sexual violence
behind bars.

“Attorney General Holder has rightfully disavowed waterboarding and
other forms of torture used in military facilities abroad,” said Lovisa
Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International. “Hopefully,
he will demand a similar zero-tolerance approach to torture on U.S.
soil, including the widespread sexual abuse of prisoners, at the hands
of corrections officials and inmates alike.”

Sexual violence in U.S. detention is a serious crime and a nationwide
human rights crisis. In a 2007 survey of prisoners across the country,
the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found that 4.5 percent (or
60,500) of the more than 1.3 million inmates held in federal and state
prisons had been sexually abused in the previous year alone. A BJS
survey in county jails was just as troubling; nearly 25,000 jail
detainees reported having been sexually abused in the past six months.
Academic research has shown that as many as one in five male and one in
four female inmates are subject to sexual violence at some point during
their incarceration.

The Attorney General plays a critical role in preventing sexual violence
behind bars and in holding agencies and individuals accountable when
such abuse occurs. He is responsible for prosecuting individuals who
commit sexual assault in federal facilities, as well as state agencies
that violate civil rights by allowing abuse in their facilities. As the
Attorney General, Holder will also be required to promulgate and enforce
the first-ever binding national standards addressing sexual violence in
detention, in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of
2003. These standards will be submitted to him by the National Prison
Rape Elimination Commission in the spring of 2009.

“All people retain the right to be free from sexual abuse, regardless of
custody status or criminal history,” said Stannow. “The Attorney General
must ensure that rape is never part of anyone’s penalty.”

Just Detention International (JDI) is a human rights organization that
seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention. JDI has three core
goals for its work: to ensure government accountability for prisoner
rape; to transform ill-informed public attitudes about sexual violence
in detention; and to promote access to resources for those who have
survived this form of abuse.

For more information, please contact JDI’s East Coast Program Director,
Melissa Rothstein, at 202-580-6971 or mrothstein@justdetention.org.

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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2009, 13:55 
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*New Transgender Jail Policy in D.C.*

Just Detention International (JDI) applauds the District of Columbia
Department of Corrections (DOC) for its new policy that will provide
greater protection to transgender inmates and better comply with the
D.C. Human Rights Act. JDI was closely involved in developing this
policy, starting last summer when it opposed the D.C. Attorney General’s
effort to exempt the DOC from the District’s strong non-discrimination
regulations on gender identity and expression.

Significantly, the policy creates the option of housing transgender
inmates based on gender identity, rather than genitalia, via a committee
that will include a transgender advocate. The committee will interview
transgender inmates and recommend where to house them, taking into
consideration the inmate’s own perception of vulnerability. Transgender
inmates will also no longer be strip searched in front of other inmates
and non-critical staff – an important change from past practices at D.C.
Jail.

JDI believes this new policy is an important step forward by the DOC and
will be working to ensure its full implementation.

To read the policy, click here
http://doc.dc.gov/doc/frames.asp?doc=/d ... 022009.pdf


For local media coverage of the policy, click here
http://www.metroweekly.com/gauge/?ak=4090
and here
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blog ... l-screwed/

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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2009, 13:32 
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The problem of sexual abuse in detention remains neglected and
widespread, in the United States and beyond. In an effort to shed light
on various dimensions of this human rights crisis, Just Detention
International has created a set of fact sheets, which are now available
on its website at http://www.justdetention.org/en/fact_sheets.aspx

*The Basics About Sexual Abuse in U.S. Detention

*Truths About Sexual Abuse in U.S. Detention Facilities

*The Prison Rape Elimination Act

*LGBTQ Detainees Chief Targets for Sexual Abuse in Detention

*Mental Health Consequences of Sexual Abuse in Detention

*Sexual Abuse in Detention is a Public Health Issue

*The Prison Litigation Reform Act Obstructs Justice for Survivors of
Sexual Abuse in Detention

*Sexual Abuse in U.S. Immigration Detention

*U.N. Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture

*Prisoner Rape is Torture Under International Law

*The Need for Prison Oversight

*Sexual Violence in South African Detention Facilities

Please contact JDI at info@justdetention.org with any feedback on these
brief documents, including suggestions for additional topics that you
believe deserve to be highlighted in a JDI fact sheet.

Thank you for supporting the effort to end sexual abuse in detention!

