State officials aren’t releasing many details about charges that an inmate taking part in a prison work program sexually abused a mentally challenged woman at the Woodward Resource Center in Perry. Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns says the DHS is taking it very seriously. Munn says there is “zero tolerance for any breach in safety,” at any state institution but particularly at Woodward. Soon as the state learned of the charge, he says, it suspended this work program. Munns says till this allegation surfaced, there had been few problems with the inmate work program, which had been supplying prisoners to work at Woodward for three years now. He says rules regarding the program are strict. The Department of Corrections guidelines include a visual check every couple hours of the inmates, to ensure they’re working where they should be. Because of the vulnerable nature of the clients at Woodward, Munns says the agency had its own stricter policy, to check every thirty minutes. The inmate accused of abusing the Woodward client is serving a 5-year sentence for theft and drug convictions, at the prison in Rockwell City. As part of the state’s “Prison Industries” program, inmates there have been employed in telecommunications, welding, sewing, woodworking, and packing eggs for shipping. Corrections Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says inmate security at Woodward was stricter than at other sites because of the vulnerable nature of the center’s residents. Scaletta says it means they screen people for this job even more closely — while offenders sent out to work in the community are all those considered low-risk, for this job they have to be very low risk, convicted of property crimes and not violent acts, and close to the end of their sentence in the prison system. The inmate work program at Woodward’s been suspended indefinitely, until an investigation in to the charges is complete, and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office is reviewing the case to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against the inmate.
You are here: / / DHS not releasing many details on sex abuse at Woodward