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8 Workers Charged in Prison Abuse Conspiracy

Posted May 9, 2007 3:07 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Eight former Florida prison workers were criminally charged Tuesday in what authorities described as an organized conspiracy to abuse prisoners that included sexual misconduct and other "despicable" acts by guards.

The charges included battery, failing to report inmate abuse and grand theft, reports AP.

"We had cases where inmates were compelled under threat of force to clean a commode with their tongues," says Jim McDonough, the state prisons chief. "These were improper, illegal heinous and despicable acts and it was done apparently in an organized and conspiratorial fashion."

The eight defendants were among 13 employees fired from Hendry Correctional Institution, a medium- and minimum-security facility in the Everglades, according to AP. A warden and assistant warden previously resigned, and three other employees were reassigned after an inmate earlier this year was beaten and choked by guards.

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