Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ugly allegations of abuse, inmate hazing at Bartlett State Jail

Holy God! I hardly know what to make of this! From the San Antonio Express-News ("Lawsuit: Texas prison okays odd sex assault," Sept. 26):
A lawsuit filed against the Corrections Corporation of America in Austin alleges the private prison company violated a former prisoner's constitutional rights by allowing a hazing tradition called "ass on the glass" that led to a sexual assault.

The suit, filed in federal district court, claims a Bartlett State Jail guard knowingly allowed the man, referred to as John Doe in the court documents, and more than 50 other prisoners to be subjected to the hazing tradition that involves forcibly stripping an individual, turning him upside down and slamming his buttocks against the glass of a guard's station.

During a two-hour incident last October in which all 55 prisoners in the cell block were subjected to the hazing, a prisoner allegedly "inserted his finger into Mr. Doe's anus, and another grabbed his testicles, sexually assaulting him in violation of the Texas Penal Code," according to the documents.

The defendant claims that the one officer on duty, responsible for four cell blocks with 55 prisoners in each, "watched dozens of men get slammed up against the glass wall" and "did nothing." ...
 The Bartlett State Jail, a men's prison, is located in Williamson County and has 140 security employees and a capacity of 1,049 inmates, according to the TCDJ.
The Texas Civil Rights Project is handling the case. TCRP attorney Scott Medlock, formerly an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, told the Express-News that "the man was sentenced to 180 days in state jail for possession of less than a gram of a controlled substance. He said the defendant 'made a mistake, was punished for the mistake, but did not deserve to be sexually assaulted.'"

Of course, for now these are only allegations, but they're certainly disturbing ones. If they're true, it makes you wonder about a) the effectiveness of TDCJ contract monitoring with private prisons and b) whether Corrections Corporation of America's recently announced commitment to preventing recidivism and reentry programs could possibly jibe with the organization's historic institutional culture.

In the meantime, add the Bartlett State Jail to the list of facilities the Legislature might consider shuttering if they decide to close more prisons. If its institutional culture was tolerating this, it's hard to imagine staff there will suddenly shift toward a rehabilitation mindset. Better to just end the contract and cut bait.

MORE: From Texas Prison Bidness.

12 comments:

PAPA said...

Shut down this Private Prison by no more contracts. Every guard and staff personnel should be stripped naked then hung from the flag pole. Concerned Citizen of TEXANS tell TEXAS you want the Private Prison Contractors put out of business. Anyone recall Hacken Hut or whatever it was called? This is just more of what The Voting Taxpayers of Texas Taxes are paying for to allow torture and abuse to your love ones.

Anonymous said...

Stop funding the half-way houses and all the fraud they commit against the tax payers. The employees at the half-way house threaten the residents there every day and think they are prison guards, aka, Volunteers of America and Dallas Salvation Army Gateway program. The follow up care First Step Counseling in Addison, Texas is committing fraud against the tax-payers with their phoney program also, no rehabilitation, nothing but threats to send you back to prison. STOP FUNDING THESE FAILED PROGRAMS WITH TAX-PAYERS DOLLARS. First Step Counseling needs their contract investigated for fraud right now, along with Volunteers of America (Riverside) Stop sending people there now and stop wasting tax-payers dollars. Parole must be getting kickbacks on these failed programs to defend them so. They are now making parolees travel two to three countries to the Addison, Texas program. Why? Must be something illegal going on like bribes and kickbacks to parole officers! STOP THE FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE OF TAX-PAYERS DOLLARS NOW!! THESE PROGRAMS ARE FAILURES!! ASK THE WOMEN AT THE HENLEY UNIT THAT HAVE BEEN IN THE PROGRAM 3 AND 7 TIMES!!

Anonymous said...

CCA has a bad rep anyway. Why should we allow them to continue to do business with some of our most vulnerable citizens. They are a disgrace. We have a ready made prison department-TDCJ-let them do the job for which they were created. And let's start working on real programs for juvenile offenders that no one wants. Yes, there are plenty of them.

