SACRAMENTO (CN) – In a federal class action, female prison guards claim the California Department of Corrections does not protect them from inmates who harass them for confiscating pornography – and the women say their supervisors join in the harassment.
Since at least 2007, female officers and employees claim, lax enforcement of the Department’s policies on public display of sexually explicit material has put them in danger by making them a target for hostile and aggressive inmates.
Yvette Daniels, correctional counselor at N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in San Joaquin County, says she repeatedly confiscated pornographic magazines, video games and movies from inmates, in accordance with policy, and turned them in to her superior Mark Miranda.
Miranda then gave the stuff back to the inmates and told them that Daniels was the only officer who had a problem with inmates having pornography, according to the complaint.
In August 2007, Daniels says, she complained of Miranda’s unprofessional behavior, unfair treatment, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and hostile work environment after Miranda repeatedly told a juvenile offender, “Motherfucker, you were messing with a fat girl,” in Daniels’s presence.
At one point, Daniels was so scared of an inmate that had turned against her and had a history of problems with female authority figures that she had a lieutenant accompany her when she attempted to counsel him, the complaint states.
Daniels says she submitted 15 complaints against Miranda and his superior, Rich Alvarado. All were ignored, she says. Daniels says she eventually was transferred to another, less desirable, facility.
At least two other female employees, Maria Aguilar and Karen Currie, have complained of similar experiences but they say the prisons department ignored all their complaints.
The class seeks an injunction and damages for sexual discrimination and retaliation.
They are represented by Pamela Price of Oakland.