Prison guards face rap for napping at work

Six prison guards in Seville will face disciplinary proceedings after being caught asleep on the job.

Prison guards face rap for napping at work
Prison staff who nodded off were busted by routine inspection. Photo: GLEFS AS/ILA PRISON/AFP

The Secretariat General of Prisons has decided to charge "at least" six officials from the Sevilla-I prison with gross misconduct, reports online daily La Crónica de Andalusía.

The guards were discovered sleeping during a routine inspection of the nightshift on May 8th, which coincided with the resignation the following morning of the warden, Ana Isabel Martín Díaz.

Prison sources informed journalists that  "serious charges" have been filed against five officers and the chief of the nightshift which will be investigated in the coming days by the Secretariat's prison inspectors to determine the facts.

According to the same sources, one of the guards has been accused of "neglect of duty" while four others face accusations of "putting prison security at risk".

The chief of nightshift will be held responsible for any incidences that occurred during his watch.

The Secretariat General has not yet decided whether or not to accept the resignation of the prison warden, earlier tendered for "personal reasons", after opening the investigation into the prison staff.

Ana Isabel Martín Díaz, previously the warden of Cordoba's prison, took over at Seville in 2010 when the former director there was sacked following a breakout which led to the escape of two prisoners.

Both men were later located and arrested in Lleida before returning to the prison to carry out the remainder of their sentences.

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Spain halts electric shock experiment on violent inmates to curb aggression

Spanish authorities have called off phase two of a scientific experiment to see if electric shocks administered to the brains of violent prisoners could curb aggression.

Spain halts electric shock experiment on violent inmates to curb aggression
Photo: lufimorgan/Depositphotos

The pilot study was carried out at Huelva Prison in southwestern Spain and saw the technique – known as transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS – carried out on 41 violent prisoners, 15 of them serving murder sentences.

Spain’s interior ministry announced that the experiment had been called off the day after preliminary details of the study, which tested the impact of small electrical currents passed into the prefrontal cortex of volunteer male prisoners, were published in the New Scientist.

The trial, which had the approval of prison officials and university ethics committee wanted to determine whether TDCS deliver to the frontal lobe in three 15-minute sessions had an effect on levels of aggression reported by the male inmates.

Phase two of the study was due to commence this month.

But an interior ministry spokesman explained that permission for the experiments had been given by the previous government and would now be suspended as a precaution pending a full investigation into the matter.

The treatment, which is supposed to be painless, involves strapping electrodes to the inmates head and turning on an electric current for 15 minutes per day over the course of three days.

The prisoners are required to fill out questionnaires before and after treatment rating their feelings of anger.

Samples of each participant's saliva are also tested for cortisol levels – a hormone that increases with stress and can indicate aggressive tendencies.