Chad Campbell Seeks Charles Ryan's Hide, as Female Corrections Officer Brutally Beaten in Winslow Prison

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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."

See Also:
Charles Ryan, ADC Director, Reports 640 Staff Arrests in last 4 1/2 Years

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.

CBS 5 - KPHO

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.


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39 comments
mom2356
mom2356

I have a son that has been incarcerated for 4 years and write to another young man who has no family.  The stories I hear never cease to amaze me.  In Kingman a young man was clubbed to death with a sock full of rocks by a prisoner who was crazy.  He was on a 2 yard.  The young man killed was a minor offender with two small children.  Never even saw anything on it in the paper or news.  They brush everything under the rug so they don't have to account for it.  Just recently my son had a new celle moved in with him.  The new celle was hiding knives.  My son asked me what to do because he didn't want to rat and liked where he was.  I told him he had to tell because he would be just as guilty if someone was hurt.  The guy was the skin head type and had no concern for others life or safety.  I tried to call in about it so he would not be blamed for the search...  They just blew me off as usual when you have a problem. He tried to tell one of the Doctors and the guards cuffed him and drug him through the yard.  They were asked to at least procure my sons property.  The next day by the time someone went there they had stolen everthing I had paid for.  The tv, fan ,20 cds, clothes, ear phones, food, everything..  No one

even cares.  I'm out several hundred dollars worth of stuff.  Of course the knives were gone also by the next day. The yards are so full of drugs it is ridiculous.  The kid I write to says so many are so stoned they can't even work.  They just lay around like slugs.  The cartel runs the yards more than the guards.  Great second job.  GOOD MONEY.......If I were young and well I would be picketing the Gov office and Ryans..............They need to clean house and get some human being who care about all the problems there.  The new health system is worse than the last.  Our state is heading in the wrong direction on prison reform.  Just when you think it cannot get any worse it does...................

fsmith3
fsmith3

"Ensuring the safety of the public, staff and inmates is always a paramount concern of the Department."

That's complete bullshit, of course, and what I'd expect from Brewer's stooge.

There's a four-month federal trial underway in Albuquerque because Brewer and Ryan sent inmates who never should have been entrusted to the larcenous misfits of the for-profit prison industry at Management and Training Corporation, to their porous facility in Kingman. Three escaped, three years ago, and the unfortunate death of two vacationers in New Mexico is the worst result.

The feds are now pissing away many millions of taxpayer dollars on that prosecution and the anticipated appeals.  This is a death penalty trial (the USAG took it away from New Mexico, which has no D.P.) of a guy who is 48 y/o, was hospitalized earlier this year, and tried to commit suicide since he was arrested when he came back to Arizona.

Only three defendants have been executed by the feds in the last 50 years, including Tim McVeigh who blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. One of the other 59 death row inmates was given the key to escape by a bribed guard at another malfeasant for-profit prison. He then kidnapped his ex-girl friend from a hospital and killed her. Three co-defendants from Virginia have been there for 20 years.

The USAG who made this stupid decision to go to trial, Kenneth J. Gonzales, was made a federal judge last Thursday. Nothing like rewarding incompetence.

theresabazurto
theresabazurto

Yes many arrests but how many was found NOT GUILTY. I was found not guilty for a DV by a judge . I WAS THE Victim I was beaten and bruised. Oh but I still got 40 hours off without pay. My concern is the public, staff and inmates I am not sure if Mr Ryan is receiving the truth from the people who he has trusted to run his complexes. We need to look at the big picture. All I know two weeks ago I had a three on one inmate assault and I did not have enough staff to handcuff the assaulters and to keep 8 more inmates jumping in I had to call another unit for resources

bugzbunny
bugzbunny

System of a down's "Prison Song" is so fitting right about now....

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

This is what happens when you make a State a Prison State for money.

tonysvoice26
tonysvoice26

First and Foremost Thank-you Mr. Lemons for taking the time to address this most critical issue at hand!!!  So many, many media here in the greater phoenix metropolitan area have closed their eyes to this disgraceful, shameful actions of this MULTI-BILLION agency, What I CANNOT comprehend is these Correctional officers risk their lives each and every day WHY on earth are these prisons not equipped to handle such inmates!!!  There is SOMETHING HUGELY wrong with this picture!!!!  It is time for this Director to do the right thing and step down!!!  He has already cost the AZ tax payers millions of dollars in litigation in wrongful death lawsuits!!!  I happen to be the aunt to the late Anthony (Tony) Lester who was mentioned in this article!  There was ONE Courageous, Tenacious investigative reporter that fought for two years to release the Video taken the night Tony committed suicide!!!  KPNX 12 News along with Ms. Halloran took ADOC to court and WON releasing the video, the judge that ruled in this case was inclined to award attorney fees, ADOC forked over 26,000/00 dollars  of  AZ tax dollar  monies in attorney fees!!!  Now, The attorney General's office has passed Tony's case out to a private law firm.  AGAIN more AZ tax dollars wasted on Attorney Fees, I guarantee if one where to dig deep it would reveal that these attorney's have already been close to 1 million dollars, and this case has NOT even gone to trial!!!!  When does it stop????? Our hard earned ta dollars tossed out the window to litigate such cases, to escape the obvious the DELIBERATE INDIFFERENCE to HUMAN LIFE, whether it be inmates, more importantly CORRECTIONAL STAFF.  They all deserve better than this!!!  Resign Director Ryan!!!  Please continue to print such insightful articles!

