With the many letters of concern we have received from male inmates in the Idaho Correctional Center we are reprinting an article entitled "Female Guards in a Men's Prison are Often Behind Sexual Misconduct Claims".
The most serious of the allegations include female guards who work at the Idaho Correctiona Center are "fraternizing" with inmates. Several female guards are working overtime to "hang out with inmates", female guards are showing favoritism to the inmates they are "hanging out with" and coming down hard on the inmates who refuse their attentions. And the most troubling allegation is that female guards are purposefully watching the male inmates shower and peering into the inmate's cells as they dress after a shower. We must add that at the ICC there are no shower curtains as there are at ISCI, which only exacerbates the situation.
It has also been suggested that it is sexual misconduct for female guards to "frisk" male inmates, especially in the visitation area where there are children, wives and the elderly watching the female guards run their hands up and down an inmate's body and inside their clothing. It is suggested that this is highly inappropriate and that the "frisks" of male inmates should never be allowed by female guards. It has been suggested that there are plenty of male guards available to conduct these "frisks" in the visitation area.
It has been brought to our attention that several of the female guards at the Idaho Correctional Center are behaving improperly and this behavior is bordering on sexual misconduct if it hasn't already reached that point. Our readers and supportors are encouraging the ICC, CCA and IDOC to watch the female guards who work in the male prisons more closely and impose more sanctions against inappropriate behaviors that may lead to sexual misconduct.
April 12, 2010
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Inmate Michael Murphy usually started by seeking a small favor. That would often lead to a kiss or love letters. And in at least five cases, he convinced female prison employees to have sex with him or do other illegal favors.
In each of those cases, the female corrections employees were caught, shamed and forced out of a job, according to documents detailing an investigation by Montana prison officials and obtained by The Associated Press after an open-records lawsuit.
The female officers described Murphy as the aggressor, even as the predator. But that makes no difference in either state or federal penitentiaries, where prison employees — male or female — are the violators if they have sex with inmates.
A Justice Department study shows that cases like Murphy's are common: Female staff are more often implicated than their male counterparts in prison sexual misconduct. While many cases could be considered consensual, incarceration experts and female prison guards say the problem is much more complicated.
Cover-up charges were filed against one of the female prison workers. Murphy, 36, faced no charges. He is serving time for theft, forgery and other charges.
No sexual assault charges were filed at the time against the women due to lack of evidence, according to the documents. But in letters to newspapers and in a request to the ACLU of Montana, Murphy wrote that he had been sexually assaulted by some of the women. Prison officials would not allow him to be interviewed for this story.
The man who once ran New York City's corrections department has little sympathy for female prison workers who see themselves as victimized in these cases.
Martin Horn, now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said female workers who have sex with inmates are often treated less harshly by officials than male worker who do the same. "As long as we have a double standard we are going to see these kind of behaviors," Horn said. "It is a very slippery slope we go down if we say we are not going to hold female officers to the same standard." A 2007 U.S. Department of Justice study analyzing the prevalence of sexual assault in state and federal prisons found that 58 percent of staff perpetrators of sexual misconduct were female.
Montana State Prison Warden Mike Mahoney said 41 percent of the system's employees are female. He said it is impossible to separate female staff from any particular inmate, even one who has proven skilled at compromising workers.
He said the prison always stresses to workers not to get involved with inmates in even the smallest way, and to never reveal personal details of any type. The warden said Murphy's case, though, will likely provide lessons to improve the training.