January 3, 2015

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Juveniles Sexually Abused by Staffers at Corrections Facilities: Scandal in Idaho Shines Light on Victimization of Young People by Staff.

When a local nurse’s son was sent to the juvenile corrections center here at age 15, she was upset, but relieved that he would be away from drugs and gangs. The single mother said that the “night he went in, I felt bad, but I could sleep because he was safe.”

But within months, the head of security at the state juvenile corrections center in Nampa struck up a sexual relationship with the teenager, according to police reports. Julie McCormick admitted to having sex with him three times in 2012 while he was incarcerated, the reports said.

Ms. McCormick, 29 years old at the time, told detectives that she fell in love with the boy nearly half her age. She pleaded guilty in 2013 to lewd conduct with the minor and was sentenced to five to 20 years in prison in 2014. A lawyer who represented Ms. McCormick declined to comment.

“You hear about the Boy Scouts, you hear about the Catholic Church—those kids can walk away from it,” said his mother. “My son couldn’t.”

The scandal is an instance of an issue plaguing juvenile facilities nationwide.

National inmate surveys show juveniles experience a rate of sexual victimization by staff that is more than three times that of adult prisoners. Nearly 10% of youth held in state juvenile facilities reported incidents of sexual victimization, with more than 80% of those incidents involving staff, according to a national survey of juvenile inmates published by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2013 that covered the preceding year. . . .

Staff at Nampa allegedly groomed inmates in the manner of child molesters, according to the legal claims.

One former inmate said in an interview that a nurse gave him perks, such as soda and candy, and flirted with him. That led to sex on several occasions in the medical clinic, he said. She gave him money, then threatened to turn him in for having contraband—the money—if he refused her advances, he said. He was 18 at the time and the nurse, who is accused of having sex with other juveniles at Nampa, was in her mid-30s.

“You’re an easy target,” said the college student, now 24, who didn’t want to be named. “You have to think, ‘Why wouldn’t they do this with some young guy in the street?’ ”

The former nurse, who is named in legal claims and no longer works for the center, couldn’t be reached for comment. Jeff Ray, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Correction and Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, said, “We knew nothing of the allegations” at the time she left the job.

Perpetrators in these cases are often women. About 90% of youth who said they were victimized by staff in the federal survey were males reporting sexual activity with female staff.

Matriarchal privilege.

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