Gov. Pete Ricketts defends the decision by state Corrections Director Scott Frakes to not release a less than flattering report on the Tecumseh state prison riot of 2015.
The report came to light during a civil trial charging the state with neglect in the riot which killed two and caused $2 million damage on Mother’s Day more than three years ago.
Ricketts says department directors receive a lot of different reports from a lot of different consultants.
“The directors have to make judgments with regard to what they’re going to do when somebody asks about it specifically,” Ricketts tells reporters. “Obviously, we will give it out, but my understanding is that this was just one of the sources that the director had with regard to his advice on how to take the agency going forward.”
The $20,000 report co-authored by an official in the Washington state prison system and a University of Purdue professor is more critical than a report released by the Department of Correctional Services. The report blames unaddressed problems for creating an atmosphere which led to the Tecumseh riot.
Another report released in 2015 made recommendations for improvements to prevent future disturbances, but largely held the state blameless. It was conducted by a prison security expert in the state of Washington.
Ricketts rejects the notion that Frakes declined to release the report, because it wasn’t flattering to the Department of Correctional Services.
“I believe that it was probably advice that the director wasn’t going to take,” Ricketts says. “He obviously had a different report that he was planning on using to guide how he was going to take the agency going forward and that’s the report that he shared.”