My abuse started in the County Jail where I was raped by four inmates . . . . [In prison, a few years later,] I was put in a cell with a gang member who made me give him oral sex. . . . . [After reporting the incident to two officers,] I went to see a psychologist who told me that I'd caused that inmate to sexually abuse me because I walked around thinking that I was better than the others. He said that I should come down out of the air . . . . [After being transferred to another facility and sexually abused again,] I was put back in that same building, in a different cell. Still I was being asked for sex and told that I would have to give myself over one way or another; at this point (looking back on the matter), I can see that I was going through a brake down mentally. Anyway that night I'd made up my mind that I was taking my life for it seemed as if that was the only way out of that Hell. So the sleeping medication they was giving me, I saved for 8 days which came to 800 mg and I took them . . . . It is truly impossible to put into words what goes through one's mind when becoming a victim of rape. Being made into a person of no self worth, [being] remade into what ever the person or gang doing the raping wants you to be.
--R.G., California inmate, October 1, 1996
Inmate is an effeminate with a proclivity toward being sexually assaulted. He cannot mainline at San Quentin.
Date: 01/02/91 P. Hicks, M.D., Chief Psychiatrist
R.G. is a gay, middle-aged, African American prisoner whom prison psychiatrists have classified as "effeminate." Skinny and of medium height, R.G. weighs only 135 pounds and sports thick, black-rimmed glasses. Outside of prison, his looks might peg him as a nerdy intellectual: bookish but not necessarily effeminate. Rare among inmates, he claims two years of college education, having worked for a time as a substitute teacher in Baltimore. All of his crimes are nonviolent: car theft, burglary, etc.
Although R.G. was raped in prison, it was in jail that he suffered the most vicious sexual abuse.(91) The first incident occurred in 1988, when he was confined at a Los Angeles jail for tampering with a vehicle--charges that were later dropped. R.G. was placed in a two-man cell, and on his first night there was awakened at about 1 a.m. by his cellmate and three others. Sticking a sharpened mop bucket handle into the soft skin of his neck, they warned him, "You're going to do what we want or you're going to die." They pulled him off the top bunk, where he had been sleeping, and threw him onto the bottom bunk, where they spent over an hour taking turns orally and anally penetrating him.
That morning in the inmate dining hall R.G. reported the rape to a lieutenant and said he refused to return to his cell. The lieutenant showed no interest in discovering who had committed the rape, but he did move R.G. to the "softie tank" on the thirteenth floor of the facility, where R.G. had no further problems during the four months he was held there.(92)
In 1993, R.G. was arrested on burglary charges and confined at the Los Angeles County Jail. There he was placed in a large overcrowded dormitory that held at least 500 people. Due to a bunk shortage, R.G. had to find a place to sleep on the floor, near a corner of the room. He was awakened at about 4 a.m. by six members of the Crips gang. They held a razor to his throat and forced him to give them oral sex. At 6 a.m., when all of the prisoners were brought out for breakfast, R.G. tried to report the rape to the sergeant on duty, for whom "it was a laughing matter." The sergeant forced R.G. to return to the dormitory, where he broke down, sobbing hysterically. "I just fell apart; I was scared that the situation would continue, and what really got me was the coldness of the CO when I told him what happened, that he didn't care. I was crying and crying and couldn't stop shaking."
R.G. kept banging on the window of the dormitory and finally a different officer brought him to see a lieutenant. After hearing his story, the lieutenant said he never should have been placed in that ward. He sent R.G. to a medical facility, where he was again placed in the "softie tank."
That August R.G. was transferred into the California prison system. In his initial interview with a classification officer, he explained that he was gay and had been raped by gang members, and that he needed to be housed with another gay person, or someone of small build, or a first-timer--in his words, a "softie"--and not a gang member. The sergeant on duty that night was concerned about R.G.'s safety and assigned him to a single cell, but the sergeant on duty the next night placed him in a two-man cell.
R.G.'s new cellmate was an African American gang member who became immediately aggressive, bragging about his gang connections and his violent crimes. He soon grabbed R.G. by the collar and told him, "You can do this the easy way or you can do it the hard way." Fearing that he would be badly beaten, R.G. submitted to performing oral sex. Afterwards he threw up and sat on his bed awake all night long. The next morning he told a white correctional officer what happened and the officer did nothing, saying "I don't have time to be baby-sitting you." When the prisoners were let out of their cells for dinner that evening, R.G. approached an African American officer and told him what happened. The officer brought him to a sergeant, who moved him to a single cell. His former cellmate was transferred to another prison, but no disciplinary investigation of the incident was ever conducted.