Anonymous said...


Hmmm, no mention of a DOJ (FBI) being called in to perform an investigation while all of the but-pirates and perverted guards were still in custody and on the job.

No mention of any security camera footage. And, waiting a year to file, doesn't pass the smell test.

Something stinks and it's just not Johnny the rapist's pinky.

Anonymous said...

They do this same hazing at Plane State, Henley, Woodman, and especially the Crain Unit. Business as usual for these rotten units.

Phillip Baker said...

I read this piece in the Statesman, then asked several guys I know who have been at Bartlett about this. Every one without hesitation said, "Oh yeah, ass on the glass!". This is apparently a secret only to CCA- once again.

Anonymous said...

I saw a pregnant LT. at the Henley Unit back last fall, I witness her violate both inmates and visitors civil rights and she seemed to not worry about anyone seeing it either. In fact several of thoses officers made me feel they were hired through the welfare to work at TDCJ Program. Henley unit, what a disgrace!

Mystical.One said...

I am not a fan of the Texas Judicial System at all. I have seen to much and don't believe that a private for profit jail system is beneficial to anyone but the ones making the profit. Texas has the most. What will it take to stop these prisons for profit system, and get down to what the system is suppose to do, isn't it about rehabilitation and preparing these I individuals to be productive citizens? I know for sure the individuals that I have seen go in this facility are not violent criminals, just made a bad choice and are paying for it. It breaks my heart to know that there are people who are profitting off of this, and folks wonder why I can't wait to get out of Texas. Yes retreating to a place where people are not treated like a number and lives do matter, I will never support prisons for profit. Sickening bastards.

Dalton Ford said...

They have no cameras in Bartlett. No even the board perimeter cameras. All doors have to be opened with a key. And by Texas standard the doors should be rolled electronically. This place Is a nasty pig pin. The inmates eat off of trays that were not cleaned right and rats all over the kitchen. Bartlett needs to be investigated heavly

Anonymous said...

I spent 13 mos at this place. I have been out for 10 years with no problems. This place is a sad and disgusting piece of our society. Its existance is unnecisary, and it CONTRIBUTES to our recidivism issue. The staff are immoral and ignorant. It is a Violent place and for "non violent" prisoners. Just sad.

kc4tatt said...

I remember, "Ass on Glass", it happened several times when I was there, for 2-years. Guards are so corrupt and everyone knew it, even the religious leaders commented about the guards are worse than most of the prisoners. Guards sold cigarettes, marijuana to their favorites who paid. Bartlett was a joke and would hold medical attention from inmates all the time. Inmates would be harassed by the guards for no apparent reason at times. Race harassment from black guards to white inmates was rampant throughout the private ran prisons. I never commented on any prison guards, yet was harassed many times by them. A weird world of lost souls many working for satan. There is no rehabilitation, just a distant warp world that breeds hate, discontent and future crime. To keep the system going in circles!

kc4tatt said...

Bartlett sucks, spent 2-years there! Guards are corrupt, I've heard religious leaders that come to there, say that the guards are worse than many of the prisoners! I saw,"Ass to the glass" many times. If you try to calm the situation down, they turn on you and call you a snitch, then beat the brains out of you! I had the Bloods, Crips, Mexican Moffa and Skin Heads on my butt at times. How I made it out alive is a wonder! Guards will let you suffer without medical attention for no apparent reason, if I hadn't gotten word to my family, I would probably be dead already. I received a deadly infection that was eating away at my flesh, if not for the inmate's help I might not have made it out. I have deep scars on my legs and buttocks where flesh was eaten away. Reminder for the rest of my life how sick the lost guards treat humans. I have been out for over 4-years now and realize I must help change this cycle of insanity. The public doesn't realise how this system brings out the worse in society, where more innocent people are traumatized from more crime, thanks to our corrupt system and sick individuals.