Delaware Public Media

ACLU claims Dept. of Correction slow to implement changes at women's prison

Feb 28, 2013

The ACLU of Delaware is pressing Delaware's Department of Correction (DOC) to stick to its agreement and make changes at a prison where an inmate was raped by a guard.

Its motion filed yesterday in U.S. District Court calls for the state’s Department of Correction (DOC) to adopt the “zero tolerance” measures that it was ordered to implement two years ago. The order is part of a settlement in a case brought by an inmate who was raped by a guard at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution.

ACLU of Delaware Legal Director Richard Morse says all of the changes called for in the settlement should have been completed by last September.

“They were not," said Morse. "We worked with the lawyers for the Department of Correction throughout 2012, passed that court deadline up through December trying to get them to get fully into compliance. They did not.”

Morse adds the motion asserts that the changes the department has failed to implement include: training staff, installing cameras, and providing inmates resources to report abuse and receive treatment.

“In large part what we’re asking is what is required across the country. That is: we have this court order in many respects it’s similar to guidelines issued by the United States Justice Department as to what needs to be in a prison to make it safe for rape prevention,” said Morse.

A DOC spokesman says numerous measures have been put in place to ensure the safety and well being of inmates at the Baylor facility, adding that the department has worked steadily to accomplish the goals of the settlement.