Clements Unit accused of officers sexually assaulting inmates - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Clements Unit accused of officers sexually assaulting inmates

Amarillo, TX - Texas is being declared as the "Prison Rape Capital of the U.S.", and a federal survey shows the Clements Unit in Amarillo is the worst of the lot.

The Clements Unit has come under fire after a federal survey was made public. The survey said at the Clements Unit, more prisoners reported being forced, coerced or pressured into sexual contact with staff than any other male prison in the country.

These reports are strictly coming from inmate surveys collected by the justice department.  NewsChannel 10 spoke with two former Clements employees who wished to remain anonymous. One in fear of guards, the other in fear of inmates.

"I made an inmate get out of bed and he couldn't even walk," one employee said. "And he told me that he was sexually assaulted and beat by officers during a strip search, and when I sent him to the infirmary when they started talking to him, he was too scared to talk."

The guard said the weeks the inmate was bed ridden, his cellmate would sneak him food because he was afraid of retaliation by officers. 

The guard ended up quitting because after they reported the incident, they said they received death threats from other officers. 

Another former Clements employee said these allegations aren't entirely true.

"They are there for high crimes. They are there for murder, for the worst crimes that they could commit is how you get to the Clements unit."

This guard said these inmates are manipulative and will report anything to change their circumstance, hence the findings in the federal survey taken only by inmates.

"Did I ever see where offenders got hurt and then accused someone else? Yes. They do that all the time. That is just standard operate and procedure. There were very very few times when someone would get hurt that was hurt by an officer."

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice released this statement on the matter, claiming "The agency has a zero tolerance policy against sexual encounters of any kind within the system..."

They go on to say there is "an extensive Safe Prisons Program aimed at preventing, investigating and prosecuting sexual assault and other violence,"which is in place at all TDCJ facilities including the Clements Unit.

Reports show prison staff are blamed for sexual abuse in over half of all prison and jail reports in the country.

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