The American Civil Liberties Union has filed for a court order to enforce reforms in Delaware prisons claiming the Department of Corrections has failed to follow through on its promises to protect female prisoners from sexual assault.
The legal action comes five years after a female prisoner reported being raped by a prison guard.
That resulted in a year and a-half of civil lawsuits brought with the help of the ACLU which resulted in a settlement.
The agreement required the Corrections Department to carry out a series of reforms at the Baylor Women’s Institution.
An investigation by federal officials has been called for by the Delaware Republican State Committee Chair John Sigler into a Sussex County prisoner program that allows employers to use inmates as day laborers.
He wants to know if there have been any civil rights violations among other offenses.
The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Department of Correction abruptly closed down the program in June after it could not get documentation about the inmates leaving the Sussex Work Release Center since 1989.
Women inmates at a work-release center near New Castle may have a more difficult time getting to their jobs. The Delaware Transit Corporation wants to cut the number of trips from the DART First State bus system from 12 to 8 a day because of low ridership.
That would mean a five hour midday gap with no buses.
The state Department of Correction , the Delaware Commission for Women and the inmates themselves are urging DART not to cut the service.