When I returned home from prison in December 1998, I was relieved to be back with my family and safe from abuse. About 10 months after my release, I was contacted by internal affairs. The staff member who raped me was being investigated for sexually abusing an inmate. I was the last person they interviewed, and, it turns out, one of many women whom this man had raped. He was formally charged with rape and, following a five-year trial, convicted. I hope the man who raped me is kept safe in prison.
I hope that if he is harassed, abused or threatened, he can get help. Thanks to the standards — and the courage and hard work of survivors — we’re closer than ever to ensuring that no one, not even my rapist, ever has to go through what I did.
The new rules, which were given the force of an executive order, are a clear improvement over a draft version. If monitored and enforced, they could help curb the assaults that are shamefully endemic to the corrections system….A state whose governor does not fully comply with the rules could lose 5 percent of any Department of Justice grant funds for prisons. If humanity is not enough to get prison systems to change their policies, maybe that penalty will work. Rape must not be part of a prison sentence.
Sigrid Adameit, a former transportation guard at Willacy, told FRONTLINE that cover-ups of sexual and physical abuse were pervasive at Willacy. One day, she said, a manager called her in to transport a female detainee who claimed she’d been raped. Adameit came in to work while the detainee was still in the medical unit receiving a rape kit. Adameit said the manager asked her to find the next flight out for the detainee. “Make sure nobody talks to her,” he said. “Don’t say nothing to her. Just get her in the van and meet up with the U.S. Marshals up at the airport.’” FRONTLINE asked ICE for results of all positive rape kits at Willacy, but the agency did not respond to our request. The company that runs Willacy for the government, Management Training Corporation (MTC), declined our request for comments about operations at Willacy.