In December 1993, R.G. was transferred to a correctional facility in Calpatria, where he again explained his vulnerability to the classification staff. He was held for about two weeks in a single cell, but was moved to a two-man cell on the evening of January 5, 1994. As the door to the cell closed, standing before R.G. was a huge African American inmate who explained that he had "bought" R.G.: that he had "paid two caps of weed and two sacks of heroin" to have R.G. moved to his cell. "'My homeboy that's the clerk in the program office saw you and made out a 154 for the lieutenant to sign to get you here. You're my property now.'"
The inmate was a prison drug dealer, and to impress R.G. he pulled out bags of narcotics: marijuana, heroin, and embalming fluid used on cigarettes. He said he made $1,700 a month selling drugs, and "if I 'sexed him up'--those were his exact words--I wouldn't have to worry about a thing . . . . He was friendly, a friendly demon, but I knew I was in a very vicious situation." That evening the cellmate offered R.G. a cup of coffee:
After my third swallow my system started feeling funny, and I knew that it was laced. I threw the rest of the coffee away and got in bed, then I threw up all over myself . . . . I'm feeling really sick, and he starts saying get up out of bed and have sex with him. I said I'm sick; he said "you don't have to do much, just take your pants off." (I go to bed fully dressed now.) I told him, "I can't, I'm sick." "Well just look down here," he said. I did, and saw him masturbating. Then he came. I stayed up all night, depressed, scared. I just couldn't face more abuse. I thought I'd rather die. In the morning when he woke up I had tied the end of my sheet around my wrist to get my veins bulging and I held a razor in my hand. I said I'd kill myself if he didn't let me leave. He knew I wasn't kidding and he said "don't worry, I'll get you out of here." He couldn't afford for me to kill myself because there'd be an investigation and he had all those drugs. He called the guards and said "get him out of here." They saw me in that setup and took me to a room with nothing in it but a rubber mattress. They kept me there for fourteen days, giving me Benedril. Every day the doctors would come in and ask me how I was feeling and then talk amongst themselves as if I wasn't there. I had nightmares that the night nurse noticed. . . . I had no chance to explain my situation to anyone. They weren't concerned about why I wanted to commit suicide, just that I wanted to.
A few weeks later, after being placed back out into the general prison population, R.G. attempted suicide:
I saved up eight days' worth of Benedrils. I drank them with some Kool-Aid and wanted to die. A CO woke me up; he was a Christian; he told me God had a better plan for me. He got the MTA [medical technician] and they pumped my stomach.(93)
After recuperating from his suicide attempt, R.G. was transferred to a protective custody unit at another California prison where he stayed for over a year. Later, he was moved to another facility, and then to another, staying in several prisons in all. He has been sexually pressured on several occasions, but only once since Folsom, in December 1997, was he forced to orally copulate another prisoner.
In late 1994, R.G. filed suit against the prison authorities for allowing him to be sexually abused and for failing to provide him with appropriate psychological treatment after his suicide attempt. His attempts to obtain legal assistance were unsuccessful: the judge denied his motion for appointment of counsel and public interest lawyers turned him down, saying that they only litigated class actions. Acting without legal counsel, he drafted his own legal papers, charging prison officials with showing "deliberate indifference" for his well-being. He asserted that their indifference was manifested in "the fact that they housed plaintiff under conditions they knew put [him] in danger, [placing] plaintiff in a cell with a inmate who had just received two (2) life sentences consecutively, this action then resulted in plaintiff being assaulted sexually."(94) The case was summarily dismissed in late 1996.
Patient was referred from the Clemens Unit to Jester IV Crisis Management following 2 episodes of cutting his arm with reported intent to kill himself. Patient claimed it was due to a rape 2 months ago while on the [A] Unit. He reported he could not stop thinking about the assault . . . . Testing generally supports a clinical depression with psychological damage consistent with a post traumatic process.(225)
I observed that there were maybe (5) inmates of European descent out of about 150 inmates housed on cell block M. The remaining cell block population was comprised of African-Americans and Hispanics . . . . Daily, I was called "punk ass white boy", and was told "you are going to ride (pay for protection) white boy". . . . On May 10, 1995, inmate S.E., who is an African-American, was placed in my assigned cell . . . . Shortly afterwards, inmate S.E. made numerous offensive derogatory comments against individuals of European descent, and threatened to brutally assault me unless I surrendered my sleeping bunk . . . . Inmate S.E. stated that he would kill me if I called for help, or attempted to resist him in any manner . . . . I was then raped/sexually assaulted by inmate S.E.(226)
At age twenty-two, L.O. received a six-year sentence for possession of cocaine. In April 1995, he was sent to a notoriously dangerous prison in Texas.
