Ombudsman Reports Immoral Action From State Correction Officers

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - An investigation by the Alaska Ombudsman's office has found that Alaska Department of Corrections officers acted wrongly when they forced a group of male inmates in Seward to strip naked in 2013 and then left them in cells that way.
An inmate submitted a complaint in August of 2013, claiming correctional officers took him and 11 other inmates out of their cells, shackled them in handcuffs and forced them to strip naked in front of female staff in retaliation for inmates acting up.
The complaint claimed the inmates were left naked for several hours in cells that had blood and feces on the walls and floor.
In correspondence with the Department of Corrections about the complaint, department officials held the position that the correctional officers were justified in responding to the inmates' actions.
Neither the department nor the ombudsman's office could comment on whether the correctional officers involved in the incident had been dismissed.
The report contained multiple recommendations, but State ombudsman Kate Burkhart said her office does not have authority to enforce recommendations made in reports. Only the agency or the state Legislature can enforce the recommendations.