But City Limits found that DOCS’ offifficial numbers may not tell the whole story.
Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Law indicate that prison officials never forward many inmate complaints to the prison system’s inspector general, who is officially responsible for investigating them. At the seven facilities serving women, 15 percent of allegations lodged from 2005 through 2009 were not reported to the inspector general.
And when DOCS substantiates a romantic relationship between an employee and an inmate, it does not include that relationship in its annual federal tally unless sexual contact has also been substantiated, officials say. The practice of excluding such incidents complies with BJS guidelines, but critics say it masks the state’s real prevalence of staff sexual abuse.