L.O. was one of a handful of white prisoners on the prison wing to which he was assigned, and he was immediately subject to racial harassment, threats, and violent assaults. Fearful for his life, he later told Human Rights Watch that he purposely broke prison disciplinary rules in order to be placed on special cell restrictions, which left him locked in his cell twenty-three hours a day and therefore more protected. In May, however, another inmate, S.R., was assigned to share his cell. S.R., who was African American, told L.O. that he was a member of the Crips and displayed identifying tattoos. He immediately began to threaten L.O., demanding that L.O. give up his personal belongings and that he submit to sex. While S.R. was in the shower, L.O. alerted a guard to his situation, stating that he was afraid for his safety and did not want to be housed with S.R. The guard dismissed his fears.
For three days, S.R. threatened L.O., and L.O. repeatedly informed guards of his fears for his safety. On the third night, S.R. again demanded that L.O. submit to sex. When L.O. refused, S.R. yanked him from the top bunk where he had been resting. L.O. fell to the floor and S.R. began punching and kicking him. After a struggle, L.O. was knocked unconscious. When he came to, S.R. was holding a shank (homemade knife) to his throat. S.R. warned L.O. that he would die if he yelled. He then anally raped L.O..
Early the next morning, when guards were delivering the breakfast trays, L.O., who was visibly injured, demanded that he be taken from the cell and brought to the prison infirmary. For an entire day, the guards ignored his plea. L.O. was not examined by prison medical staff until 9:00 a.m. the following morning.
L.O. was transferred to another prison but still felt extremely insecure and unsafe. Two months later, he attempted suicide by cutting his wrists. He was transferred to the prison psychiatric unit for treatment, where he stayed for the remainder of his sentence.
In August 1996, L.O. filed a complaint with the local district attorney, asking that his rape be investigated and the perpetrator--whose name he provided--be criminally prosecuted. No such prosecution was ever instituted, and L.O.'s follow up letters received no response. He was released to a half-way house in 1997, and has since left the prison system.
P.E. is a young heterosexual male, as he emphasizes, "attracted to females only." While incarcerated in Florida, P.E. said, he submitted to unwanted sex with another inmate, not because he violently attacked, but because he felt tricked into it. He wrote Human Rights Watch:
This letter is about rape but not as defined by law, "the forceful taking," it is more towards "psychological manipulation." It happened to me . . . . I made the excellent victim. I'm white, 27, non-violent, loner, who receives little help from the outside ie family, and low self-esteem. Other inmates saw me as a target. I'm young, good-looking, have some feminine mannerisms and naive. Some wanted to be my "friend" to "look out for me." But they just wanted to use me. One inmate would stake claim to you by becoming your "friend" hanging out with you all the time. In reality, he was saying "don't touch he's mine." Its a gradually process that you become dependent on this person whether its financial, physical or emotional. But sooner or later there comes a time when he wants a return in his investment, a sexual return . . . . You don't want to ruin your "friendship" by saying no to something you don't want to do because then you don't get the "support" financial or emotional from your friend. So you do what he wants, I did, and that's how you get hooked.(227)
P.E. entered Florida prison in mid-1997, scared, unsure of himself, and unfamiliar with prison ways. Soon after he was assigned to a housing unit, an older prison befriended him: offering P.E. food, cigarettes, and other items, and "talking to me in a friendly way." P.E. felt protected and safe in the company of the other inmate. As time went on, the friendship shifted toward sex. The other inmate began by masturbating himself in P.E.'s presence, later wanting P.E. to fellate him. P.E. was bewildered and uncomfortable, but he did not feel able to refuse. The relationship lasted about six months before P.E. could muster the courage to break it off. Since then, he has had to fight off several advances from other inmates who have "heard rumors," spread by the first inmate, "that I am a homosexual."
I was "rented out" for sexual favors, and a lot of the guys who rented me are not rapists, or assaulted as children, or any other stereotypical model. They just wanted some sexual satisfaction, even though they knew I was not deriving pleasure from it, and was there only because I was forced to . . . . I was with the Valluco (Valley) crowd, so I was only passed around to them for free. D. Town Hispanics had to pay. They were charged $3 for a blow-job, $5 for anal sex . . . . I am not effeminate, nor am I even homosexual.(277)
With two prior nonviolent felonies, S.H. received a seventy-five year sentence for burglary in 1994. He was twenty-four years old.