toersbijnsc
toersbijnsc

One has to wonder why the prison unions remain silent as one of their own received a near fatal beating at the hands of two violent inmates in the Kaibab Unit in Winslow. Not a word has been said by the leadership of the union that represents the majority of Arizona correctional officers as they face what is a most difficult task under very severe staffing conditions. The union has not yet met with media or other sources to address this violent trend inside Arizona prisons as they fail to publicly denounce the current practices of putting staff in harm’s way by short staffing them at every essential post inside their prisons. The union relies on the DOC’s investigative units to reveal what went wrong last Friday afternoon when an officer was nearly beat to death. Hospitalized and suffering from serious injuries she was luckily rescued by her fellow officers that responded just in time from giving the inmates the opportunity to kick, hit and stomp her to death.Because no weapons were involved, the likelihood of charges being filed are slim but if they do, it islikely not to be prosecuted as the record is weak on such follow up actions by county attorneys who review such cases. In fact the chances of filing and getting a conviction stands about at less than a 33 per cent change of happening.

Arizona prison officials need to be sensitive to the safety concerns of staff working there. They need to address the daily shortages that puts their officers in harm’s way whenever they try to do their job and enforce the rules. Shortages impact many things; they reduce the findings of contraband due to less searches, they reduce vigilance of compliance of institutional rules and regulations and they put staff at risk because the number of officers that can respond to an emergency has been severely reduced. Secondary, the public should be aware and concerned as well as a shortage of staff impact community safety as well. There are many officers assigned to community hospital rooms watching convicted felons at reduced staffing patterns by combining supervision of inmates even when they are not assigned to a bed together in the same room. Sometimes this entails different wings or floors as bed space is not always available side by side.

Out of facility transports are being done by officers fatigued by overtime or lack of training in such specialized duties. The fact is that whenever there is a need for an emergency transport, they find the first available officers and send them on their way without checking their certification cards or knowing their skill levels and training proficiency as they hurry the process to avoid a delay and be criticized for not doing it fast enough by administration that quarterback their arrangements the next day. Today, violence has escalated exponentially and is out of control. The DOC’s solution to the problem is to move the inmates to a higher custody level after they attacked someone. Some have been moved out of state but regardless, nothing is being done about the rising trend of violence on staff. This violence trend leaves the prisons tense and consequences of being targeted are higher now than ever before as there are less officers on the floor to watch these felons on what their home turf is and where their rules supersede those of the administration and officers assigned.

This creates a conflict that most often results in a confrontation as the seizure of contraband and other violations lead to personal conflicts at staff doing their jobs. A job that is covered under the terms of their union agreement with management that reasonable and practical work conditions should exist to keep staff safe and at less risk than what they are experiencing today.Is it reasonable to expect some sort of backlash from the system for speaking out on staff safety? I am certain there is. Backlashes are common reactions to criticism as it is designed to discredit the one doing the criticizing as speaking out on dangerous workplace issues is not tolerated and viewed disloyal to the system that hired them. It is predictable that most employees of the estimated 10,000 correctional officers will remain silent as will their union leadership for they have proven that in the past. They may silently or covertly encourage documenting workplace deficiencies but in a whole will not cause an uproar or argument over these dangerous conditions that exist statewide. Never mind that staff are getting hurt and maimed on the job; never mind that medical costs are rising and creating a higher expense for the state and never mind that the inmates go unpunished for their misdeeds while incarcerated. It is all tolerable in the name of silence. . A few years ago, the union took a membership poll and found they had no confidence in the DOC leadership and while nothing has changed for the good, nobody is concerned that work conditions have worsen and violence has risen to the point that an officer can expect to be assaulted once every three days in the year and more to come. I guess it’s fair to say that this is a tolerable number of assaults for the union as it remains quiet.

automaticlydeleted
automaticlydeleted

I worked in ADC for more than 20 years, many of them with Ryan as an administrator. He and Terry Stewart were pretty much ran out of the department once before, because they refused to properly staff prison units. As a former staffing manager for the department, I've seen ASPC-Winslow's staffing charts and I saw the number of staff ADC claims to have had on shift when Ms. Benevidas was assaulted. I can say with reasonable certainty that those numbers were manipulated. In other words, there may have been 167 staff assigned to the unit that night, but some of them may not have been at the unit. They may have been performing duties outside the unit, which creates an artificially high number of staff. Executive staff like to tout staff to inmate ratios. Numbers like that, give a very misleading picture of staffing within a prison, no matter who runs it. 

