An Alaska watchdog group found that prisoners in one of the state’s correctional facilities were sexually harassed by female staff, according to a new report.
The Hill (@thehill) reports that the investigation was launched after an inmate filed a complaint that claimed female staff members placed him and other inmates on a dog leash and paraded them through part of the jail naked. He also said he was placed in cells that had no running water, blood on the walls, and feces inside. The incident took place in Seward’s Spring Creek Correctional Center. The inmate said the people who were initially assigned to investigate the complaint, were the same officers who had committed the act. One of the accused was a lieutenant, who wrote in her 2013 report that the inmates had misused state clothing on the day in question. She wrote nothing in her report about the dog leash. When asked how the inmates had misused state clothing, by the Ombudsman, who is currently conducting the investigation, the lieutenant was unable to provide specific details.
The ombudsman’s report provided multiple recommendations, including the adoption of a body camera police for the Department Of Corrections to record interactions between inmates and staff. Ombudsman, Kate Burkhart told the New York Times
“The ombudsman doesn’t have enforcement power, but the governor and the legislature certainly do. If there’s evidence that a state agency isn’t following the law, then putting the governor and the legislature on notice that it’s happening, so that they can react and hopefully resolve the problem, is important.”
It’s not clear if the investigation is still open and ongoing. It’s also not clear if anyone has been fired, reprimanded, or will be criminally prosecuted for the dog walking accusations.