S.H. was sent to a minimum-security wing of a rural Texas prison. Having been incarcerated before, he was fairly confident he could manage the situation. Nearly immediately, however, he misunderstood a guard's order and received a minor disciplinary ticket, resulting in his transfer to the "North Side" of the facility, a more dangerous area.
S.H. is white, and whites were a small minority where he was sent. Among the nearly 190 inmates on a wing, less than twenty were white. In Texas prisons, then as now, racial tensions on the cell blocks were extreme. Whom prisoners socialized with, whom they would defend in a fight, whom they would victimize--even where prisoners sat--was primarily determined by race. All of the dayroom benches, for example, were "assigned" by race, the bulk of them going to black inmates. Whites, as the numerical minority, were seen as easy targets for extortion and sexual exploitation.
A large proportion of white inmates were forced by other inmates to "ride," that is, to pay protection: either money or sex or both. White inmates who refused to ride, and who would therefore fight to protect themselves, were known as "woods." In his first letter to Human Rights Watch, S.H. explained the choices facing an incoming inmate such as himself:
A White guy comes onto the block. He stands there, someone will usually direct him to the back wall of the dayroom. If he's lucky, one of the woods will go talk to him, let him know that if he fights, they'll back him up after the first couple, then he wont have any problems. This is called "checking." If he is scared (who's not) and doesnt want to fight, he has to "get a man."(278)
At 5'11" and 150 pounds, S.H. has a medium build, but is admittedly "not a great fighter."(279) Nonetheless when he arrived on the North Side he was determined to stand up for himself. Soon after his transfer there, he had to fight two Hispanic prisoners, one after the other. Although the two inmates beat him, S.H. proved himself sufficiently that the "woods"--the whites who did not pay protection--accepted him among their group. He was allowed to sit at the "wood bench," a privilege extended only to white inmates who passed the "checking" stage.
After a few weeks, however, S.H. had a falling out with P.E., the leader of the woods, an Aryan Circle gang member. At the same time, a shortage of bench space led the Hispanic inmates, who were feeling crowded by the whites, to challenge the whites to give them more space. The Hispanic inmates proposed to "recheck" all of the white inmate--to fight the whites again--until they gained more bench space. P.E., as the leader of the white inmates, came up with a different solution. On March 31, P.E. "sacrificed" S.H. to the Hispanics:
He told me and two others that we were banished from the group and could no longer sit on the bench. When I returned to the wing, four or five Hispanic guys surrounded me. I said, "OK, I'll ride." I knew I didn't have a chance. I tried to get out that night by telling the sergeant; he told me "be a man, go take care of your business."(280)
A few days later, on April 6, S.H. filed an "emergency" grievance requesting that he be placed in solitary confinement. Soon after, he told a classification counselor that he was considered the "property" of a Hispanic gang, and a few days later the counselor sent a sergeant into the wing to investigate. S.H. told the sergeant what was happening and the sergeant responded that he was lying, then called him a "wimp" for not fighting the gang. The sergeant wanted to call out one of the Hispanic inmates to question him about S.H.'s allegations, an action that S.H. opposed, as he felt it would put his life in danger by branding him as a snitch. The sergeant said that this was the way he conducted investigations, and if S.H. disagreed with his methods, he could ask for the investigation to be dropped. Feeling he had no choice, S.H. dropped the investigation. His written request stated that he was withdrawing his protection request because the Hispanic inmate in question would "know exactly who told what and I, not any guard, will be the one subjected to physical abuse over it."(281)
As a prisoner who was riding, S.H. was "controlled" by a Hispanic prisoner known as Batuco, a member of the Vallucos. S.H. was indigent so Batuco made S.H. do his housework: clean his cell, wash his clothes, etc. S.H. also had to make deliveries for Batuco: to break prison rules by sneaking over to other wings and bringing packages to other inmates. The second time he had to make a delivery, he was sent over to the cell of a large Hispanic prisoner who greeted him with the words: "You know what you're here for." When S.H. said no, the inmate forced him down on the bunk and anally raped him.
"Afterwards, I was numb from shock . . . . I stayed in my cell for twenty-four hours, I was so upset," S.H. later remembered.(282) He was too ashamed, too shocked, and too scared to report the rape and try to obtain a medical examination. Batuco let a week go by and then started forcing S.H. into giving him oral sex. He threatened to stab S.H. if S.H. reported it.
