Sen. Capito speaks on investigation into FCC Hazleton’s abuse allegations

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:15 PM EDT
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BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va (WDTV) - On Wednesday, 5 Investigates reported on a report of U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) calling for an investigation into reports of multiple abuse allegations against Federal Corrections Complex Hazleton in Preston County.

Senators call for investigation into alleged serious misconduct at FCC Hazelton

Now, Sen. Capito is detailing the next steps of the investigations.

Below is security camera footage shared to us by a man whose property is right behind FCC Hazleton.

In the video, he’s holding what we’ve learned are two escaped inmates from the prison camp at gunpoint after they came onto his property.

Local residents say cases like these aren’t rare.

Another family who lives nearby says they’ve installed more than $1,000 worth of security measures around their property and started taking gun lessons because of the number of inmates they’ve seen outside of the camp.

The Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons to investigate Hazleton this week.

5 Investigates spoke with Sen. Capito on Wednesday on what she would say to the community who has been forced to live in fear.

“I’ve had numerous conversations with families of not just in the vicinity of Hazleton, but also with the families, and then the folks who are actually working at Hazelton, who have expressed concerns,” Sen. Capito said. “We have talked over the years with the Bureau of Prisons and emphasize to them the deep problem that we think this is, and then this comes to light. It would shows me that they haven’t been addressing the problems. They’re not taking the security of that prison seriously enough if these allegations are true. And so I think what we’re doing raises the issues to the Department of Justice more formally in a bipartisan way than demanding answers, and we need to get answers for the people who live there. We need to give answers for the people who work there, and quite honestly, we need to get answer for the people who are incarcerated there.”

The letter cites many reasons for the investigation, not just inmates escaping.

Some of those are releasing the wrong inmate from prison, falsifying or destroying documents, encouraging inmate abuse, urinating on prisoners’ property. and even forcing prisoners to defecate themselves to be released from restrictive custody.

Stick with 5 News as this story continues to develop.