You can't imagine how bad it is behind bars
Unless you are a person who has been incarcerated in a U.S. prison, you don’t know about the violence that is being done to inmates at the hands of correctional officers or prison guards across this country. There are many TV programs about prison life but I’ve seen none show the abuse that is inflicted on prisoners. Being in prison for 13 years or more, I’ve witnessed these atrocious acts first hand. One would think if a prison officer had to use force against a prisoner it was warranted, but many times that isn’t the case.
Before I came to prison I was told by many convicted felons how correctional officers would beat the living daylight out of a prisoner over a minor offense. It was hard for me to believe until I saw it for myself.
When I first arrived at the prison reception center, they made me and all the new prisoners get butt-naked to be searched for drugs or weapons. We had to bend over and spread our butt cheeks. The guy next to me didn’t spread his open enough for the officer to see so he kicked him right in his gluteus maximus. The officers had prisoners that looked like professional bodybuilders working for them that they would use to beat up other prisoners.
A week after that, about eight prison officers beat up a 60 year old man just because he cursed out a female sgt. The female sgt hit him with her radio first which knocked him to the ground. Then the other officers started punching and kicking him. Two of those officers stopped just to make us prisoners turn around and not watch what they were doing. The old man could not have weighed more than 130 pounds. It could not have been nothing short of a miracle if he survived that attack. There were so many killings at that reception center that the feds had to go in to investigate.
When I was transferred to my main prison camp, things were different. They weren’t killing inmates there, but the brutality was just as bad. That camp was run by racist officers and it was not secret how blacks were being ridiculed, beaten, and discriminated against there. Blacks had to deal with physical and emotional abuse. It was nothing for an officer to call a black prisoner a nigger or say some thing about his mother. These were the tactics they used to set the prisoner off. Then they felt they could be justified for using force. Prisoners like me wouldn’t take the bait, but many did. White prisoners and prisoners of other races got abused also.
At other prison camps I’ve been to, the need for the officers to beat on a prisoner wasn’t racially motivated. The violent abuse was equally passed around. I saw a Hispanic guy get kicked in his rectum just because he forgot to take off his hat when he was going through a gated area. I saw a white guy get his head busted open by an officer because he was high on synthetic marijuana. And in another incident an officer was beating a guy so bad that another officer had to pull him off the guy, then they started fighting each other afterwards. I overheard the captain telling them that they should never fight each other because it was "them against us."
The worst of the brutality comes to the prisoners that are in confinement. When a prisoner is being too rowdy in confinement the captain will spray a very strong chemically enhanced mace into his locked room. Prisoners have died because of this. They will also drop a handcuffed inmate down stairs and say he slipped or that the inmate pulled away from them. The beatings come when the officer has a prisoner out of the sight of cameras. Many prisoners are missing teeth and it’s not because of tooth decay.
The sad part of this all is that it’s been going on forever and there's no end in sight of it stopping. When we grieve these issues our grievances taste the bottom of a trashcan or a shredder. Other times they simply are denied. Since we are convicted felons our words don’t mean anything. Some prison guards commit more crimes than us convicts. It hurts me because it's nothing I can do to stop it. All I can do is hope that one day god answers my prayers. Prison brutality is real, and more people in society should be aware of this problem.