African American and gay inmates are targeted by bloodthirtsty white supremacists and gangs at a privately-run Idaho prison ... and guards look the other way. The situation is even more extreme for prisoners who are Black and gay, reports The Root.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the privately run Idaho Correctional Center, which is considered so violent that it is called "gladiator school". Last year, the AP released surveillance video of a brutal beating showing the guards doing absolutely nothing. Antoney Jones says that also happened to him because he is Black, gay and testified against another inmate in California.
Jones was struck violently in the face within minutes of being housed in a dangerous pod at the ICC, the suit says. He bled for half an hour, his face was swollen, and both eyes turned black and blue. "Prisoners throughout the pod lined the rails and began yelling, 'Kill the nigger,' 'Get the fag' and 'Kill the rat,' " the complaint reads. "It was a mini riot, and yet no guards intervened." [...]
The suit highlights a deeply entrenched culture of brutality that has resulted in higher levels of violence at ICC than at Idaho's eight public prisons combined, Hopkins says. It tells the stories of men involved in 24 different cases of assault that have occurred at ICC since November 2006, all of which were entirely preventable and the direct result of failures by ICC officials to protect prisoners, despite being placed on notice that those prisoners faced a substantial risk of serious harm, she says.
Even though he was taken to the infirmary, Antoney Jones received no X-rays after his assault to determine whether there were broken bones or he needed hospitalization. He received cotton balls to stanch the bleeding, and ibuprofen for intense pain. "Jones was placed in segregation without being offered additional medical care," the suit says. "Jones felt desperate, depressed and forsaken. Three days later, while still in the segregated cell, Jones attempted suicide by tying bed sheets around his neck. Jones lost consciousness. Fortunately, a guard saw him and cut him down."
Read the report HERE.
The number of inmates at privately run prisons has increased in recent years, especially in the wake of the recession and budget cuts. Some states claim they are more cost efficient. Critics argue that private prisons reduce costs by providing "fewer services than public facilities in a bid to save money, thereby endangering the lives of inmates."
The Root recently reported on the privately run Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Jackson, Mississippi. A lawsuit charges that youth inmates are forced to live in "barbaric and unconstitutional conditions and are subjected to excessive force by prison staff. The population [of 1200] is about 90 percent African American."
The charges of rampant violence in privately run prisons comes during the same week the Supreme Court ordered California to release 33,000 inmates due to over-crowding.