The Bureau of Prisons has agreed to increase its sexual harassment training and provide psychiatric and medical services to inmates who have been assaulted. Prison authorities will also institute a confidential system that will allow inmates to report attacks within the next six months and will stop housing women in the men’s Secure Housing Unit.
The agreement is part of a settlement from a lawsuit filed in August 1996 by three female inmates who charged that they were raped, attacked and sold by guards to male inmates for sex. The women, Robin Lucas, Valerie Mercadel and Raquel Douthit, sued prison authorities in Dublin, California, claiming that the officials knew about the sex-ring and did nothing, even after the women contacted them with their stories.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Geri Lynn Green said, “These women were being sold like sex slaves .... The guards took money from inmates in return for access to the women.”
The women will be paid a total of $500,000 in damages. The prison officials charged with committing the crimes quit or lost their jobs, but did not receive additional punishment.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .