Judge orders U.S. Marshal Service to look into detainee concerns - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Judge orders U.S. Marshal Service to look into detainee concerns

by Mindy Aguon

GUAM - District Court magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan has ordered the U.S. Marshal Service to look into concerns raised by a federal detainee who alleges that the Department of Corrections is violating his constitutional rights and forcing him to live in an unsafe and unsanitary environment.

Federal detainee Julian Gerald Borja Robles, who is being held at the Hagatna detention facility on federal drug charges has alleged that his constitutional rights are being violated.
In a letter to his attorney, Howard Trapp, that was submitted to the District Court last week, Robles spells out his allegations claiming he is being denied his right to religious activities, fresh air and access to the law library.

Additionally he complains about what he claims are unsafe housing conditions citing roof leaks, exposed electrical wires, improper ventilation, non functioning air conditioners, unsafe shower conditions and one commode with no door and a non working sink for 12 detainees.
Additionally he claims adequate medical care is not being provided and prescribed medicine has not been received and inmates and detainees are being confined with immigration detainees who he claims have not been medically cleared.  Robles' concerns were attached to a motion for his release.

District Court magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan on Monday ordered the U.S. Marshal service to look into the concerns and file a special report with the court. If the U.S. Marshal service cannot resolve the issues, the court will hold a hearing next week.

DepCor spokesperson Jeff Limo says the department is cooperating with the feds.
 
"In lieu of some of the complaints made by some of the federal detainees at the Hagatna lockup the Commander Lt. Borja is working with the officials in the U.S. Marshals' office in regards to some of the complaints" Limo said.
 
While Robles also alleged that he is forced to live in unsanitary conditions and cleaning materials and toilet tissue are not provided for the unit, Limo disputes those claims and believes there's another reason why the claims are being made.
 
"That is so untrue that complaint is invalid with our department. What basically is happening here is that 9 days ago we did a complete shakedown of the facility. Contraband was found along their AC ducts inside their unit and that prompted the AC system to fail" Limo explained.
 
A purchase order is already being processed to get some units to the detention facility, but he maintains there is ventilation. Limo says constitutional rights aren't being violated but some privileges were taken away due to the shakedown of the facility.
 
 
"And some of their complaints is that there's not refrigeration inside the unit that's a privilege okay. We put them in there for cold beverages to have. Eventually throughout my investigation I found out they were filling the contraband and putting it inside the refrigerator" Limo revealed.
 
While the U.S. Marshal service conducts its review of the complaint, we should note that this isn't the first time the department has been under scrutiny for substandard living conditions.  In fact the department remains under a decades old consent decree and has struggled for years to come into compliance.
 
"That's one of our biggest projects now since the beginning of the directors term here is to complete the DOJ decree. As far as medical concern, we're just very close to that" Limo said.
 
And while the department looks to close the books on the consent decree and cooperate with the investigation, Limo says officials will also continue to ensure that prison contraband isn't getting inside the cells.
 
 
Limo added, "And we're going to continue to shakedown and if the inmates and detainees continue to violate the laws even while incarcerated then you know we're going to keep on shaking them down until we find what we want -- we're going to get it."
 

 

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