DOJ Wants More Punishment for Guards Who Abuse Female Inmates
(NewsReady.com) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a high-level review of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) earlier this year. During that time, it discovered that people made hundreds of sexual misconduct complaints against BOP employees over the last five years. The high-level review identified just 45 prosecutions in relation to the alleged transgressions.
An internal memo issued throughout the Justice Department and later obtained by NPR details how US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco is pushing for more accountability.
A new DOJ memo directs prosecutors to use "all available tools" to hold accountable federal corrections employees who sexually abuse inmates — including a new law that carries a penalty of up to 15 years behind bars.https://t.co/uAKwVpA60g
— NPR (@NPR) November 3, 2022
Monaco reportedly noted in the memo how making sure those in custody are safe and well is a DOJ obligation. The deputy AG called the fact that this conduct has occurred across multiple facilities shameful and said it raises serious concerns.
The DOJ even discovered a number of cases where administrative discipline was weak or nonexistent altogether.
Monaco noted the need for more accountability, specifically pointing to situations where BOP employees have sexually abused female inmates. She implored federal prosecutors to use all available tools to ensure these abusers are held responsible and announced the creation of a new law imposing prison sentences of up to 15 years for guards found guilty of sexual misconduct.
The report floated the idea of granting women who testify against their abusers reductions to their sentences, but was careful to state that any such decisions should be handed down on a case-by-case basis.
Kevin Ring, an advocate for inmates and their families, told NPR that incarcerated women aren’t sentenced to being raped or sexually abused in prison and questioned whether they were supposed to heal in jail.
The activist was referring to a case in Dublin, California, where five BOP employees, including a chaplain and the warden, were charged with sex crimes. Survivors who suffered at the hands of these men have been urging officials to approve their compassionate release. In his eyes, these women cooperated to bring the predators to justice.
Ring believes that officials should have the power to provide some relief to prisoners in similar situations. BOP Director Colette Peters is currently considering whether to move forward by modifying BOP policies about compassionate release. Further clarification on exactly what that might look like isn’t yet available.
Copyright 2022, NewsReady.com