Prison chaplain on leave pending state investigation (2008)

This is an article we came across today, that shows incapacity and unwillingness by those in power to handle criticism or even suggestions for improvement by their own human resources in the NV Dept. of Corrections. Since March of 2008, nothing has improved. Today, we desparately need humanitarian people like this prison chaplain, because working with people in prisons means working with human beings. One has to be a human being to understand the needs of other humans.

Mar. 26, 2008
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Associated Press
CARSON CITY — Prison chaplain Jane Foraker-Thompson has been placed on leave with pay by Nevada prison administrators in what she describes as harassment and retaliation because of her defense of inmates’ religious practices and beliefs.

State corrections chief Howard Skolnik confirmed that Foraker-Thompson is on administrative leave “pending completion of an investigation.”

Foraker-Thompson said she was working at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center last week when she was called into the warden’s office and told she was being put on leave. She said administrators gave her no reason and would not tell her how long she’d be on leave.

The chaplain said she thinks one of the reasons is her critique of the prison system that she gave to state lawmakers last year. She added that critique figured in the formation of a panel studying the state’s criminal justice system.

Foraker-Thompson said another reason for the action against her might be her recent response to three lawsuits filed by prisoners against the prison system.

In that response, she said, she refused to deny any wrongdoing by Nevada State Prison administrators. The lawsuits allege a violation of the prisoners’ rights to practice their religions.

“I told the truth,” Foraker-Thompson said. “Things have happened at NSP that need to be exposed to the light of day. It has become a hell hole for the prisoners, as well as some of the staff, those with integrity and honor.”