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2009, 21:07 
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http://www.justdetention.org/en/factshe ... etvoca.pdf

Time to Lift Ban on Counseling
for Prisoner Rape Survivors


Dear Friends,
Rape is devastating - no matter where the assault occurs. It is also a crime - regardless of whether the victim is detained or lives in the community. Survivors of such crimes need and deserve support services, such as crisis counseling. Unfortunately, in the U.S. today, countless prisoners who are sexually assaulted while incarcerated are excluded from these life-saving services. Why? A federal funding restriction prohibits the use of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) money to assist rape survivors who are locked up.

Just Detention International (JDI) believes that this VOCA funding restriction must be lifted as a matter of urgency.

No one deserves to be raped. Instead of limiting services, the government should encourage community-based organizations, such a rape crisis centers, to support anyone who has been sexually assaulted, including people in detention.

Please read more in JDI's new fact sheet: Prisoner Rape Survivors Need Crime Victim Assistance Services.

Sincerely,

Action Update 0609

Lovisa Stannow
Executive Director

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2009, 20:27 
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http://www.justdetention.org/en/sprnews ... 00709.aspx

Quote:
Lovisa Stannow, Op-ed: Local rape case spotlights need for jail safety standards, The Salem News, October 7, 2009

In 2005, the Middleton Jail placed a 35-year-old convicted sex offender in a cell with a teenage, first-time detainee.

The older man raped the boy, who was 17 at the time. The perpetrator has now been convicted and sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison. This tragic incident was not inevitable, but rather the product of poor corrections management and dangerous practices.

When deciding where to place inmates, corrections officials rely on classification systems that help determine who should be housed with whom, and what relative freedoms inmates can be afforded without compromising order and safety. A core component of any classification system — but one that appears to have been lacking in Middleton — is to ensure that inmates who are particularly vulnerable to abuse are not housed with those who are prone to commit assaults.

Government and academic research have shown that young, first-time inmates, like the victim in Middleton, are especially vulnerable. Officials should have known that housing this teenager in a cell with a much older, convicted sex offender was inappropriate and dangerous.

While the perpetrator is responsible for his criminal actions, jail staff must also examine what they should have done to prevent this rape, and take action to ensure that similar abuses do not occur in the future. Fortunately, they now have a new tool to help them with this important task.

In June, the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission released the first-ever national standards for preventing and addressing sexual abuse behind bars. Mandated by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, and developed with input from corrections officials, prisoner rape survivors, and advocates, these standards can help put an end to sexual abuse in our nation's detention facilities.

In addition to mandating proper classification practices, the standards spell out requirements for staff training, inmate education, reporting options, and investigations. They also require access to medical and mental-health care, even for survivors who are too afraid to testify against their attackers.

While the standards are directed toward corrections officials, the commission that developed them emphasized the importance of prosecuting prisoner rape with the same rigor as sex crimes in the community. Significantly, the perpetrator in the Middleton case received a stiff sentence, which sends the important message that sexual abuse in detention will not be tolerated.

In light of this disturbing assault, Essex County officials must now demonstrate leadership in addressing the larger human-rights crisis of sexual abuse behind bars. Jail administrators throughout the state should study the new standards carefully and begin implementing them. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it is prudent.

Once the U.S. attorney general has codified them, which he must do by June 2010, these standards will become binding federal regulations. Jurisdictions that are unable to certify their compliance with the standards within a year of the attorney general's ratification, will lose a portion of their federal corrections-related funding.

When the government removes someone's liberty, it takes on an absolute responsibility to protect that person's safety. Massachusetts corrections officials should embrace the national standards and ensure that rape no longer occurs on their watch.

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2009, 20:27 
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http://www.justdetention.org/en/sprnews ... 00309.aspx

Quote:
Tim Carpenter, Women's Prisons: Sex trade, The Topeka Capital-Journal, October 3, 2009

Vocational plumbing instructor Anastacio "Ted" Gallardo's clandestine meeting with an inmate in a dusty storage building at the state women's prison in east Topeka was to be a simple exchange of cash for sex.

Instead, the encounter indirectly pulled back the cover of a complex black market at the Topeka Correctional Facility catering to inmates' demand for contraband -- tobacco, pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs -- and the willingness of prison employees to engage in trafficking to gratify financial or carnal appetites.

"I managed to get pretty much anything into that facility that you could think of through guards or drop-offs along the fence," said former inmate Kendra Barnes, who served nine years at TCF on aggravated burglary, theft and robbery convictions before paroled in late 2008. "Sex for drugs? Sure."

