The new U.S. Justice Department Inspector General’s study of “staff sexual abuse of federal inmates,” reported last Friday in Crime & Justice News, “paints a disgusting picture of federal employees who have disgraced themselves, shamed their professions and dishonored the federal service,” says Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson. The inspector general found that allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct had more than doubled from fiscal year 2001 through 2008.
The IG also chided the U.S. Marshals Service for not establishing a sexual abuse prevention program. Davidson commended the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Marshals Service for not trying to duck Inspector General Glenn Fine’s conclusions. Prison Bureau Director Harley Lappin says the agency is “fully committed to a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of staff sexual abuse.” The Marshals Service said it is developing a zero-tolerance policy and will require all employees to complete an online training course. Davidson noted that, “Despite the image of big, mean male prisoners, female staffers were most often accused of abusing male inmates, not females.”