Representing Victims of Staff-on-Inmate Abuse at NH Women’s Prisons

Women’s prisons across New Hampshire have been widely criticized over failures to protect female inmates from sexual abuse committed by guards and staff. From sweeping investigations, civil lawsuits, and charges against numerous prison staff, the record shows that correctional facility operators failed for decades to reign in a systemic sexual abuse problem.

Now, former female inmates are stepping forward to file claims against the New Hampshire Department of Corrections and other operators over staff-on-inmate abuse. And thanks to recently passed legislation that lifted the statute of limitations for civil sex abuse lawsuits, these survivors include women who were abused years and decades ago.

Levy Konigsberg is a renowned trial practice known for litigating sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions, including county-operated jails, juvenile detention centers, and public and private prison systems. We’ve helped hundreds of former female inmates in the fight for justice and are available to speak with survivors who have questions about pursuing claims in New Hampshire.

If you have questions about pursuing a civil lawsuit over sexual abuse that occurred while you were housed in a female jail, prison, or halfway house anywhere in New Hampshire, we want to help. Call or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation.

We Handle Staff-on-Inmate Women’s Prison Sex Abuse Cases Across New Hampshire

Levy Konigsberg has earned national recognition fighting for survivors of staff-on-inmate sexual abuse and currently represents hundreds of former female inmates in the fight for justice in various states.

Now, we are working with a growing number of former female inmates who were sexually abused at various county-operated jails, prisons, and halfway houses across New Hampshire.

Our firm is actively investigating cases of female inmate sexual abuse at all New Hampshire correctional facilities. This includes:

  • Strafford County House of Corrections
  • Grafton County Jail
  • Shea Farm Halfway House in Concord
  • New Hampshire State Prison for Women located in Goffstown on Mast Road
  • Lakes Region Facility located in Laconia on Right Path Way
  • Calumet House on Lowell St. in Manchester
  • North End Halfway House on North St. in Concord

History of Sexual Abuse in NH Women’s Prisons

New Hampshire’s history of staff-on-inmate abuse in prisons housing women has been documented through years of legal filings, lawsuits, and investigations. These records show that facility operators, including counties and the NH DOC routinely failed to adequately supervise and investigate abusive staff and protect inmates from abuse.

Some examples include:

  • In October 2013, former Strafford County House of Corrections Guard Patrick Shaeffer was indicted on eight counts of felony sexual assault over claims that he sexually abused multiple female inmates. The allegations, which accuse Shaeffer of using his position of authority to solicit sexual favors in exchange for small amenities, stem from incidents in 2019 and 2020.
  • In March 2022, Max Fournier, a former guard at the Grafton County Jail, was indicted on four felony charges for sexually assaulting two female prisoners. Following the indictment, Grafton County officials stated that they had been aware of sexual assault allegations against Fournier as far back as 2019 but took no action at the time. Fournier was a corporal in charge of training new officers when the allegations were made.
  • In May 2008, former prison chaplain Ralph Flodin was convicted on multiple sexual assault charges over abuse against a female inmate. Flodin, who admitted to touching and kissing the victim in a videotaped confession, had served as the chaplain at the Strafford County House of Corrections for over 10 years. In September 2008, he was sentenced to 2-10 years in prison.
  • In November 2008, former corrections Sgt. Douglas Tower pleaded guilty to raping three women at the Shea Farm halfway house in Concord. Tower, who was already serving 21 to 40 years for sexually assaulting two other halfway house inmates, entered the plea in exchange for charges involving 8 other victims being dropped. Tower had previously been the subject of a May 2006 lawsuit brought by former inmates who alleged that the NH Department of Corrections knew that Tower had been abusing female inmates nearly seven months before they accepted his resignation and initiated an investigation, and that Tower himself threatened to return any inmate who repeated allegations against him to Goffstown prison.

New Hampshire Law Allows Survivors to File Civil Lawsuits Over Sexual Abuse that Occurred at Any Time in the Past

In recent years, New Hampshire lawmakers have passed groundbreaking legislation to expand the rights of sexual abuse survivors.

This includes the Crime Victims’ Right Enhancement Act of 2020, which eliminated the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits arising from sexual abuse and assault involving victims of all ages.

This law means that survivors who were sexually abused at jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers across New Hampshire can file civil lawsuits over abuse that occurred at any time in the past, and even if their claims were barred under the previous law.

Do I Have a Case?

All sexual activity between prison employees and inmates is illegal. Guards, supervisors, and other correctional workers wield substantial power over inmates and often use their authority to threaten or retaliate against victims to keep them silent. There is no scenario in which an inmate can give consent, and many cases where victims are kept silent for years or decades over fear of retaliation.

As a result, you may have a potential case if:

  • You were sexually abused by a guard, volunteer, or other employee/contactor while in custody.
  • The abuse occurred at any jail, prison, or detention facility in New Hampshire at any time in the past.

Levy Konigsberg represents survivors in civil lawsuits that aim to hold public and private jail and prison operators accountable for their failures to stop abusive staff members and protect inmates.

As civil claims, these cases are separate from any criminal proceedings that may arise from abuse and focus instead on holding institutions liable for damages. This means you may still have a claim even if:

  • Your abuser is no longer alive.
  • Your abuser was never charged with or convicted of a crime.

Recoverable Damages in Sexual Abuse Claims

In addition to providing accountability and a sense of justice, civil sex abuse lawsuits allow survivors to recover financial compensation for their damages, which may include:

  • Past medical and mental health expenses
  • Future mental health expenses, including therapy, medications, etc.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and psychological harm
  • Lost income
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

Levy Konigsberg: Nationwide Leaders in Prison Sex Abuse Litigation

Levy Konigsberg has cultivated a reputation of success fighting for sexual abuse survivors in civil lawsuits – and is known nationally for representing survivors of staff-on-inmate sex abuse in women’s prisons.

Unlike criminal cases against alleged abusers, the civil sexual abuse lawsuits we handle focus on recovering justice and compensation for victims, while also holding both abusers and the negligent institutions, entities, and employers who failed to stop the abuse accountable.

Some of our recent work and coverage in this field includes:

  • Our firm represents more than 500 women who were sexually abused in jails and prisons across New York. These cases, which were brought under a temporary lookback window created by the NY Adult Survivors Act, were profiled widely in the media, including a NY Daily News cover story and articles published by Prism, Gothamist, Buffalo News, and other media outlets.
  • Thanks to groundbreaking laws that provide new opportunities for adult survivors to file claims, our firm represents a growing number of former inmates abused at jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers across New York, California, Maryland, and other states.

Call For a FREE Consultation:

Levy Konigsberg is a top-rated trial practice that’s recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients. Led by award-winning lawyers, we’ve built a legacy representing taking on prison systems and other powerful institutions.

If you have questions about pursuing a civil lawsuit over sexual abuse that occurred when you were in a women’s jail, prison, or halfway house anywhere in New Hampshire, we want to help. We serve survivors statewide and charge no fee unless we win.

Call or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation.


Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.


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