How did a female teacher come to be raped at an Arizona prison teacher and why did prison officials decline an internal review?
A female teacher has come to be stabbed and raped at an Arizona prison after being left alone in a room full of sex offenders.
Accused of stabbing and raping the woman is Jacob Harvey who during the incident stabbed the teacher with a pen in the head before forcing her to the ground and raping her.
The crime which recently released documents came to reveal happened on January 30th at the Eyman prison’s Meadows Unit, which houses about 1,300 rapists, child molesters and other sex offenders.
The teacher, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, tells Associated Press was administering a high school equivalency test to about a half-dozen inmates in a classroom with no guard nearby and only a radio to summon help.
After the last of the other inmates left, Jacob Harvey asked the teacher if she could open the bathroom and then attacked her.
The teacher told investigators that she screamed for help, but no one came.
Afterward, Harvey tried to use her radio to call for help. It had apparently been changed to a channel the unit’s guards didn’t use, so Harvey let the woman use a phone, according to the reports.
Why detailed revelations of the crime came to be revealed just now has yet to be disclosed.
Carl ToersBijns, a former deputy warden at the prison, the UK’s dailymail tells the assault highlights chronic understaffing and lax security policies that put staff members at risk.
‘Here you’ve got a guy that commits a hell of a crime … and he’s put into an environment that actually gives him an opportunity to do his criminality because of a lack of staffing,’ said ToersBijns, who was deputy warden at the Eyman prison in Florence until retiring in 2010 and oversaw the Meadows Unit for 19 months.
State prison officials though dismiss the concerns.
They say the assault at the prison is a risk that comes with the job of overseeing violent prison inmates.
Harvey was in the first year of a 30-year sentence for raping a Glendale woman in November 2011. Just 17 at the time, he had knocked on the woman’s door in the middle of the day, asked for a drink of water, then forced his way inside, where he repeatedly raped and beat her while her 2-year-old child was in the apartment.
He fled naked when the woman’s roommate arrived home. He would later plead guilty to the crime after DNA evidence connected him to the crime.
Harvey was initially classified as a “Class 4” security risk, one notch lower than the highest level. Six months later, despite violating prison rules at least once, he was reclassified at a lower level.
Since the incident, Department of Corrections spokesman Doug Nick told classrooms at prisons across the state are having cameras installed.
But he said no administrative investigation was launched because there was no need, and no one was disciplined.
He said all prisons are dangerous places and staff are trained accordingly.
‘This is an assault that reflects the fact that inmates in our system often act out violently, and it is the inmate suspect who is responsible for this despicable act,’ he said.
Nick also said that not having a guard in classrooms or nearby ‘follows accepted corrections practices nationwide.’
Nevertheless Carolyn Eggleston, a professor at California State University, and the director of the university’s Correctional and Alternative Education Program disputes Nick’s statements, telling: ‘I have to say, I don’t find that consistent with standards.’
‘In a sex offender unit, especially, they should be counting the people leaving the classroom. They just should. And there should be somebody, not in the class … but there should be somebody in proximity so they can help monitor that.’
The woman, who was not critically injured, has filed a worker’s compensation claim against the state and did not want to comment on case.
ToersBijns, who is an advocate for prison safety and believes understaffing has put state prison staff at risk, said multiple errors likely led to the assault, including not having video cameras in the classroom, a lack of checks on civilian staff and use of an outdated classification system for inmates that led to a violent predator being misidentified as a relatively low-level threat.
After the attack, Harvey was calm when confronted in the classroom, refused to talk to investigators and asked for a lawyer.
Since being charged with sexual assault, Jacob Harvey was convicted in a prison administrative hearing of sexually assaulting a staff member as well as assaulting a prison employee, although records don’t show any details.
His security classification was raised two levels, to the highest, nearly three months after the teacher was assaulted.