DOJ Condemns Failure to Punish Corrections Staff Who Rape Inmates

A new memo from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which follows a high-level review this year uncovering hundreds of complaints about sexual misconduct by Bureau of Prisons employees over the past five years, says that federal prosecutors are failing to use “all available tools” to hold federal corrections employees accountable for raping women in their custody, reports Carrie Johnson for NPR.

Only 45 federal prosecutions have occurred out of the hundreds discovered over the last five years as a result of weak or nonexistent administrative discipline against some prison workers  and flaws in how prosecutors assessed reports of abuse. The DOJ had recommended among other things, establishing an  early warning system by taking notice of officers who routinely show up late after prison rounds and beefing up the presence of security cameras to plug “blind spots” inside prison facilities. They also recommended creating a hotline for incarcerated women to report abuse and a special unit or task force of sex crimes investigators, a kind of special victims’ unit that could include agents from the FBI or the Inspector General.

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