Corrections Officer Faces Charges Of Sexually Abusing Female Inmates
A sixth employee from Dublin correctional facility has been charged with the sexual abuse of inmates. In this case, the former corrections officer was charged with the abuse of three inmates in their prison cells and in a laundry room. While individuals are taking the blame and being thrown under the bus for this criminal conduct, many believe that the culture of the correctional facility was to blame for the rampant abuse. Indeed, the concept of correctional rape is something that we don’t like to talk about. But it still exists. Correctional rape, properly defined, is the use of rape as a punishment. As a society, we reject the use of criminal conduct to curb criminal conduct.
The Associated Press released a report on the facility that uncovered years of sexual abuse and cover-up that pervaded the facility for decades. It is only today that individuals from the facility are being charged with crimes. It is more than likely that the individuals charged with crimes were operating under an environment in which the abuse of inmates was ignored or even condoned. The report led to a Congressional investigation and a pledge by the Bureau of Prisons to take over the prison and change the culture.
The former warden of the prison is serving a 6-year sentence for the sexual abuse of inmates and forcing them to pose naked in their cells.
Was this a sweetheart sentence?
Federal guidelines for sexual assault can vary greatly based on a number of details. So, without knowing what specific factors were considered, it’s impossible to know if this deal was better than other deals for sexual assault that occurred outside of the context of the prison. Under the law, the victim or their status as a prisoner does not or should not matter. However, it does not feel like a 6-year sentence adequately reflects the level of oppression suffered by these women who were essentially raped by an American institution operated by malicious agents. At this point, the warden is appealing the sentence saying that it exceeded federal sentencing guidelines. However, he was charged with three counts related to various forms of sexual abuse.
The question then becomes: How was the sexual assault understood by the court in the adjudication of this offense? In this case, it may have been a base-level sexual assault without any aggravating factors. However, one could argue that the court is not considering the institutional hierarchy and power imbalance between a prisoner and a warden or officer. Certainly, it appears that the warden is responsible for creating a pattern where corrective rape was institutionalized in this prison. Instead of being charged for an institutional crime committed on behalf of the government, he was charged with individual instances of sexual assault that the government could prove. Ultimately, that does feel like a sweetheart deal.
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Luke Newman, P.A. represents the interests of Tallahassee residents who have been charged with federal crimes. Call a Tallahassee criminal lawyer at our office today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing defense strategy immediately.