DOC Status Hearing: Inmate Health Care Issues Remain Unresolved

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Guam – The Guam Department of Corrections is still not in compliance with a 19 year old Stipulated Order requiring improvements at the island’s prison.

The Quarterly Status Hearing Thursday morning in District Court reviewed the outstanding issues which have to do primarily with the mental and physical health care of inmates. DOC is still not meeting 19 of the 32  minimum standards set by the National Commission on Corrections.

Acting DOC Director Lt. Antone Aguon told PNC News they are working with the U.S. Department of Justice to implement the outstanding polices and procedures required. “There were concerns regarding some of the policies,” he said ” but we are working with our attorney trying to figure it out.”

Also discussed was the repayment of the debt owed to the Federal Bureaus of Prisons for housing Guam inmates in mainland jails. 

The Governor’s legal counsel, Shannon Taitano Lujan told the Court that payments on the past due amount owed to the Bureau of Prisons is current.

 

A number of new complaints were raised at the status hearing.  Among them, trash that is not being collected in a timely manner at some of the DOC facilities and the threat of  a return of  the rat infestation problem at the Hagatna Detention Center. The periodic spraying of poison to eliminate the rats has stopped.

Aguon says, “As far as the Pestex, that contract has been renewed and the last spraying occurred in the middle of October 2010. Also the trash collection contract with Pacific Waste to collect the trash at the Hagatna Detention Center was terminated for non payment. We are resolving the issues with payment from FY 2010.

During the hearing Judge Francis Tydingco – Gatewood said she was surprised to see the video of the inmates at DOC having a barbecue. Tydingco – Gatewood  also expressed alarm at seeing an inmate holding an ax. The video also shows both Warden Major Francisco Crisostomo and Captain Joseph Lujan present at the barbecue. Warden Crisostomo is currently on administrative leave until the end of December during GPD investigation.

Aguon says they are moving forward but unfortunately it all comes down to funding. He says if DOC had all the money they needed , these things would have already been taken care of. He says little by little they will address these issues and hopefully they will be in compliance to the stipulated order

The next hearing will be at the District court on April 14, 2011 at 9am