Welcome back! If you missed my last post on solitary confinement you can check it out here. Today I want to focus on horrific truths of prison guard brutality that goes on behind closed curtain in not only North Carolina prisons but in prisons nationwide.
In 2012 a case surfaced after a group of inmates from Sampson Correctional Institution, a medium security prison located in Clinton, North Carolina, submitted a letter to the U.S. district court in Greensboro. The letter disclosed information about humiliating, mentally damaging, and physically harmful tasks prison guards were forcing inmates to participate in. These included rubbing habanero hot sauce on their genitals leaving excruciating blisters, stripping naked and making the inmates pretend to have sex as a form on entertainment for the guards, and gulping unspecified amounts of “Exotic Hot Sauce” that was purchased online. Unfortunately these are not the only acts the inmates were forced to do. The letter continued to state that when the inmates were working as road crew they were ordered to capture and kiss wild snakes as well as capture rabbits and throw them into oncoming traffic. Those who participated were rewarded with preferred work assignments, food, cigarettes, and alcohol. Something to consider is that both cigarettes and alcohol are banned in North Carolina prisons. Unfortunately this is a minor case the United states has seen involving prison guard brutality.
In 2010, Alabama prison inmate Rocrast Mack died a cruel death at the age of 24. Mack, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a drug conviction at Ventress Correctional facility, was beaten to death as a response to lack of cooperation by a female corrections officer and accompanying officials. The corrections officers claimed that they reacted out of self-defense and followed protocol properly and that Mack’s death was a result of him falling. When the FBI investigated the death of Rocrast Mack, the claims of the corrections officers involved didn’t quite add up. Mack was beaten to the point of brain swelling due to multiple blows to the head, bruises that covered his entire body, and his front teeth knocked out. Once the truth was revealed, four prison guards were sentenced to varying prison time.
I have included these two cases of prison guard brutality ranging from minor to severe to display the corruption that is hidden within prison systems. Although these cases are from 2010 and 2012, this is still a prevalent national problem that deserves more attention than given. I also included these cases to get you to really think about how inmates are treated while serving their sentences and the lasting effects that this abuse has on the prisoners. Neither case shows fair or humane treatment which in my opinion is wrong.
After researching these cases the first question that came to mind was why? More specifically, why demonstrate such behavior that will only encourage these inmates to respond identically inside and outside of the prison system? One point of imprisonment is to lower the rates of criminal activity, but how is that expected when the criminal activity continues behind bars?
What was the first question that came to your mind? What are your thoughts on the abuse that goes on prison systems? Do you think the inmates deserve this kind of treatment? Why or why not? Let me know what you think and check back next Tuesday!