Wednesday, May 30, 2018

#MeToo among Texas women prison guards

Go read Keri Blakinger's new Houston Chronicle story on the topic.

Keri writes that, "female officers also have to contend with harassment from coworkers, masturbating inmates and fear of retaliation if they complain, according to lawsuits, state records and interviews." Here are the crux of the allegations:
“You think it’s the inmates you have to worry about,” said one former employee, who asked not to be identified, “but it’s actually the people you work with.” 
Some women told the Chronicle of enduring lewd comments or inappropriate contact from co-workers. One female employee said she and other women guards picked jobs working around inmates to avoid having contact with the men who supervised them. 
The latest allegations come after the department reached a $250,000 settlement last year in a lawsuit accusing a male lieutenant of raping an officer he supervised — a claim reminiscent of former assistant director Sammy Buentello, who retired in 2004 amid criminal charges and a high-dollar lawsuit by multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault. 
TDCJ officials, however, say that sort of workplace environment is a thing of the past. 
“Any days of a male-dominated culture are long gone,” said Lorie Davis, director of TDCJ’s Institutional Division and the highest-ranking woman in the agency. “We have a lot of women that move up through the ranks.”
Ms. Davis seems to think that because, as a division manager, nobody sexually harasses her, that it's not a problem at the agency: “I haven’t experienced sexual harassment as a female in our agency in years,” she said. “Years and years, not since I was a corrections officer literally 30 years ago.”

Does anybody really believe that, in Texas' predominantly rural prison system, where guards are paid roughly half the wages of the counterparts in California, for example, and more than one in four positions turn over annually, that the "days of a male-dominated culture are long gone"?

That seems awfully hard to swallow.


Steven Michael Seys said...

As I was enjoying the hospitality of the State, I had a front-row seat to watch the employees and how they treated each other. In the culture of Texas' prison guards, it is considered a perque of being a ranking supervisor to use the employees of the opposite sex as one's own private haram. It's not limited to the male supervisors abusing female underlings. But the male guards seldom consider themselves to be victims when pressured into sexual favors by a female supervisor. The ones that do understand that they are victims are cowed into silence by the fear of retaliation from their peers who enjoy the supervisors' attentions as well as the hierarchy for rocking the boat. Sexual harassment is so deeply ingrained in the culture of the TDCJ security staff that only the complete turnover of the entire system above the rank of COII will eliminate it from the workplace.

Anonymous said...

Those who choose careers in law enforcement or as guards in the penal system have a propensity for controlling others. As psychologists have known for decades, sexual abuse isn't about sex but rather about having power over and controlling the victims. Whether it's inmates, children, or colleagues, these predators are among the world's most despicable sick freaks and all need to be annihilated.

Learn more about badged sexual predators and see why millions agree that their uniforms have become nothing more than child molester costumes:

Anonymous said...

Facebook boy is back with his garbage. I think I prefer the ED spam above it given the best he can do is cite his own FB page. At least Steven's biases are understandable, though given the TDCJ turnover, his wish for complete turnover is already fairly close to happening. Objectively speaking, just because a small number of people complain about harassment does not make it as prevalent as Steven's anecdotal observations or the projections by the usual crowd. Like most large organizations, there is almost certainly some harassment taking place but is there enough to revamp the entire system, start paying employees enough that they care to stay and fight when harassed, or for the general public to be concerned? I can't honestly answer that, nor can anyone else at this point, enough false claims come in or are otherwise proven false based on the evidence that I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

TriggerMortis said...

Child molester costumes. Now I don't care who you are or if you're a cop worshiper or a cop hater, that is some funny stuff right there.

Gadfly said...

Posting this in case you hadn't seen it yet, Scott.

ProPublica on backspatter in an old Central Texas murder case

Cathy Marston said...

When I did a study of women journalists in the 1990s, one of those women had been a reporter in Huntsville. She said she had been raped by a male TDCJ CO. I'm glad this is getting out!

Anonymous said...

After visiting a friend several times in Huntsville and being treated as a criminal myself by the guards and employees, my only thought about this is who cares? Not me.