Protesters Rally Against Sexual Violence at Lackawanna County Prison

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SCRANTON -- Protesters rallied in Scranton against sexual violence at the Lackawanna County Prison.

The Lackawanna County Prison has a rocky history that involves a variety of charges and accusations over the years against employees.

On Sunday, protesters stood outside to bring light to the sexual violence issues that have been linked to the prison.

"The Lackawanna County Prison needs to take responsibility for the transgressions it had perpetrated on these individuals."

The message was firm and clear from Montana Levinson during the rally.

Newswatch 16 reported in 2013 that prison guard Joseph Black was charged with sexually assaulting five female inmates between 2002 and 2011.

Now, in 2017, four women have filed suit accusing multiple guards of rape during their prison stays between 1998 and 2016. Those guards have been placed on paid administrative leave.

And just last month, investigators raided the prison. It's unclear what exactly they took.

"We're here to call attention to it and ask our fellow citizens to pay attention and put pressure on prison officials and politicians to investigate this and get to the bottom of what's going on in there," said Susan Poulson, protester.

And for some of the people at this protest, they came to show support for friends, who were previously inmates at the prison. Those inmates claim to have known about some of the past charges and accusations.

"I heard from a dear friend what happened. That kind of made me really angry. People here are supposed to be protected and although they might have done something wrong, that doesn't mean you retaliate and do something wrong back to them," said Ashley Truitt, protester.

Halfway through the rally, the protesters were confronted by a counter-protester, whose son works at the prison. Lauri Lavelle came to the defense of the correctional officers.

"Nobody puts the prisoners in that jail, except the prisoners. Those correctional officers are doing their job. They're doing their job every day, living at a risk every day to make our streets better," Lavelle said.

Other protesters feel as though the public isn't aware of some of the issues at the prison. They hope this rally brings attention to that.


  • E

    Ha ha ha ha! This is not surprising, not one bit. Your area is a dumping ground for sex offender trash and has been for decades. You people are nothing but stereotype Irish drunks and stereotype mouthy, stupid Polocks. Now prison guards are hired from the surrounding community so they are hiring drunken, sex offender trash. It’s very simple really ha ha ha! I can’t wait for the trial if this human garbage, it will be the same pathetic excuses from you pieces of trash; boo hoo my daddy beat me, boo hoo nobody loved me, boo hoo I was abused I’m not responsible for anything I say it do, boo hoo the Irish built this country we’re oppresed. Ha ha ha! Karma is a motherfu*ker.

    • Cheeky Breeky

      gotta ask if you really ha ha ha ha! when you post. is it a real laugh of mirth or is it a mocking contemptuous response. irish drunks and stupid ‘polocks?” know how to spell, fgt? nawp.

      • E

        @cheekybreeky Its called gloating you colossal fuc*ing moron ha ha ha! I can spell but you clearly cannot moron. Polock is the correct spelling, if it was spelled Pollock with two l’s it would be the ocean fish pronounced pol-ock. Duhh do you know how to spell duhh. Ha ha ha stupid Polock.

  • Don't push in my stool!

    I support these protesters 110%! If I didn’t live so far away I’d be right there with them. I don’t understand the reason behind some of these comments so I must ask, “If I were to fall behind on child support payments and sent to jail, does that mean I am deserving of a good cornhole by a sexually confused guard?”

  • III%

    Undergradwoman says the inmates “deserve to live in peace and safety ” well didn’t the victims of their crimes deserve to live in peace and safety also ? Listen cupcake do yourself a favor and drop out of college it’s obvious it’s not working for you and stop wasting your parents money if you really feel compelled to serve a injustice there are wells that need to be dug in Africa

    • Givemeabreak

      They were sentenced to be locked up and have their freedom taken away not to be raped. I didn’t know the judge sentenced them to a raping? Let’s just go back to cruel and unusual punishment then. Also how do you know that these women who are locked up committed crimes against someone else? Does being a non violent drug offender constitute being raped?

    • Givemeabreak

      They were sentenced to be locked up and have their freedom taken away not to be assaulted. I didn’t know the judge sentenced them to be sexually assaulted? Let’s just go back to cruel and unusual punishment then. Also how do you know that these women who are locked up committed crimes against someone else? Does being a non violent drug offender constitute being sexually assaulted?

