Rickey Moham, current warden at Mabel Bassett, declined to comment on whether or not the cameras in question were in fact broken or have been repaired or if any procedure or policy has been changed as a result of the lawsuit.
Millicent Newton-Embry was the facility's warden at the time of the alleged assaults, and she and the facility's current Deputy Warden Carla King are named in the suit. Newton-Embry now serves as the agency's coordinator for the Prison Rape Elimination Act. She did not return calls for comment on how the act is implemented at the facility.
Alex Weintz, spokesman for the governor, said another reason the department declined to testify was its lack of a permanent director.
“The governor's office and the Department of Corrections offered to answer written questions to ensure that we were answering their questions and providing accurate and complete information,” Weintz said. “We also indicated to the DOJ that when the department has a permanent director we could make the director available to the DOJ to answer more questions. That offer was declined.”
Ed Evans was named interim director after Justin Jones stepped down as the department's executive director late last year. The Oklahoma Board of Corrections interviewed candidates for the position Wednesday and Thursday.
The prison has made efforts to educate inmates on how to report incidents, including hanging posters and providing orientation on the issue to new prisoners, Massie said.
“We have emphasized for years the need for inmates to report those,” he said. “So, we hope the climate exists where inmates feel that if they report it, it will be taken seriously.”