Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Chapel Provides No Refuge

A very preventable death. (HT

Pictured above is Jayme Biendl. She was murdered while working in a prison chapel. From the looks of it this tragedy could've been prevented. From

"Months before Biendl was killed at the prison, two other female workers were assaulted at the jail, according to Monroe prison superintendent Scott Franke.

Franke confirmed on Sept. 24, a female counselor was choked by an offender.

"Another female staff worker was sexually assaulted by an inmate," he said. "No form of staffing level changed."

Franke also confirmed a criminal investigation is underway into the alleged sexual assault of a female custodial employee on Aug. 24. The woman was so traumatized that she just returned to work in the last 10 days."

This gets even more revealing. Read on:

A former convict who served time at Monroe Correctional Complex said Biendl had reason to fear for her life while working in the prison's chapel.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, Biendl didn't stand a chance working alone inside the chapel. "If she worked in the library or in the school, or in the gym, no. There would have been convicts around to stop the rapos from doing anything to her," he said.

The ex-convict said rapists like Byron Scherf, the man suspected in Biendl's murder, go to the prison's chapel to stay away from other convicts as sex offenders are often shunned within the prison walls."

With very good reason, especially after this:

"Months before her death, Biendl requested surveillance cameras be placed in the prison chapel, according to an affidavit by Biendl's immediate supervisor Jimmy Fletcher. The document states Biendl submitted a work order requesting the cameras "sometime in either August or September of 2010."

"I reviewed the Work Order and placed my signature on it," Fletcher wrote, adding he then submitted it to a captain.

Fletcher said he did not hear whether the order was ultimately approved as "under normal procedure, I would not be informed."

On Monday Biendl's former boyfriend said she'd requested surveillance cameras be installed inside the chapel, but the prison denied her request due to the cost of the cameras."

Bottom Line: It could cost the prison and the taxpayers who fund it a lot more if lawsuits by the family are filed, which I fully expect. I also expect someone to get fired over this fiasco. It's really sad that someone had to actually die before something gets done about a security weakness.

Background Intel: 2 other women attacked at prison prior to officer's murder

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