From Iceland — Prison In Hot Water Over Prisoner Being Repeatedly Called A "Jerk"

Prison In Hot Water Over Prisoner Being Repeatedly Called A “Jerk”

Published September 28, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Rutepwiki/Wikimedia Commons

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has recommended that the Minister of the Interior investigate the complaints of a prisoner at Litla-Hraun prison that a guard there has repeatedly called him a “jerk”.

RÚV reports that the Ombudsman has emphasised to the Minister that relations between guards and prisoners are always unequal. For this reason, it is necessary for prison staff to treat the incarcerated with courtesy and respect.

According to the prisoner’s complaint, it all began when changes to rules on when and if prisoners can visit each other in their cells were announced. The prisoner in question asked a guard if this was an April Fool’s joke, and after a short exchange, the guard departed, calling the prisoner “a fucking jerk”. The prisoner, in turn, complained to the warden. A few days later, the guard returned to the prisoner’s cell, repeating his assessment that the prisoner was a jerk.

For his part, the guard contends that he only called the prisoner a jerk after the prisoner threatened the guard with physical violence.

The Ombudsman concluded that the prisoner’s complaint was not processed in accordance with penal system regulations. As such, the Ombudsman has called upon the Ministry to respond substantially to the prisoner’s complaint.

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