Panel Will Issue National Standards On Prison Sex Abuse


The director of Ohio’s prison system has asked his staff for more information after being surprised by the number of staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct allegations that showed up on a new federal survey, says the Dayton Daily News. Director Terry Collins of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said “it jumped out at me” when the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 89 accusations of staff misconduct in Ohio prisons in 2006. Only four of these cases were substantiated, with 78 deemed unsubstantiated and six unfounded.

Unfounded means officials determined that the alleged incident never occurred. Unsubstantiated means no evidence was presented to verify if the alleged incident occurred. The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, created by Congress in 2003, expressed concern about the high percentage of unsubstantiated and unfounded cases in many states, saying it may indicate prison officials aren’t taking accusations seriously. “I think that is the big story of this report,” said Commissioner Brenda Smith of Washington, D.C. Those numbers show there is “still some serious problems with investigating these cases and really getting to the bottom of what’s going on.” She said more cameras and better investigative techniques would help. The commission is working on national standards for dealing with prison sex abuse. Smith said a draft should be ready by mid-2008.


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