Inmates had filed grievances versus slain guard

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Newly released documents show several grievances were filed by inmates of the Monroe Correctional Complex over operations of the prison chapel in the years before corrections officer Jayme Biendl was strangled there last January.

Biendl was the subject of numerous grievances by prisoners over the years because of her enforcement of prison policies at the chapel. The grievances, obtained by The Associated Press from the state Department of Corrections, were all dismissed as without merit.

To be sure, Biendl's death was not related to any of those grievances. Inmate Byron Scherf has been charged with aggravated murder in the case. But the past grievances help shed light on the pressures of working inside the walls of the state's prisons, even in a place as relatively peaceful as the chapel.