    • El Ma

      Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. I don’t “like” that anyone who is incarcerated is abused, at all. Most of the guards are 1 step away from being inmates, themselves. Not that people deserve this, but it happens and always has. If anyone can think up a way that inmates will never be abused, on any level, then have at it. I’d love to read the solutions. Otherwise, it’s a matter of not being incarcerated. The point is to stay OUT of prisons and county lockups.

      • El ma is a dou-che

        “Most of the guards are one step away…” Is that so? I have family and friends that are CO’s. Some are Veterans, some still actively serve in the Reserves. Others have successful businesses on the side. So let me get this right, one or two bad apples and they’re all bad – right? Same with cops and bla-cks, right? You’re an eff-ing dou-che.

    • Cheeky Breeky

      undergradwoman is a college student that wants the world to be perfect and there is no section about that on admission forms. wakey wakey because prison is real world stuff cupcake.

      • E

        Ha ha ha! Cupcake! Ha ha ha! Awww is that how your drunken, abusive, white trash, coal miner, ex military father talked to you and now you don’t know any better? Ha ha! Do you also say things like snowflake? Ha ha ha! So if you’re so smart and worldly then why are you poor, uneducated and living in a white trash slum full of chain smoking, alcoholic coal miner trash? Lol now cheeky when you respond make sure to NOT address anything I’m saying, just make stupid observations to try and deflect my comment ha ha ha! Duhh what does ha ha mean I’m confused duhhh ha ha ha!

  • undergradwoman

    I was there too for 2 reasons: In honor of my currently incarcerated best friends who were not incarcerated there, & because I’m a Criminal Justice student at the University of Scranton.

    • lackawannacountyreentrytaskforce

      You should know better then, to make such generalized statements and accusations about staff at the LCP. There are so many good people that work there. The ONE former officer who was CONVICTED, is currently serving his time….JUSTICE! The rest is nothing but allegations that have not been found to be true as of yet…allegations which have affected the lives of many innocent staff members. So many opinions of know it all public citizens who have no idea what it’s like inside those walls are based on here-say…things that have yet to be found to be true. It’s also ridiculous to say that the protesters were there to bring “light” to the situation and to make them accountable. I’m pretty sure that PLENTY of light has been shed on the ALLEGATIONS of abuse, and the state of Pennsylvania is investigating. Do some homework. I don’t think Dr. Michael Jenkins will be too pleased with your participation in this blasphemy.
      Shame on WNEP for giving life to this pathetic protest. How about highlight the MANY good things the staff at the LCP do?

      • undergradwoman

        Blasphemy? This is not Russia! My name is: Pinky Stanseski, I’m a student in Dr. Jenkins class on Monday & Wednesday. Me & the other people at this rally will be doing rallies like this because inmates there deserve to live in peace & safety! And, CO’s who harm inmates deserve the maximum prison sentence!

      • дерьмо

        underGRADwomyn, if you are that stupid then you need to go to another country and see what prisons are really like. you already are having friends who are lawbreakers – antifa perhaps? foolish and need of schooling in different countries.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Nobody cares why you were there, Sugarplum.

      Nobody cares that you were protesting.

      Nobody cares that you think you accomplished something either.

    • Robert

      Then your a rookie. Shut up and listen. You have no clue what your in for. But I do. I can either help you, or watch you fail. Your on your way to failure, and I will laugh at you and not give a chit!

    • Cheeky Breeky

      currently incarcerated friends? you are a true and honest moron. get your money back from scranton and invest it in some counseling.

  • Robert

    Wow, what a protest, all 5-6 of them. Calling for an investigation that has already been in progress for some time now. What do they think jail is a nice place? Add this to the reasons not to go to jail. Why did WNEP to even show up?

  • III%

    It’s a pretty simple concept if you don’t want to be a victim of sexual violence in the lackawanna county prison just simply obey the laws

    • Givemeabreak

      Good to know the majority of commenters are OK with guards sexually assaulting inmates. Then when these people get out they will be much better then after they went in. Stay classy NEPA.
      You can judge a society by how well it treats it’s prisoners.

      • justice for all

        Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954].
        The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
        ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
        the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ” ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey
        The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn.~Bill Federer
        A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying,”
        ~Pope John Paul II
        A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
        ~Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson

    • John

      Exactly…if you are willing to do the crime, you had better be willing to do the time. Its all about choices…the wrong choices can haunt some people for the rest of their lives. If someone is willing to risk going to prison, they have to understand ALL of the consequences associated with that decision…that includes the possibility of rape, and brutality in prison.

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