Interviews with current and former female prisoners, past and present corrections employees, lawyers, politicians and civil rights advocates as well as a review of hundreds of confidential or public documents related to activities at TCF, including a 150-page transcript of court hearings from the prosecution of Gallardo, point to a workplace culture at the state's lone prison for women that leaves the door open to misconduct.

TCF inmates and corrections officers say as many as one-third of the Topeka facility's 250 employees have at one time been involved in contraband activities with prisoners, but top administrators of the Kansas Department of Corrections say that percentage is inflated. DOC officials say a more realistic estimate is 2 percent of the 3,000 employees at the state's eight prisons.

The system of exchange involving contraband for personal favors demonstrates lack of respect for prisoners by corrections employees, said Kenneth Maggard, a former heating and air conditioning supervisor at TCF.

"Deep down inside," he said, "they view inmates as garbage. That's why they're not trying to clean this up."

Roger Werholtz, the state secretary of corrections, said such sweeping characterizations were reckless. Kansas isn't much different from other states when it comes to unethical behavior by staff and inmates, he said.

"It's an issue everywhere in the country," Werholtz said.

Gallardo, who admitted in court that he had brought tobacco and drugs to prisoners at the Topeka facility and had sex with at least one inmate, didn't approach this phenomenon in terms of a broad national debate about prison management.

His interest was personal.

The teacher had his eye on plumbing student Tracy Keith, a petite woman with dark hair incarcerated since 2006 for manufacturing methamphetamine in Johnson County.

Keith wasn't fresh fish. She knew the score at TCF. And she was broke. She was making $14 a month at a prison job. Cash makes life more tolerable in the bonds of the corrections department. Documents and interviews detail how an intermediary explained to Keith that Gallardo was prepared to deposit money in her prison bank account if she had sex with him. Keith agreed to oral sex, she said, but drew the line at intercourse.

This type of backroom commerce is both a felony under Kansas law and forbidden by prison rule, but Keith knew other female inmates had avoided detection while trading sexual favors for contraband smuggled onto prison grounds by Gallardo and others. There was little chance of getting caught, she reasoned, since Gallardo's job gave the instructor free run of the institution.

"It was going to be easy money," Keith said during an interview at the prison.

Threat

Immediately after lunch on Oct. 2, 2007, Gallardo slipped behind the wheel of one of the prison's work vehicles. He drove Keith and inmate Sandra McMillan, another prison vocational student in a covert business relationship with Gallardo, a short distance to the prison's old two-story stone gym. The building functioned as a storage facility. Gallardo's crew of inmates went there regularly to pick up plumbing supplies. The locale had the advantage of being outside the prison's perimeter fence. No security cameras to dodge. Fewer prying eyes capable of raising an alarm.

McMillan, who told investigators that she brokered the arrangement with Keith on behalf of Gallardo, stood guard.

Keith began to fulfill her part of the transaction. Gallardo insisted on more. Keith balked. That wasn't the deal, she said.

"My exact words were, 'Ted, I don't think this is a good idea,'" Keith said. "That's a no."

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound instructional supervisor dismissed the protest. He brought her to a standing position and pulled down her elastic-waist pants. It was over in seconds.

On the drive back from the gym, Gallardo said he had to be mindful of a practical problem. He announced to Keith and McMillan that he should better prepare for sexual encounters with inmates by hiding condoms at the prison's plumbing shop. Evidence contained in court records and accounts offered by people incarcerated at the prison or working in the facility indicates Gallardo had sex with three to six other female prisoners. Gallardo attempted to keep a lid on his on-the-job sideline. He was apprehensive word would leak to his wife. Two inmates enrolled in vocational classes said Gallardo threatened to harm anyone who broke their code of silence.

"In the classroom or the trade skills training room, he's the authority figure," said Jason Hart, a former Shawnee County prosecutor. "He's in an environment where he can directly interact with the inmates. He has the ability to impact their liberty."

Threats aside, the scheme orchestrated by Gallardo unraveled in extraordinary fashion.

Keith realized she was pregnant about 10 days after hooking up with Gallardo. He reacted by plotting to destroy evidence of his conduct.

In violation of state law, he smuggled morning-after pills to Keith. She took them, but it failed to terminate the pregnancy. Gallardo went to great lengths in an unsuccessful bid to obtain the abortion pill RU486, a highly regulated medication in the United States. He tried to secure the drug from an associate in Mexico and from a TCF inmate who said she trafficked regularly in pharmaceuticals procured from Bernard Megaffin, a registered sexual offender who had been stripped of his Kansas medical license years ago.