Near the end of April, the prison held a reclassification hearing. S.H. claims that when he told the presiding officer that he was being forced to ride, the officer responded, "'People like you make me sick. You rob and steal and then come down here whining, expecting us to protect you. Be a man, for Crissakes.'"(283) His request for safekeeping status was denied.
In the meantime, Batuco was making S.H. service the rest of the Vallucos, some five or six other guys, and even "renting" him out to other Hispanics on occasion. Even though Batuco was in charge of S.H., he and S.H. argued frequently. Batuco wanted S.H. to "play like I was a woman (shave my body hair, etc. . . . )," but S.H. refused, and was beaten for it.(284) Other Hispanic inmates accused Batuco of not being able to control S.H.. So Batuco, under pressure from his friends, "sold" S.H. to S.H.'s cellmate for $10. "$10 was really cheap," S.H. explained. "But he wanted to get rid of me. It usually cost $30 to get out of a ride."(285)
S.H.'s cellmate promised him that the debt would not entail any sex. Instead, S.H. washed his cellmate's clothes, as well as the clothes of other prisoners, in order to pay his cellmate back the $10. A few weeks later, however, his cellmate demanded sex from S.H.. S.H. had an African American friend, Oz, who was a member of the Nation of Islam, which frowned upon sexual abuse. Oz stood up for S.H. and paid his cellmate some of the money he was owed.
At every opportunity, S.H. was requesting transfer to a safer environment, in particular, the safekeeping wing. A few days before a classification hearing on one of these requests, S.H. gave a classification counselor a list containing the names of people who had sexually abused him. At the hearing, on June 23, S.H. described his situation in detail. Nonetheless, safekeeping status was denied him: a factor cited in the denial was the absence of physical proof of assault.
In August, S.H. was transferred to another wing where he "rode" with a Hispanic inmate from Houston, named DeLeon. DeLeon forced him to submit to anal sex almost immediately. In general, he exercised a high degree of control over S.H.. As S.H. described it:
I'd ask DeLeon if I could go sit with Becker, a friend of mine who was riding with the blacks. You know when you ride with someone, they control whatever you do, even who you talk to. You have to ask before you can go talk to someone. If you're riding, in essence, you're owned.(286)
That same month, one of S.H.'s friends wrote S.H.'s mother and informed her that her son was being raped. Out of shame and embarrassment, S.H. had not spoken to her of that part of his situation, although he had told her of his desperate need for protection. S.H.'s mother had already written to the warden asking that her son be placed on safekeeping; this time she wrote explaining that her son had been raped. She received a letter in mid-August from the warden that declared, in a blatant misstatement:
We have no reports of your son being raped . . . . Your son has not reported any incident to security, or to medical staff. I am sorry you received inadequate information to cause you to worry about your son.(287)
During that same period S.H. told another guard about his situation, providing him with the names of several other prisoners who he said would corroborate his account of sexual abuse.(288) A few days later, a sergeant visited S.H., purportedly to investigate the allegations. As S.H. described it in a lawsuit filed later:
[The sergeant] refused to interview the inmate witnesses and told plaintiff that he was lying about being sexually abused. After plaintiff vehemently protested that he was being truthful, [the sergeant] made comments that plaintiff "must be gay" for "letting them make you suck dick."(289)
In October, DeLeon transferred out to minimum custody. DeLeon's cellmate, called Clutch, inherited S.H. from DeLeon. Within two days, Clutch made S.H. give oral sex to a gang leader named Kilo. On January 1, 1995, Clutch forced S.H. to submit to anal sex. S.H. reported the assault and in the middle of the night was taken from his cell and brought to the infirmary, where a rape kit was administered. Yet, because he had not been physically beaten and there were no tears in his anus, the rape kit showed "no objective evidence of sexual assault."
At that point, in January 1995, S.H. was finally placed in safekeeping, where the atmosphere was much less violent and racially-charged; the sexual abuse stopped. He had been victimized for over nine months.
Throughout this period of constant sexual abuse S.H. had filed numerous grievances with the prison authorities, desperately seeking removal to a safer, more controlled environment. His file for 1994 shows grievances dated April 5 (denied May 24), June 22 (denied July 11, appealed July 14, denied August 18, appealed August 20, denied September 8), August 29 (denied September 20, appealed September 28, denied November 18, appealed November 23, denied December 14), September 26 (denied October 25, appealed October 29, denied November 22, appealed December 6, denied December 20), and November 4 (denied December 6, appealed December 14, denied January 25, 1995, appealed January 29, denied March 27). He had also told numerous guards and prison psychologists what was happening to him, as well as members of prison classification committees.
