N.H. Attorney General investigating use-of-force against male prisoner 

  • This Friday, June 17, 2016, photo, shows the guard tower at the New Hampshire state prison in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

Monitor staff
Published: 2/23/2022 11:41:21 AM
Modified: 2/23/2022 11:40:58 AM

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office is investigating two use-of-force incidents against a prisoner by staff at the New Hampshire Department of Corrections that took place on April 21, 2021. 

According to a Feb. 9 letter from Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward to Commissioner Helen Hanks, 14 lieutenants, correctional officers, captains, corporals and sergeants are under investigation either for use of force or documentation of the incidents. All staff work at the New Hampshire Prison for Men in Concord.  

Currently, nine DOC staff are on administrative leave with the criminal investigation proceeds, Public Information Officer RichelleAngeli said. Some of the 14 staff members placed on administrative leave on Feb. 10 have since retired or are no longer with the department, Angeli said. 

According to the Attorney General’s letter, staff under investigation for use of force are Lt. Christopher Turcotte, Lt. Gary Lydick, Sgt. Brian Magnell, Sgt. John Batakis, Sgt. Cody DeMoss, Sgt. Christopher Brownlie, Cpl. Zachery Feudner, Cpl. Elioenai Navarro Rodriguez, Cpl. Daniel Rivard, Cpl. Jay Christie and correctional officer Nathan Moss. 

Capt. Daniel Boynton, Corporal Edward Klim and correctional officer John Aulis are under investigation “based on their documentation concerning one or both of these incidences.”

“The Department of Corrections remains committed to providing a safe environment for residents and staff,” the department said in a statement.

Other staff are taking on extra hours to fill the vacancies from the suspensions.

“Overtime is the primary way that the agency fills vacant shifts,” Angeli wrote in an email to the Monitor when asked how the prison was staffing the positions of workers on administrative leave. 

Department of Corrections employees earned about $16 million in overtime in 2020, almost 25% of corrections workers’ total pay. Seven correctional employees made more than $100,000 just in overtime compensation in 2020, in some cases doubling or tripling their base salary, according to payroll data available at Transparent NH.

In January, the New Hampshire National Guard sent 25 troops to the men’s prison in Concord to ease staffing shortages. They were slated to stay for 10 weeks. 

The State Employees Association (SEA), which represents corrections supervisors, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. 

Cassidy Jensen bio photo

Cassidy Jensen has been a reporter at the Monitor, covering the city of Concord and criminal justice, since July 2021. Previously, she was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, where she earned a master's degree. Her work has been published in Documented, THE CITY, Washington City Paper and Street Sense Media. When she's not at City Council meetings, you can find her hiking in the White Mountains.

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