Grievance Filed with BOP Says Numerous Inmates Subjected to Voyeurism by Guard
Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/05/2017 --An inmate at the federal prison in Florence, Colorado filed a grievance against a correctional officer for extending a mirror underneath a bathroom stall to peep at him while on the toilet and said there are numerous inmates who have been victims of the sexual misconduct. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) defines this type of sexual abuse as "voyeurism."
"I was seated on a toilet stall and "looked down below my right side and observed a mirror extend into the stall," the inmate wrote in the grievance. "I said to (correctional officer) Gregory, are you trying to look at me?" "Gregory responded, 'Yes," the inmate added.
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Program Statement 5324.12 discusses PREA and defines voyeurism as a staff member "peering at an inmate who is using the toilet… to perform bodily functions; requiring an inmate to expose his or her buttocks, genitals, or breasts."
The complaint went on to discuss how "numerous other inmates have been victimized" by Officer Gregory. The matter was referred to Lieutenant Hill of the Florence Special Investigation Service (SIS), who, the inmate says casually dismissed Gregory's alleged conduct as "unfounded" and dismissed Gregory's actions as a search for contraband even though the inmate wrote that two other inmates witnessed the incident. "Correctional officers have the option to stop, frisk, and strip search an inmate at any time in prison," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "If Gregory was so concerned about contraband he could have waited until the inmate exited the stall and searched him," adds Stewart. A Just Cause is told by sources at the prison that Gregory's voyeurism has been discussed by dozens of inmates.
The grievance further discusses Program Statement 5324.12 which cites that the BOP has "zero tolerance" for sexually abusive behavior and that perpetrators "will be disciplined and, when appropriate prosecuted…" "It is my understanding that Gregory has not been placed on administrative leave and continues to work at the institution where the alleged sexual abuse occurred," says Stewart. "Apparently, the BOP doesn't take allegations of sexual abuse seriously of they would have conducted a thorough investigation by interviewing other inmates to determine if they had been subjected to the alleged sexual abuse," contends Stewart. "Failure to deal with sexual abuse seems to be a common problem throughout the BOP," says Stewart.
According to the May 11, 2017 edition of USA Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee just launched an investigation into the BOP's "egregious" misconduct in the handling of hundreds of sexual misconduct incidents. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/11/congress-investigate-misconduct-largest-government-run-prison/101545024/
A Just Cause will be forwarding this matter to the Director of the BOP and to the House Oversight Committee to ensure that the appropriate action is taken and that a thorough, serious investigation is conducted consistent with PREA and DOJ policy related to sexual abuse.