Saturday, August 1, 2009

CCA is a 3 letter word for RAPE

Please take the time to read the story posted below. It's beyond outrageous that CCA actually has the audacity to state that a female inmate "never filed a formal grievance about the rape and therefore the civil lawsuit she filed July 2 should be dismissed." CCA claims it has zero tolerance for these types of incidents. At this point at least 23 women are now claiming that they were raped while at this pathetic privatly run for profit facility. We previously posted a story on this facility here. This is a situation that should have never happened. The extremely high rate of sexual assaults at CCA prisons is a pretty well known fact. The US Department of Justice has compiled statistics that show just how pathetic CCA prisons can be when it comes to sexual assaults.

CCA claims to save taxpayers money but at what cost. I wonder what the emotional toll will be on these women and how it will affect them as they return to their past lives after completing their sentences. I wonder about the emotional toll on these women's families who may be hearing that there mother, wife, sister or daughter is being sexually assaulted while they are several states away and probably feel defenseless in being able to help them. I also can't help but wonder if the citizens in Hawaii will really be saving anything at all after the $50 million CCA gets a year plus the cost of settling what I am sure will be a huge number of inmate filed lawsuits on all of the alleged sexual assaults taking place in Wheelwright, Ky.

This article can be found here.

Prison company asks judge to dismiss prisoner rape suit

By Beth Musgrave -

A private prison company has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit of a Kentucky woman who says she was raped while a prisoner at Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright.

The facility, run by Corrections Corporation of America, is at the center of investigations by Kentucky and Hawaii into allegations of repeated sexual assaults. The inquiries were prompted in part by the reported rape of a Hawaiian woman at the prison in June.

CCA has contracts with both states to house prisoners at Wheelwright.

In documents filed this week in federal court in Pikeville, CCA says the Kentucky woman never filed a formal grievance about the rape and therefore the civil lawsuit she filed July 2 should be dismissed.

The Herald-Leader does not generally identify people who allege sexual abuse.

The woman is suing the company, several of its officials and the Kentucky Department of Corrections for failing to prevent the rape.

Kevin Younce, a former prison guard, was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, for the July 3, 2008 sexual assault of the woman in Floyd County. A bench warrant is outstanding for his arrest, according to court records. He moved to North Carolina before he was convicted.

The case of the woman from Hawaii is scheduled to be presented to the Floyd County grand jury next month, said Kentucky State Police Trooper Mike Goble.

Kentucky prison officials are investigating alleged sexual assaults at Otter Creek going back to 2006, said Lisa Lamb, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

"These include allegations or incidents that were previously reported," she said. "We are reviewing every allegation regardless of the disposition."

Otter Creek houses 430 Kentucky inmates, according to the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Lamb said she could not comment on the lawsuit brought by the Kentucky woman because the department has not seen it yet.

CCA said in a statement Thursday that it is cooperating with the investigations.

"CCA has a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate contact between staff and inmates and takes any such allegations seriously," said Steve Owen, a spokesman for the company, which is headquartered in Nashville. "We will support full prosecution under the law for any criminal activity detected."

The Kentucky woman, who has been moved to another facility, is suing for unspecified damages. She said that Younce woke her up, pulled her out of her cell and demanded sex. He took her into a staff bathroom where the assault occurred, court documents say.

She was later taken to the Pikeville Medical Center, where she was examined for evidence of rape, and Kentucky State Police were called.

Younce was convicted in absentia on Oct. 7, 2008, fined $500 and sentenced to one year in jail.

The federal lawsuit alleges that CCA knew of repeated sexual assault or harassment by prison staff at Wheelwright but did not do anything about it. Floyd County court records show that other prison guards have been charged with sexual assault of prisoners, including the former chaplain.
In court documents filed this week, CCA argues that the Kentucky woman never reported the sexual assault to the prison. After the July 3 rape, she filed nine grievances, but none of them involved sexual assault or Younce, the company's lawyers say.

The lawsuit should be dismissed, the company says, because, under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, prisoners have to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a claim in federal court.

The woman was convicted in May 2007 in Jefferson County for receiving stolen property, fraudulent use of a credit card and other charges, according to the Kentucky Department of Corrections Web site. It's not clear when she will be released.

Her attorney could not be reached for comment on Thursday.