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Old 05-25-2005, 08:13 PM
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Default Lawmakers take up Issue of Guard/Inmate Sex

Reports of sexual abuse in Michigan prisons has the legislature searching for answers. Alleged sexual abuse of female inmates by prison guards has the State Department of Corrections on the defense.

A series of articles published in the Detroit News has both the Michigan House and Senate looking into the matter. T he published articles claim over 30 Michigan prison guards have been convicted of sexual abuse and misconduct involving female inmates. The legislature is now looking into those reports, along with others, claiming Michigan has among the highest guard-inmate sexual abuse rates in the country.

Rick Jones (R) Grand Ledge: "T his is an allegation that came to us, we must investigate it as legislators and must see if there's an answer we can provide."

That investigation had the director of the Department of Corrections facing the House Judiciary Committee. The Department of Corrections doesn't deny that they have had problems in the past, and while they admit some of them still linger, they claimed the situation isn't nearly as bad as articles in the Detroit News made the situation seem.

From the start of her testimony, Michigan Department of Corrections Director Pat Caruso laid out what she says is the department's tough stance on abuse.

Patricia Caruso, MI Dept. of Corrections: "W e do not condone it, don't tolerate it, aggressively investigate it, we take actions."

And though the department has had problems in the past, even being sued by the US Department of Justice in 1999,she says those problems were fixed in that lawsuit settlement and claimed the new articles published in the Detroit News only brought up old numbers.

Patricia Caruso: "I am appalled by inaccuracies and the false impressions, and the down right untruths that appeared throughout the entire series."

And while Attorney Deborah Labelle admits that the numbers in the Detroit News aren't exactly current, she doesn't think that's a good defense, because she says women inmates are still being abused.

Deborah Labelle, Attorney for women inmates: "W ell, you can tell that to Tanessa Harris and tiffany Gilmore, their assaulter was convicted less than a year ago, she had a child as a result of 1 of them."

And though the department says they encourage women to report any abuse, Labelle says that doesn't matter, since she says most accusations aren't taken seriously, making many women too scared to come forward.

Deborah Labelle: "When women reach out and report that officer that controls her going to the bathroom, who controls her possible freedom, reports that person, who could be on the Midnight shift that night, that's a serious act to do."

Representatives are very interested in this case and say there are still many answers they need to find, and even if some numbers in the paper articles are wrong, they say even 1 case is too many. While lawmakers are only beginning to look into the controversial problem, 1 solution that is strongly being discussed is removing all male guards and general workers from any women's living area.

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Old 05-25-2005, 08:40 PM
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Thank you for sharing. Scares the crap out of me. It is no different than the problem they have at the Airforce Acadamy with the upper classman preying on the freshman females who are afraid to report and when they do they are not belived. The problem is also in other parts of the milatary. Sad part is it is ignored and swept under the carpet.

The people who are doing the abuse need to be exposed, brought up on charges and they might also be branded as Sexual Offenders. If this is true then they are predators.
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