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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The State Fixes Problems Seattle Refuses To Address

The Washington State Department of Corrections has responded to rising cases of sexual abuse and outright rape of female prisoners by investing millions in new cameras for prison facilities so that there are no gaps in video coverage where guards and other staff can molest female inmates.

Story at The Seattle Times

Meanwhile, King County executive Sims and the head of King County's Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, Holgeerts, are still on record insisting that raping detainees, killing detainees by denying them access to medical care, and severely beating detainees after they have been restrained is not a violation of their constitutionally protected rights in response to findings by the US Department of Justice of these kinds of incidents at their facility. I believe we can safely assume that there will be no cameras installed in the deadly King County Jail any time soon.

The same holds true for the Seattle Police Department precincts where the Seattle Police Officer's Guild has been dead-set opposed and have successfully killed the idea to install cameras in all areas of police precincts where detainees would be held or transported through. With the recent appointment of the heavily SPOG funded Tim Burgess to the city council's Public Safety committee that is responsible for police oversight and accountability issues, it's also safe to assume there will be no cameras installed in Seattle police precincts either.

Funny how the state of Washington has made the effort to protect convicted prisoners but the city of Seattle and the surrounding King County refuse to make the effort of similarly protecting pre-trial, and thus potentially innocent, detainees.

It's also funny that, the very instrument that would best protect the police and corrections officers from false accusations of abuse are opposed by those same officers and guards that lament their bad reputations.

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