Law
9:53 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Eight Inmates File Lawsuit Over Alleged Abuse At Central Prison

WUNC's Gurnal Scott reports on a lawsuit filed on behalf of some inmates over alleged abuse at Central Prison.

Advocates have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of some state prison inmates. The eight inmates at Central Prison in Raleigh wrote letters to attorneys with the state's Prisoner Legal Services agency saying officers beat them while they were restrained.  

Central Prison in Raleigh
Credit Dept. of Public Safety

Staff attorney Elizabeth Simpson says the letters say the alleged abuse occurred mostly in an area inmates call 'the desert'.

"And they refer to it as 'the desert' because there is no video surveillance there," Simpson says.  "So they perceive that officers will take prisoners there to assault them if they want there to be no video recording."

Simpson says their suit seeks changes in how abuse claims are investigated and placement of cameras in so-called "desert" areas.  She says they also discovered that where there are cameras, the video taken is not saved.   Attorneys want a clear video retention policy to be adopted. 

Officials with the state Department of Public Safety say they won't talk about pending legal matters.