On Monday, officials representing United States Prison at Thomson, Illinois and the Bureau of Prisons responded for a request to comment on calls from union members working at Thomson Prison for Warden Thomas Bergami regarding allegations related to Sexual Misconduct among inmates toward Thomson Prison employees…
The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and United States Penitentiary (USP) Thomson shares the concerns about the frequency of instances where incarcerated individuals are exposing themselves to employees and engaging in sexual self-gratification. This sort of behavior is reprehensible and can have a damaging impact on law enforcement officers who already work in a challenging environment.
USP Thomson provides training annually to all staff regarding strategies for addressing inmate sexual misconduct. This includes identifying a range of inappropriate sexual behaviors, staff responsibilities for successful correctional management of inmate sexual misconduct; common motivators for inmate sexual misconduct, and recommended responses, including writing Incident Reports and notifying an immediate supervisor.
During the intake process, the USP Thomson screens for high-risk inmates, and all inmates receive information explaining the agency’s zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The inmate population is provided clear expectations for appropriate behavior and increased monitoring may be required for identified high-risk inmates.
Due to the complex mission of USP Thomson, the number of incidents with individuals engaging in these behaviors have been higher. In response, additional measures have been implemented.
USP Thomson has developed and implemented alternative security enhancements to identified cell doors of individuals who engage in sexual acts.
USP Thomson is attempting to address the core behaviors causing sexual acts, while establishing a plan to balance the need for additional security measures and reducing the frequency employee exposure.
USP Thomson continues to educate employees concerning the handling and reporting of sexual acts, to include possible referral to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Inmate Discipline Program and prosecution protocols, and the involvement of the Multi-Disciplinary Committee, who is responsible for comprehensive individualized behavioral plans following the commission of prohibited and sexual acts.