Chad Campbell Seeks Charles Ryan's Hide, as Female Corrections Officer Brutally Beaten in Winslow Prison
ADC Director Charles Ryan, under fire from state Rep. Chad Campbell and the AFSC...
Welcome to the latest horror-show vignette of Oz-like violence from our friends at the Arizona Department of Corrections, this time with a female corrections officer as the victim of a brutal beat-down.
Wednesday night, CBS 5 reported on the recent attack of ADC Corrections Officer Benavidez (first name not given) at Arizona State Prison Complex in Winslow.
According to journalist Allyson Blair, Benavidez was jumped by two male prisoners "while escorting more than 50 unrestrained inmates by herself."
Blair reported that Benavidez was in the hospital following facial reconstruction surgery due the assault. Her boyfriend told Blair that Benavidez was on a hit list because a tip from her ended with drugs being confiscated from a prisoner.
He told how one prisoner pounded Benavidez's head into the ground, while another kicked her and the others present did nothing. He described the prison as riddled with drugs and seriously understaffed.
Asked to comment, ADC spokesman Bill Lamoreaux emailed me the following statement:
"Ensuring the safety of the public, staff and inmates is always a paramount concern of the Department. Criminal prosecution of the inmates involved in this assault will be pursued by the Department upon the completion of this investigation.
"This case remains under investigation. As a result, the Department will not discuss the assault until the investigation is concluded."
The CBS 5 report comes shortly after House Minority Leader Chad Campbell called for the resignation of ADC director Charles Ryan, citing a "pattern of mismanagement," security lapses, an ADC suicide rate 60 times the national average, and too-close-ties between Ryan and the private prison industry.
Campbell also mentioned the high-profile 2009 cage death of ADC inmate Marcia Powell, and the suicide death of mentally ill inmate Tony Lester, who was given razors by corrections officers despite his illness. When Lester slashed his neck and wrists, prison guards did nothing as he bled to death.
"Under [Ryan's] direction," said Campbell in his release, "our corrections system has wasted tax dollars, jeopardized people's lives and damaged the state's credibility."
On Tuesday,the American Friends Service Committee, a prison reform-minded Quaker group, formally asked Governor Jan Brewer to appoint an independent committee to oversee Arizona's prison system.
The group stopped short of demanding Ryan's removal, but it did request that Brewer seek an investigation into all of Campbell's allegations against Ryan.