In desperation, Gallardo had an inmate stomp on Keith's stomach in an effort to induce a spontaneous miscarriage. It didn't work. Gallardo repeatedly implored Keith to let him sneak her out of the Topeka prison so they could make a run to an abortion clinic in Wichita or Kansas City. Keith declined. She didn't trust him. If caught outside the wire, she said, a lengthy sentence for escape was a certainty.

TCF Warden Richard Koerner scoffed at the idea Gallardo could have eluded detection while secretly transporting Keith by car 65 miles to the nearest abortion clinic.

The line

Gallardo, who declined an interview request, wasn't the only bad actor at the East Topeka prison to ignore the department's ethical code of conduct.

Koerner said the state agency referred to the Shawnee County District Attorney's Office another case against a corrections officer accused of "unlawful sexual relations" with a female inmate at TCF. District Attorney Chad Taylor declined in June to prosecute the officer because evidence didn't rise to the level required to file charges, a spokesman for Taylor said.

"He was allowed to resign," Koerner said.

Officially, the line between prison guard and prison inmate is wide. Inmates aren't supposed to know the first name of a corrections officer. They often do. The corrections department's code of ethics forbids attempts to "establish any form of personal relationship with an offender." The cold-shoulder philosophy is a security precaution to deny inmates avenues to manipulate guards and for corrections officers to coerce inmates. Still, personal relationships do develop.

Inmates caught crossing that line face erosion of "good-time" credits that shorten a sentence or the loss of other privileges. Employees caught violating TCF policies in the broad category of "undue familiarity" can be issued a warning, hit with a suspension, pressured to resign or fired. The more serious charge of "unlawful sexual relations" is an offense triggering dismissal and possible criminal prosecution.

TCF correctional officer Richard Short, a union leader at the prison, said some disciplinary cases brought against guards were ridiculous. He said corrections officers at the facility were being "held hostage" by inmates who know all allegations, even false claims, initiate internal investigations. He said the DOC reviewed charges in ways that intentionally turned officers against each other and weakened staff cohesion.

"They'll dig and dig and dig. Then they'll pick over the facts," Short said. "What is the biggest mistake of new employees? They're nice, civil."

Short, who has been suspended three times in seven years for violating policy regarding undue familiarity with prisoners, said zealous second-guessing of correction officers plays into the hands of inmates. He unsuccessfully disputed complaints that he "affectionately" stroked an inmate's ear, attempted to tape a prisoner's ponytail to a desk and gave a rose to inmates. None of those scenes was as bad as portrayed, he said.

"One of the reasons you have such a huge contraband issue is they allow inmates to make these complaints," said Short, who believes the steady threat of a DOC probe makes officers susceptible to pressure to break rules in an effort to appease prisoners.

Transgressions

Agency officials say the reality of past conduct among prison employees warrants vigilant investigation.

"What we want to do is stop sexual activity by employees with male and female inmates. Unfortunately, we've had situations involving both," said Charles Simmons, deputy secretary of the Department of Corrections.

At least eight instances of sexual misconduct at state prisons, including two at TCF, have been forwarded to prosecutors in the past three years, the corrections department says. Only three of those cases prompted criminal charges. Overall, at least three dozen prison employees were recommended for prosecution for crimes that include trafficking contraband, undue familiarity, aiding an escape, sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct.

For corrections employees accused of infractions by their superiors, quitting is the easy escape. It quietly ties off the indiscretion in a confidential personnel file.

However, some corrections officers fight sanctions imposed by prison administrators.

These challenges of a personnel action, eventually, offer the public a glimpse of misplaced affection among staff members and inmates. Civil Service Board summaries of contested disciplinary actions against Topeka prison employees are reported four times a year to the Kansas Department of Administration. Names are redacted from reports, but each contains a brief summary of the personnel issue under review.

In January, an activities specialist assigned to oversee evening programs in the Topeka prison's gym decided instead to visit women in the facility's maximum-security living unit. He kissed or bit an inmate's hand. He allowed lewd behavior to occur between two inmates. He delivered fist bumps while socializing with prisoners. His firing was upheld by the state board.

