NYT: Male Prison Workers Encourage Abuse Against Female Staffers

Female prison guards who complain about sexual misconduct in federal prisons run the risk of getting terminated or having their careers sabotaged, while many of the men accused of misconduct against them get promoted, The New York Times reports. Citing court documents and numerous interviews with female prison workers, the Times reports that female guards often face disturbing abuse by the inmates that is encouraged by male guards. A recent lawsuit in California alleges that male officers rewarded inmates for good behavior by moving them into “observation cells”—where they were encouraged to masturbate to female staff members, according to the Times. Male officers, who allegedly referred to the practice as “me time,” are said to have handed out empty milk cartons to the inmates for their semen. Similar practices were reported in other facilities as well. In other cases reviewed by the Times, male staffers facing multiple misconduct allegations suffered no consequences. One of them, Louis Williams, was accused of reducing inmates’ punishments for harassing female guards. He was later promoted and moved to a new facility, where he was accused of harassment or retaliation by four subordinates. Several cases against him are still pending, but Williams reportedly managed to become a warden in California despite the string of complaints.