WA to pay $1M in prison sex abuse suit

OLYMPIA – The Washington state Department of Corrections will pay a $1 million settlement to five current and former female prisoners who claimed they were sexually abused by prison guards.

The settlement announced Friday also calls for DOC to take steps to reduce the chances of future sexual misconduct by its staff and to respond more effectively when misconduct occurs

The settlement comes about six weeks before the lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial. While it does take care of the monetary damages, it does not mean an end to the case. That is being delayed until next year, giving the DOC time to take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future. The DOC says those include add more investigators and provide a victim advocate to female inmates who make sexual abuse claims.

The inmates’ attorneys say, since the suit was filed in July 2007, all but one of the six prison guards named in the suit have resigned or been fired. Others have been convicted.

The guards were accused of numerous sexual acts against inmates including voyeurism, exhibitionism and rape.

Steps the DOC has already taken to prevent future assaults include adding surveillance cameras as well as minimizing uncontrolled access to certain closets and rooms where inmates had allegedly been assaulted.

source: http://www.king5.com/localnews/stories/NW_061209WAB-prison-sex-settlement-TP.73e34d5e.html?rss

One Response

  1. My argument on this entire matter…the state agreed to settle rather than take this to court. Keep in mind, not one of the alleged perpetrators (officers) have ever been charged with a crime. Not one. A few resigned, but who wouldn’t when the state and administration has turned their backs and won’t defend them against the allegations. It was cheaper this way.

    These offenders saw loopholes and went for it. Yes, some good has come from it–updated equipment and additional manpower….had that been in place to begin with, maybe it could have protected the staff who were falsely accused…hmmmm….

    After they spend their share of the settlement, DOC will leave the light on for their imminent return to the system. It’s a never-ending cycle…..

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