The dismissal of a corporal, which is the introductory rank among corrections officers, was allowed to stand in 2006 after the guard was found to have permitted an inmate to telephone him at home 17 times, speaking for up to 30 minutes each time. He previously had been suspended for undue familiarity with an inmate. A sergeant was fired in 2003 for engaging in undue familiarity with an inmate after being warned three times to stay away from the same prisoner. Also in 2003, a TCF storekeeper specialist was sacked after a series of suspensions, including a seven-day sanction for bringing a camera into the prison and taking "inappropriate" photographs of inmates.

Pregnancy test

Back in Keith's cell, biological ramifications of her pregnancy continued to unfold. Uncertainty ate away at her. She agonized about when prison officials would learn of her condition. Keith was disappointed Gallardo never sent money as promised. She was bitter Gallardo turned the tables on her by insisting on intercourse.

She informed Gallardo she would not keep quiet about his involvement if prison or law enforcement officials started making inquiries. Gallardo confidently pushed aside the warning.

According to Keith, "He said: 'Nobody is going to believe you. You're an inmate.'"

Gallardo, who began work at the prison on Dec. 18, 2006, soon felt the walls closing in. Without serving notice, he quit showing up at his plumbing job at the prison a week after Halloween in 2007.

Gallardo's wife, Kari Johnson, said her husband had yet to confess to a fling with Keith or any other inmate at TCF. That heart-rending conversation did occur.

"He left the facility in November, so probably a few weeks later," said Johnson, who works for the Department of Corrections in a program to help offenders reintegrate into society.

Johnson's colleagues at the corrections department had been similarly clueless. TCF investigators had no idea of a cover-up until inmate Shari Bierman, serving a 25-year term from Wyandotte County for sadistically murdering her sister, tipped guards in mid-November that Keith was carrying a baby. Three people who were at the prison during this period said Bierman was motivated to share information about Keith's predicament because Bierman was a jilted former lover of Gallardo.

William Tabor, a top officer in TCF's internal investigation division, confronted Keith. He shoved across a table the informant's note, known in prison parlance as a Form 9. It said: "Give Tracy Keith a pregnancy test. It's Ted Gallardo's."

Keith, 35, could have refused to cooperate, but her womb would have eventually revealed its secret.

She identified Gallardo as the only person who could be the father. She provided information about Gallardo's method of bringing pouches of tobacco and other items to the prison in a lunch pail. She shared the names of other women involved in the enterprise. Keith was given a pregnancy test. It was positive.

Prison officials confiscated Keith's journal, which included details of her liaison with Gallardo. It has never been returned.

'Bad luck'

In the course of that interrogation, Keith said Tabor joked about the statistical improbability of getting pregnant from a solitary rendezvous with Gallardo.

"He said, 'Miss Keith, you have some really bad luck.'"

Lovisa Stannow, executive director of Just Detention International in Los Angeles, said the problem at TCF and other U.S. prisons went far beyond an unlucky roll of the reproductive dice. The corrosive edge of sexual abuse in penal institutions is fueled by simplistic attitudes about the power differential between inmates and employees, Stannow said.

"There is no consensual sex between staff and inmates because one of the parties literally holds the key," Stannow said. "At Just Detention International, we consider any sexual activity between staff and inmates to be sexual abuse."

Werholtz, the state corrections secretary, said "there's no doubt that people enter into consensual relationships," but he also views those alliances as "inappropriate."

Gallardo's attorney, John Fakhoury, of Topeka, said the sexual adventure involving his client was a consensual affair orchestrated by prisoners intent on blackmailing a naive prison employee into trafficking in contraband.

Stannow said shaping prison employee attitudes about sexual abuse and sexual harassment is a responsibility corrections department administrators must take seriously.

In Kansas, this issue has evolved slowly. It wasn't until 1994 that Kansas passed a law making it illegal for prison employees to have sex with inmates.

"Prison management has to set the right tone," Stannow said. "Sexual violence is rampant in prisons with poor management, inadequate policies and bad practices."

Sexual abuse is an under-reported crime in free society. Barriers to reporting incidents in prison are formidable. Complaints aren't always taken seriously by prison officials, inmates say. The women of TCF are convicted criminals. There are credibility issues. Corrections officers accused of wrongdoing have ample opportunity to retaliate against prisoners. Convincing local police to investigate is a challenge. Obtaining consent from prosecutors to file charges is another hurdle. Inmates frustrated by the justice system rarely have financial resources to bring civil lawsuits.

