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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Employees fear 19 reports filed about broken prison cells fell on deaf ears

3 months 1 week 3 days ago Thursday, June 17 2021 Jun 17, 2021 June 17, 2021 5:00 AM June 17, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

ST. GABRIEL- At one of the state's prisons that houses dangerous convicts, employees began sounding the alarm about broken cells back in 2019 according to documents obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit.

Sources speaking to WBRZ on condition of anonymity, out of fear of retaliation, said numerous work orders were submitted to have multiple cell and tier doors fixed. Those documents show at least two work orders were put in prior to a corrections officer getting raped last year. Another 15 work orders were put in before inmate Reynault Danos was stabbed to death in a brutal killing over what was on television.

At the time of Danos' murder, documents obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed another offender tugged on the door until it opened.

Many of the work orders state cells don't open a close. They also state cells are not secure, and workers had trouble opening and closing cells. In January, a work order stated, "All cells are unsecure" in the Biever 1 lobby.

Last summer, Deshunta Miller said she was raped by an inmate. She claims she had complained about security issues before.

"Normally I work with a friend. But that day I had to split up, and we were very short handed," Miller said. "I went to Biever five. I was by myself... 65 inmates."

In August of 2020, Cells 3, 7, 8, 11, and 13 were not working.

Employees so fed up with the situation reached out to the WBRZ Investigative Unit in hopes that something would get done.

Two days after the Danos was murdered, a Major at the prison filed an Unusual Occurrence Report stating multiple cells on B3A, B3B and B3D were not working.

Late Wednesday afternoon the Department of Corrections issued the following statement:

At Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections has currently shut down one of its cellblock units for renovations and repair of the cell doors. As the prison ages, the Department continually performs maintenance, updates and upgrades to ensure a safe environment at its facilities.

Inmate Ernest Governor is accused of murdering Danos. He was indicted by a grand jury last week for second-degree murder.

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