After jail scandals, county makes reform report public

Monroe County Correctional Facility must clearly communicate its “zero tolerance” for sexual misconduct to employees and inmates, and break the “code of silence” that makes both groups reluctant to report violations.

Those are among conclusions of a far reaching, federally funded study of prison operations commissioned in the wake of a 2006 sex scandal at the Snydersville prison.

The 41-page report was completed last September but wasn’t released by the Monroe County Prison Board until Thursday.

The report by The Moss Group was paid for by the National Institute of Corrections. The report includes observations and data collection by three consultants during a two-day site visit last summer.

It calls for better staff training, particularly in implementing procedures of a federal law aimed at preventing prison rape.

“Until quite recently, there were no policies, procedures or training related to staff sexual misconduct and staff was unaware of the 2003 legislation, the Prison Rape Elimination Act,” the report states. “There was no clear ‘zero tolerance’ message communicated by the board, the warden or the leadership team. Staff described relationships between staff that cross professional boundaries and result in inappropriate interactions. There has apparently been a great deal of off-duty socializing, which at times has included former inmates.”

The report also recommends additional supervisory positions, the promotion of more women and minorities, an improved grievance filing process for inmates, and more formalized and consistent expectations of correction officer conduct with inmates.



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