Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Correctional officers caught on tape beating inmates in California

Six correctional officers were caught on surveillance cameras hitting two young wards in Stockton's N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility.

The tape shows a young man on the ground with his hands behind his back and a guard kneeling on him, hitting him in the face 28 times.
A second guard kicked another youth in the stomach while four other correctional officers watched. Another employee sprays the wards with Mace.

The guards, supported by the correctional officers union, appealed the California Youth Authority's decision to fire them and received a judge's recommendation to get their jobs back.

A video was released , due in part to state Sen. Gloria Romero's push for more transparency in the correctional system.

"I am very disappointed with the decision today," said Romero, D-Los Angeles. "But we won't be deterred by this in our efforts to eradicate the code of silence and excessive use of force in the system."

The youth system was given a failing grade from the state's Office of the Inspector General.

The Stockton facility, commonly known as Chad, lost its high school accreditation, and its superintendent was fired for using excessive force against a ward.
An OIG report stated that counselors only spent 10 percent of their time counseling because they are "busy with security functions."

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