One national study by the U.S. Department of Justice indicated inmates anonymously revealed to federal surveyors the incidence of sexual assault in prison was 15 times greater than the frequency reflected in prison files.

In September, the justice department's inspector general reported sexual abuse of inmates by staff members in U.S. federal prisons had doubled over the previous eight years. The report found 257 cases were uncovered and referred for prosecution, but only 102 actually were prosecuted. The cases resulted in 83 convictions against prison employees.

Zero tolerance

Werholtz said the agency takes a hard line on sexual misconduct among its employees. He said each verifiable case is reported to the district or county attorney.

"We refer every time," he said. "We have terminated and prosecuted male staff for becoming sexually involved with male and female inmates."

The secretary said unsubstantiated assertions by manipulative inmates or disgruntled employees, depictions of prison life in popular culture and well-meaning government reports packed with anecdotal accounts of promiscuous behavior generate an exaggerated profile of correctional institutions.

At TCF, he said, existing employee training and coverage by more than 120 security cameras and listening devices are adequate to keep the majority of employees from falling prey to temptation.

Werholtz said the state prison system's minimum hiring age of 19 and minimum educational requirement of a high school diploma or a GED aren't contributing factors to the problem. He said informal studies in Kansas show veteran prison employees are just as likely to be caught up in banned activities as young and inexperienced staff members.

Still, Werholtz said any campaign to root out this behavior was bound to fall short.

"I'm sure there are things going on that we're not aware of," the secretary said.

Maggard, the one-time prison heating and air conditioning supervisor at the Topeka prison, said he worked with Gallardo at the prison and socialized with him after hours. He said the 30-year-old Gallardo had viewed his job as an opportunity to lead a modern-day harem among vocational students in the prison. It went on for months without detection by TCF staff, he said.

"Candy store, so to speak," Maggard said.

Maggard was accused in 2008 of trafficking contraband and obstructing the legal process. Both charges were dismissed in February, but the nine-year employee was fired. He said the department's claims against him were based on his pro-labor union activism and willingness to point out problems at TCF to his superiors.

Barnes, the former inmate from Reno County who said trafficking in contraband was relatively easy at the prison, said she believes dozens of prisoners had sex with staff members at TCF during her nine-year stay in prison. It wasn't difficult to discern which guards were interested in playing the field and which were in it to profit from the contraband economy, she said.

"It's very easy to spot," Barnes said. "Instantly."

Barnes said one current guard regularly delivered to her a prescription pain medication if she put on a skin show while changing clothes in her prison room.

She also said prison employees caught participating in the underground economy might be penalized or ignored.

"If the Department of Corrections has a reason to, as far as they don't like the guard, then they do," Barnes said. "If they like the guard or if the guard's family works there and is prominent there, nothing happens to them. It gets swept right under the rug."

Gallardo and Keith were drawn together in a web of deceit. This intersection of commerce and desire set off a series of events thrusting both into a spotlight neither craved. Their lives would never be the same.

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2009, 20:28 
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http://www.justdetention.org/en/sprnews ... 92409.aspx

Quote:
Lovisa Stannow, Letter to the Editor: Abuse of Prisoners, Santa Barabara Independent, September 24, 2009

Your article highlights a widespread, but often overlooked, human rights crisis—the sexual abuse of prisoners [“Two Sentenced to Jail for Sex with Inmate,” 9/14/09]. Most cases of sexual assault behind bars are not taken seriously, and it is refreshing to hear that the District Attorney pressed charges in this case.

Government statistics and academic studies show that prisoner rape is pervasive throughout the country. Our country gained an important new tool to stop this insidious form of abuse in June, when the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission released the first-ever standards addressing sexual assault in detention. These standards set requirements for staff training, inmate education, and sexual assault investigations. They also require facilities to provide prisoner rape survivors with access to medical and mental health services, even if they are too afraid to testify against their attackers. Once ratified by the U.S. Attorney General, all corrections facilities—including private contractors like the one mentioned in the article—will be required to comply with the standards or they lose a portion of their federal funding.
Californians should support quick ratification of the standards, for the safety of prisoners here and elsewhere.

Lovisa Stannow, Just Detention International

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2009, 20:28 
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http://www.justdetention.org/en/sprnews ... 91409.aspx

Quote:
Lovisa Stannow, Otter Creek is not unique: Sex abuse common in prison, Lexington Herald-Leader, September 14, 2009

Troubling accusations continue to emerge about sexual abuse of inmates at the Otter Creek Correctional Center, a private prison in Wheelwright. The latest indictment of a former staff member at the facility accused of raping a female inmate comes just days after Gov. Steve Beshear rebuked calls from state legislators to move inmates out of the private facility. In the meantime, Beshear’s counterpart in Hawaii has ordered the transfer of all her state’s inmates out of Otter Creek after an investigation confirmed the allegations.