Folksinger
Folksinger

Don't know who knows this but, the Gov's family has financial ties to some if not all of those so called "private" prisons. One reason she was so hell bent on passing and signing the bill to turning State ran prisons over to private and building more private run prisons in our state. So asking her to have independent investigation into this is not going to happen....IMO

prisonabolitionist
prisonabolitionist

AZ DOC officers should join others concerned about prison violence, staffing morale, etc and fight back - call for Chuck Ryan to resign, and a competent administrator to be appointed. The union issued a vote of no confidence and called for Brewer to sack him once before - what's changed since then, except a few more people are hurt and dead?

Comanche_Moon
Comanche_Moon

Ryan has hired a bunch of yes men that blow smoke up his rear end. 

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

You need an investigation when you have one female escorting more than 5 inmates who are not restrained...really ? If so, than the cost for the investigation comes out of gov. glug glugs pay. peace

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

"The responsibility for this wretched state of affairs falls upon all Arizonans. There is a mentality in this state, which holds that inmates of either jail or prison deserve their fates, no matter what their crime."

To the power that racism and ignorance hold over Arizonans you can add the power that sadism also holds. Only a sadist could approve of treating human beings in this manner. 

If you approve this kind of treatment, it says that you are no better than those who are confined.

tonysvoice26
tonysvoice26

@mom2356 


  1. Thank-you @mom2356 for caring and continuing to fight for the rights of these inmates within the ADOC!!  I am well aware of the way this Multi-Billion Dollar agency will continue to cover such unnecessary deaths up.  They way they try to bully and intimidate people to keep such secrets buried!!  I have fought since the moment we lost my Nephew Tony Lester while in the custodial care of the ADOC in July of 2010.  I am continuing to fight this Multi Billion Dollar agency along with their High Dollar Attorney's to have accountability for Tony's death.  I commend you and advise you to write, call your state represnative other state lawmakers, call the Governor's office and demand change!!!  It is the only way things can change!!!  

Whistle_Blower
Whistle_Blower

Complements of our flamboyant republican governor.

az_irish07
az_irish07

@theresabazurto I don't think Ryan is getting the information. He trust wrong people and it makes him look bad. That doesn't say he is an angle just that he needs to start looking at the ones he trust. Maybe he needs to start hitting the units unannounced again, and start having more meetings with staff that aren't afraid of telling him the truth. My Warden is on the yard everyday. Talks to staff and addresses the issues that come up. He is not perfect but it makes a big difference.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@truthseekeraz 

Brewer's campaign managers were lobbyists for the for-profit prison industry. I am not aware, though of financial interest she might have in them. Can you be more specific?

az_irish07
az_irish07

@truthseekeraz This is not new to us we have known this from the beginnig. This is a republican state and they don't care about anyone except lining their own pockets

fsmith3
fsmith3

@Cozz 

Brewer and Ryan have kept their state prisons understaffed and unsafe, and have filled the pockets of the contributors in the for-profit prison industry instead. They have virtually eliminated the unions that could have pressed for better and safer working conditions. This is the unfortunate result of such misplaced priorities.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@tonysvoice26  Thank goodness for Wendy Halloran.  She is clearly the best TV reporter in Arizona.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@toersbijnsc 

It was my impression the when Brewer stopped dues checkoffs that the union virtually disappeared, which was her Tea Party intent.  Is that not the case?

Also, since Arizona is an Open Shop state, wasn't there more than one union representing members?

az_irish07
az_irish07

@toersbijnsc You know why the unions are quiet they don't want to piss the director off. You know he has a short fuse and is reactive and not proactive in anything. He is state raised like you and me. The problem is he never left and has not changed. I hope that officer has a lawyer before she talks to CIU. She is going to need that advise, the department is in damage control right now.

az_irish07
az_irish07

@automaticlydeleted  My bet they had 12 staff on the unit at the time this happen. !2 correctional staff available. Pull the posting roster for the day it will tell you where all the staff were. If you been with the department for 20 yrs you know that.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@Folksinger

You were quoted above by truthseeker and I replied thusly to his or post by accident:

Brewer's campaign managers were lobbyists for the for-profit prison industry. I am not aware, though of financial interest she, through her family, might have in them. Can you be more specific?

automaticlydeleted
automaticlydeleted

@shadeaux14 In case you missed it, it was a Correctional Officer that was assaulted. And no one invited any individual incarcerated in ANY American prison to be there. They all volunteered to be there, through their own actions.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@truthseekeraz 

I don't disagree with anything you've written with this respect.  I've tried to get an accounting for the fines levied upon CCA by the state of Alaska in the last years they sent prisoners there. I have little doubt there was corruption involved in that contract. But Alaska is stonewalling what is clearly public information and I may have to take their DOC to court to get it.

Many Alaska prisoners escaped from CCA's pens in AZ, endangering citizens and they killed other inmates, leaving AZ with the responsibility of trying them and holding them for life.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@truthseekeraz 

Fortunately, no states bit at the bait, at the time.

Ohio's Koch 'Ho Governor, John Kasich, just previously, had sold its Lake Erie Correctional Center prison that had been managed by MTC to CCA at a fire sale for $73 million, putting a terrible burden on the town in which it sits, and doing a prodigiously bad job in operating it.

theresabazurto
theresabazurto

@az_irish07 @theresabazurto I agree I truly believe he is not told every thing. Az has many prisons that he is in charge of. It is silly to think that only one man holds the blame to the issues in the prisons. They bring up about the inmates escaping from Kingman, REALLY!! Those inmates had been reclassed and reclassed way before Mr Ryan came back to be the director.

toersbijnsc
toersbijnsc

@fsmith3 @toersbijnsc  yes and I am doubtful any of them serve an effective role to adequately address staff assaults or any other matter related to their personnel policies and procedures. The admin seems to tread freely without any resistance to any of their changes.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@automaticlydeleted @shadeaux14 

If you get a chance, you should meet Ray Crone, who was sentenced to death in Arizona thanks to a dishonest prosecutor, useless police and incompetent forensic testimony. He got off death row on appeal, but was doing life when, after 11 years, they finally did the DNA test he had been requesting and found out that the real killer was doing time for other rapes, though those victims survived.

Do you think Ray was a "volunteer?"

fsmith3
fsmith3

@theresabazurto @az_irish07

No they hadn't Teresa. McCluskey had only been recently reclassed, shouldn't have been in the first place given his history, sentence and parole hold from Pennsylvania.

He was only moved to Kingman, shortly before the escape, to make room in Lewis for prisoners coming back from out of state for-profit prisons.

The MTC pen had alarms that hadn't worked in years, a single perimeter fence, no effective count system, yard lights burned out for ages, and the state was "80% new, or newly hired," according to the complex warden.

Schriro had left 18 months before the escape. You need to get your facts together.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@theresabazurto @az_irish07 

No they hadn't Teresa. McCluskey had only been recently reclassed, shouldn't have been in the first place given his history, sentence and parole hold from Pennsylvania.

He was only moved, shortly before the escape, to make room in Lewis for prisoners coming back from out of state for-profit prisons.

tonysvoice26
tonysvoice26

@theresabazurto @az_irish07 

Yes you are correct, except In Director Ryan's case, he has tried to escape the clear blatant facts !!!  Our Family and, and many other families have been told half truths when it comes to the circumstances of their loved ones when they die in the custodial care of the ADOC!!!  I have actual audio tape recordings of MANY, MANY ADOC employees that state the massive cover ups, their facts are contrary to what is stated in the AIU and CIU investigations!! From bottom level all the way to the TOP!!!   Director Ryan is the man in control, he KNOWS exactly what is going on in each  and every prison !!!!  He is allowing these GREAT correctional officers to risk their lives each and every day when he is not ensuring a safe environment for staff and inmates!!   The families of these inmates have not committed an offense but are treated as they have!!!  The director of such an agency is responsible for each and every life that is entrusted to his care!!!


Folksinger
Folksinger

It is from other folks I have heard this from, when ever this topic has come up. Have there been any research in the company's info, ie who are stock holders, who stands to profit the most from all and more prisons being built here in Arizona. And how much/many in stocks has the gov or her family had/has received if any... I don't know if this info is able to be obtained under public information. But it would be interesting to see how that all breaks down.

fsmith3
fsmith3

@truthseekeraz 

I'm well aware of her relationship with Coughlin and other for-profit hirelings, thanks to the work of Beau Hodai, a few years ago.  My question should have gone to "folksinger."

As far as I'm concerned, DeConcini's tenure on CCA's board has been conspiratorial. He's been there when they have been doing things that are clearly illegal and had to be okayed by that board.

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