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Sending a Message on Inmate Treatment

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No matter what you think of criminals, it’s a fact that life is tough on some inmates. Like a Denver Women’s Correctional Facility inmate who was forced into a five-month sexual relationship by a guard and was then sodomized when she refused his advances. The guard pleaded guilty in 2008 to misdemeanor sexual contact and was ordered to spend 60 days in jail—a sentence so light that U.S. District Judge David Ebel, expressing disgust, recently awarded $1.3 million in damages to the inmate’s civil lawsuit, according to The Associated Press. Brenda Smith, a member of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, says the ruling “sends a strong message to the agency and also individual correctional officers that there’s not going to be immunity to violating the constitutional rights of people they’re required to safeguard.” Meanwhile, it will be difficult to count on a family visitor to boost your morale if you are an Alaska inmate being held by Houston-based Cornell Companies Inc. The company anticipates receiving a contract to house 1,000 male Alaska prisoners at a facility in Colorado, reports 7News.

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