Despite the consistent protests of at least one female guard, inmates at a maximum-security prison in Iowa have been allowed to view movies with graphic depictions of violent murder and sex.
The prison is home to mentally ill criminals, including murderers and sex offenders; and officials apparently feel they deserve an opportunity to watch movies like “Deranged,” which depicts a woman being violently raped and tortured.
A female correctional officer said she has been trying to end the practice – which she contends contributes to inmates’ aggression – since she began working at the facility a decade ago.
Inappropriate movies aired multiple times daily in a common room with as many as 45 convicts viewing, she said, adding that inmates would often expose themselves and harass her during the films.
She claims her superiors reacted by denying her request and even blaming her for the prisoners’ actions.
The guard presented evidence of disciplinary action taken against her when she dared to turn off a movie containing scenes of sex and violence.
“If I had not lived through it myself, I wouldn’t believe this,” she said, explaining that inmates threatened to kill her after administrators barred explicit movies in response to her continued complaints.
Though she was pelted with urine and sustained a barrage of insults, officials would not transfer her to a safer assignment until more than a year had passed, she added.
A former warden at the prison basically disregarded the guard’s concerns, declaring that the facility is “an institution of adult males and much of what we show can be seen on general television broadcasts.”
It is outrageous to contend that prisoners deserve to view anything readily available to the general population; furthermore, suggesting something is harmless merely based on the fact it is disseminated over public airwaves is incredibly naive.
While the vast majority might view graphic movies without being influenced, those who have already proven themselves to be violent and/or mentally ill should not be presumed to handle such material in the same manner – especially after being deprived of most outside stimuli.
How anyone can fault a female officer for feeling unsafe in that environment is beyond my understanding.
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