At least 23 women have come forward to report sexual abuse by officials at Otter Creek, which is run by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). One of the victims wrote that being sexually assaulted by an officer at the facility left her feeling “lots of fear, anxiety, and hurt. I feel lost and empty — very unsure of myself.”

Unfortunately, her experience is all too common. A 2007 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) estimated that approximately 60,500 inmates (female and male) held in federal or state prisons had been sexually assaulted by corrections staff or another inmate in the previous year alone. A BJS survey of local jails was equally alarming and academic studies have documented rates of sexual abuse as high as 25 percent in the worst women’s prisons. Recently, the Michigan Department of Corrections agreed to a $100 million settlement, after years of litigation surrounding rampant staff sexual misconduct in its women’s facilities.

Sexual abuse in detention constitutes human rights and public-health crises. It causes terrible harm to survivors and creates unsafe conditions for corrections staff and inmates alike. The devastating impact of rape behind bars not only shatters the lives of prisoners, it hurts the rest of us as well. Once released — and more than 95 percent of inmates do eventually return home — rape survivors bring their emotional trauma and medi­cal conditions back to their communities.

We now have a powerful new tool available to combat this crisis. In June, the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission released the first-ever binding national standards aimed at preventing and addressing sexual abuse in prisons and jails, including private facilities like Otter Creek. Mandated by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 and developed with input from corrections officials, prison rape survivors and advocates, these standards can help put an end to sexual abuse in prison in Kentucky, and across the nation.

The standards spell out requirements for staff training, inmate education and sexual assault investigations. They call for prison housing decisions to take into account whether an inmate belongs to a known vulnerable population (such as being young, mentally ill or transgender) and for disciplinary and criminal action to be taken against perpetrators. The standards further mandate that facilities provide prisoner rape survivors with access to medical and mental health care services, even if they are too afraid to testify against their attackers.

Elected officials like Beshear have an important role to play in ensuring that these standards are fully implemented.

Under PREA, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has until next June to encode the new standards as part of binding federal regulations. Beshear and other Kentucky officials should urge him to enact the standards swiftly and without diluting them. Beshear should also refuse to contract with private prison companies whose facilities do not comply with these crucial measures.

When the government removes someone’s liberty, it takes on an absolute responsibility to protect that person’s safety. It’s time for Kentucky’s elected officials to show leadership on this important issue. Beshear must hold CCA accountable for what has been happening at Otter Creek, and he must prevent sexual abuse in detention from continuing by supporting the enactment and implementation of strong standards.

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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2010, 11:32 
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new book out; reviewed here:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23690

excerpt of review:

Quote:
Finally, in late February 2005, a few of the boys approached a volunteer math tutor named Marc Slattery. Something "icky" was going on, they said. Slattery knew it would be futile to go to school authorities—his parents, also volunteers, had previously told the superintendent of their own suspicions, and were "brow beat" for making allegations without proof[5]—so the next morning he called the Texas Rangers.[6] A sergeant named Brian Burzynski made the ninety-minute drive from his office in Fort Stockton that afternoon. "I saw kids with fear in their eyes," he testified later, "kids who knew they were trapped in an institution where the system would not respond to their cries for help."[7]

Slattery had only reported complaints against Brookins, not against Hernandez, but talking to the boys, Burzynski quickly realized that the principal was also a suspect. (Hernandez, it seems, was less of a bully than Brookins. When a boy resisted Brookins's advances in 2004, he was shackled in an isolation cell for thirteen hours.[8] Hernandez preferred to cajole students into sex with offers of chocolate cake, or help getting into college, or a place to stay after they were released.[9]) The two men were suspended and their homes searched—at which point it was discovered that Brookins was living on school grounds with a sixteen-year-old, who was keeping some of Brookins's "vast quantity of pornographic materials" under his bed.[10] Suspected semen samples were taken from the carpet, furniture, and walls of Brookins's office. He quickly resigned. In April, Hernandez was told he would be fired, whereupon he too resigned.

