A Missouri House subcommittee investigating the workplace environment in the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) will hear testimony Thursday morning in Jefferson City from the Department’s new director.
The newly-formed Missouri House Subcommittee on Corrections Workforce Environment and Conduct Committee will hear testimony Thursday morning at 8:30 from DOC Acting Director Anne Precythe.
House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) and House Corrections and Public Institutions Committee Chairman Paul Fitzwater (R-Potosi) formed the committee, after a scathing November investigative series in the “Kansas City Pitch”.
Precythe was NOT the Director during the time when the alleged incidents occurred. She began her job in January.
The newspaper says Missouri paid more than $7 million during the past four years, to settle lawsuits brought by DOC employees who claim they were victims of harassment and retaliation.
The newspaper reviewed trial transcripts and depositions from Corrections employees, which painted a picture of repeated sexual comments and pressure from supervisors and co-workers to have sex.
The “Pitch” says one prison sergeant in Cameron admits to trying to have sex with a dozen co-workers.
The newspaper also obtained court documents showing that male employees and supervisors in some prisons allegedly commonly refer to female employees as “bitches” and “whores”.
Committee Chairman Jim Hansen (R-Frankford) tells Missourinet the documents he’s reviewed are “disgusting”.
Hansen says the committee will make recommendations on policies and procedures, and says “significant changes” must be made in the culture at the Missouri DOC.
Governor Eric Greitens (R), Speaker Richardson (R) and House Minority Leader Gail Beatty (D) have all criticized the DOC culture.