S.H.'s grievances directly and unambiguously explained his problems. His June 22 grievance stated plainly: "I have been, and am repeatedly being sexually abused. I have written detailed statements telling Who, What, When, Where, How of the situations. No one has taken any type of action."(290) The warden's denial, a textbook example of bureaucratic obfuscation, stated: "In most cases, this procedure provides you with fifteen days before a grievance must be filed in this office. This time period should provide you with ample time to seek and attempt informal resolution to your issue . . . . No further action will be taken at this level."(291) Appealing the denial of the grievance to the deputy director of with the state prison system, S.H. begged: "I only want to be safe from sexual abuse. Please help me!" This plea too was ignored.
Once in safekeeping, S.H. spoke with prison investigators, including Internal Affairs staff, about bring criminal charges against Clutch. He twice wrote the Henderson County district attorney, in March and May 1995, demanding that rape charges be instituted. No charges were ever brought.
Throughout 1994 and 1995, S.H. sent letters to lawyers and legal service organization attempting to find a pro bono (volunteer) lawyer to intercede on his behalf. Acting as his own legal counsel, he finally filed suit in federal court in July 1996. His handwritten complaint contained a ninety-two paragraph fact section, setting out dates, names, and incidents in precise detail. He later filed five affidavits with the court in which other prisoners corroborated his claims.(292)
The federal district court hearing the case first ruled that all of S.H.'s claims relating to events prior to July 12, 1994, were barred by a two-year statute of limitations. As for incidents after that date, the court dismissed the case in May 1997, placing stress on the fact that in April 1994 S.H. had requested that the initial investigation be dropped. (As described above, that request was the result of S.H.'s very real fear that the sergeant's investigative techniques put his life in danger.) S.H. fought the dismissal of his case at every step, requesting the district court to reconsider its judgment, and then appealing the court's decision. In mid 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied S.H.'s appeal. Its brief, unpublished opinion, which failed to deal with the substance of any of S.H.'s claims, wholly upheld the district court's decision. In a letter to Human Rights Watch describing the appellate ruling, S.H. said: "I can't convey to you how upset I am over this. It would be a lot different if I lost at trial . . . . I am devastated."(293)
Looking through S.H.'s files--the countless grievances, letters, affidavits, legal briefs and other materials, only some of which have been described here--one wonders what more a prisoner could possibly do, within the system, to save himself from sexual abuse.
91. Human Rights Watch interview, California, May 1998.
92. The "softie tank" is inmate slang for the separate housing area reserved for weak or vulnerable prisoners.
94. "Plaintiffs Notice of Motion and Opposition to Defendant Motion for Summary Judgment," R.G. v. Haskett, October 1, 1996.
225. Psychological Evaluation, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division, October 9, 1995.
226. Letter to David Barron, District Attorney, Madisonville, Texas, from L.O., August 19, 1996 (including notarized affidavit of L.O. dated August 18, 1996).
227. Letter to Human Rights Watch, September 27, 1998.
277. Letter to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 1996.
279. Human Rights Watch interview, Texas, October 1998.
281. Note to Sergeant W., April 19, 1999.
284. Letter to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 1996.
285. Human Rights Watch interview, Texas, October 1998.
287. Letter from warden to M.L.H., August 15, 1994. (Compare the date of this letter to the date of the inter-office memorandum cited in the following footnote.)
288. The counselor's report on the situation said: "According to Inmate S.H., W. is forcing him (S.H.) to perform sexual favors, because he does not have any money to pay protection." Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Inter-Office Communications, August 10, 1994.
289. Complaint, S.H. v. Scott, July 12, 1996.
290. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Inmate Grievance Form, Step 1, June 22, 1994.
291. Ibid., July 11. 1994.
292. For example, one affidavit stated:
I knew that Plaintiff was being sexually assaulted by other inmates, spacifically: R.J., E.D., and others. Plaintiff talked with me about these problems and I was like his confidant to him, and he was pretty upset, and stressed out. Plaintiff spoke with numerous prison officials about his situation, namedly W.S., L.S., C.B., and others. I know this, because plaintiff spoke to me regarding these conversations.
Affidavit dated March 11, 1997 (names omitted).
293. Letter to Human Rights Watch, August 4, 1999.