Federal detainees file complaints over ‘inhumane’ living conditions

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Federal detainees locked up at the Department of Corrections  Hagatna Detention facility have filed complaints with Guam’s federal District Court over what they say are the inhumane living conditions at the Hagatna Detention facility.

A declaration filed by Federal Public Defender John Gorman maintains that the detainees 8th Amendment rights are being violated.

His complaint details unsanitary, unsafe and inhumane conditions at the detention center where the eight federal inmates are confined.

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Darrel Guerrero, Gavin Duenas, Jesse J.C. Reyes, Charles Smith, Joey Teriong, Kenneth McClain, and Richard Gapasin, are among those who filed the lawsuit in federal court.

Atty. John Gorman says those named are only the individuals represented by the FPD.

The conditions at the facility were highlighted by former DOC Director Frank Ishizaki who went on record before the legislature three weeks ago calling the conditions inhumane in response to a public hearing on Bill 96-35.

“I have cells in Hagåtña, for instance, where we have 7 or 8 people in a cell. It’s not humane. We’ve become a warehouse for offenders and I would like to suggest that we think about treatment. We are not doing treatment and we are sorely lacking in treatment over the past several years. In order to cut spending, the DOC was cut short in its appropriations and the end result is we have fewer officers today and the negative impact is that we’ve reduced treatment,” Ishizaki said.

Following the public hearing, Ishizaki took PNC on a tour of the Hagåtña detention facility providing an inside look at just how bad things are and it’s worse on the federal side. Ishizaki told PNC that the housing unit was designed for a safe occupancy rate of 70 but the facility has a current population of 112 federal inmates and detainees.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.