Articles about KCCC lawsuit:
Purna Nemani, Court News, Hawai`i Free Press, Feb. 5, 2014
“HONOLULU (CN) – A male prison warden filmed his “public sexual shamings” in which female inmates had to disclose their “rape, childhood sexual abuse … sexual preferences [and] sexual deviations,” while he called them “whores” in front of male inmates, a woman claims in a federal class action.
Alexandria Gregg sued Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety, its director Ted Sakai, and the allegedly abusive warden of the Kauai Community Correctional Center, Neal Wagatsuma.
“Defendant Wagatsuma’s public sexual shamings of female detainees at KCCC involved a myriad of improper, intolerable, and illegal acts,” Gregg says in the lawsuit. “For example, defendant Wagatsuma belittled and derided female detainees in front of other male detainees and required the female detainees to hold up provocative, sexual photographs of themselves as he called them ‘whores.'”
Rick Daysog, Hawaii News Now, Feb. 5, 2014
“‘You have a sorta voyeuristic set of individuals running a pseudo-therapeutic intervention,’ said University of Hawaii criminologist and women’s studies professor Meda Chesney Lind.
‘That’s a recipe for disaster.’
Kat Brady, coordinator for the Community Alliance on Prisons added:
“It’s just unconscionable. It’s not only against all best practices but it’s against morality,” she said.
“Why would you do something like that to somebody who has been hurt?”
The Department of Public Safety declined comment, saying they have not seen the lawsuits.”
Chesney Lind said the problems cited in the lawsuits are not uncommon in Hawaii’s prison system.
‘Hawaii has a sorry history of this,’ she said.”
Honolulu Civil Beat
“A female inmate at Kauai Community Correctional Center has filed a class-action lawsuit against the warden there, saying he sexually harassed her and others at the Wailua jail.
Alexandria Gregg has accused Neal Wagatsuma of sexually shaming female detainees at KCCC in myriad ways, sometimes involving photographs and videos.
The 28-page lawsuit, which details the many alleged offenses, was filed Jan. 31 in district court by Honolulu attorney Margery Bronster. Lihue lawyer Dan Hempey and others are also representing the plaintiff.
State Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai and Wagastuma, in his official and individual capacity, are named as defendants.
A conference hearing has been set for May 5 before Judge Kevin Chang.”
“It was very intimidating for (inmates). It was very intimidating for me because I could feel (inmates’) emotional levels,” said Carolyn Ritchie.
Ritchie sued her former boss and the state Department of Public Safety, saying she was forced out of her job after she complained about sexual harassment of female inmates.
She said that prisoners were forced to watch a graphic films depicting the rape of a teenager and that female inmates were required disclose past sexual abuses while they were being filmed.
“I can see gross violations and injustices and an inability of the people to do anything about it,” she said.”
Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, Feb. 7, 2014
“A new Justice Department study shows that allegations of sex abuse in the nation’s prisons and jails are increasing — with correctional officers responsible for half of it — but prosecution is still extremely rare.
The report, released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, takes data collected by correctional administrators representing all of the nation’s federal and state prisons as well as many county jails. It shows that administrators logged more than 8,000 reports of abuse to their overseers each year between 2009 and 2011, up 11 percent from the department’s previous report, which covered 2007 and 2008.”