When the TYC received Burzynski's findings, it launched its own investigation. The internal report this produced was deeply flawed. Investigators didn't interview or blame senior administrators in Austin, though many of them had seen the warning signs and explicit claims of abuse at Pyote. But agency officials saw how damning the story was. Neither their report nor Burzynski's was made public.[11]

The Rangers forwarded Burzynski's report to Randall Reynolds, the local district attorney, but he did nothing. Even though it's a crime in all fifty states for corrections staff to have sex with inmates of any age, prosecutors rarely bring charges in such cases. For a time, from the TYC's perspective, the problem seemed to go away. The agency suspended Lemuel "Chip" Harrison, the superintendent of the school, for ninety days after concluding its investigation—he had ignored complaints about Brookins and Hernandez from many members of the staff—but then it promoted him, making him director of juvenile corrections. Brookins found a job at a hotel in Austin, and Hernandez, astonishingly, became principal of a charter school in Midland.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2010, 20:20 
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another online essay on this.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23738

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2010, 11:46 
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As we announced last week, the Department of Justice has opened a 60-day public comment period on national standards addressing sexual abuse in detention. Released last June by a bipartisan federal commission, these common-sense measures have the potential to help end sexual abuse in detention. We would like you to join us in sending a strong message to the Justice Department that these are well-crafted standards, which should become binding federal regulations.

Please follow this link to sign our petition urging the Attorney General to enact strong standards to end sexual abuse behind bars. Your message will be entered into the official record as a public comment.


http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/ ... rison_rape

http://www.change.org/justdetention/act ... ners_now_2

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2010, 21:54 
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/1 ... 85165.html

DOJ Foot-Dragging On Prison Rape Unites Left-Right Coalition

Quote:
Focus on the Family, George Soros's Open Society Policy Center, the American Conservative Union and the American Civil Liberties Union are all furious with Attorney General Eric Holder -- and amazingly enough, it's about the same thing.

The incitement for such an unusual alliance is the Justice Department's failure to act in the face of a challenge to fundamental human dignity: The ongoing, almost commonplace rape of prisoners at the hands of other prisoners or prison guards.

Estimates based on a 2007 DOJ survey of inmates suggest that more than 60,000 prisoners -- or about 1 in 20 -- are sexually assaulted each year.

A law passed in 2003 created an independent commission to develop national standards to address the problem. The commission issued its exhaustive report in June 2009. And the attorney general was required by law to enact new standards by June 23, 2010.

That was nearly two months ago.

In a June letter June, Holder expressed his "regret" that he would not be able to meet Congress's deadline. He explained that the working group he commissioned -- which represents 13 different Justice Department offices and the Department of Homeland Security -- is moving as fast as it can.


:cheers:

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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2010, 10:45 
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Rape Survivor's Quest for Justice
Leads to the U.S. Supreme Court

For survivors of prisoner rape, seeking justice for the abuses they have endured is exceptionally difficult. Today, when the U.S. Supreme Court considers the case of Ortiz v. Jordan, it is only the second prisoner rape case ever to be heard by the Court. In the landmark 1994 case Farmer v. Brennan, the Court acknowledged that rape in detention may amount to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

Michelle Ortiz was sexually assaulted by an officer while incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. After courageously reporting the abuse, Michelle suffered repeated retaliation by other corrections officials. A jury found that the retaliating officers violated Michelle's civil rights and awarded her monetary damages. An appeals court overturned the jury's award, concluding that the officers were immune to being sued. The Supreme Court will review whether this reversal of a jury verdict was proper.

Michelle's case is extraordinary in that she was able to get into court at all. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) of 1996 makes it enormously difficult for incarcerated individuals to have constitutional violations heard in court, even in the most egregious cases of rape by prison officials. The PLRA imposes harsh procedural requirements on incarcerated rape survivors, such as obliging them to complain to a specific officer even if that officer was involved in the abuse. Many corrections systems also demand that rape victims file complaints within days of an assault, ignoring the fact that emotional trauma -- and, in many cases, physical injuries -- make such deadlines entirely unrealistic. Worse still, the PLRA requires proof of a physical injury in order to seek monetary damages and, shockingly, courts have held that some forms of sexual abuse do not amount to a physical injury.

JDI is at the forefront of efforts to reform the PLRA and ensure that survivors of sexual abuse behind bars are able to seek justice. As the Supreme Court said in Farmer v. Brennan, sexual abuse "is simply not 'part of the penalty' that criminal offenders pay for their offenses against society."

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