NM Corrections Department settles 'Nuts to Butts' lawsuit
Prison officials say they will stop practice of forcing inmates to straddle each other
By Peter St. Cyr
SANTA FE, N.M. — Attorneys for the New Mexico Corrections Department and 422 inmates have agreed to settle the so-called ‘Nuts to Butts’ class action lawsuit for $750,000.
Prison inmates, featured in a Santa Fe Reporter cover story in April, had complained they were forced to straddle other inmates inside the Central New Mexico Correctional facility in Los Lunas on multiple occasions between June 2009 and Jan. 2010.
The lawsuit alleged then-Warden Anthony Romero and other prison employees and department officials had “orchestrated a practice of taking inmates during facility shakedowns to the gymnasium and lining them in rows straddling each other dressed only in their boxer shorts.”
Inmates say they were then ordered to sit so closely their genitals were in contact with the rear of the man seated in front of them.
Before agreeing to settle the federal lawsuit, inmates also won a concession from administrators to adopt a policy that will prohibit the seating practice in the future.
Full story: Corrections Department settles inmate lawsuit