Probably the most vulnerable among us are those who are incarcerated. I’m all for law and order, as well as punishment, but very few of those incarcerated actually killed somebody or are otherwise going to spend the rest of their lives there. Many of them haven’t even been convicted of anything yet, they just don’t have the ability to bond out prior to their trial. Many times these people are physically abused by correctional officers who have the ability to run roughshod over the population. And people don’t care because they view them as criminals.
For instance, there was a North Carolina case that just popped up in the news, which captured the beating of an inmate on video – leading to a civil lawsuit. But if it were not videotaped, nobody would believe it.
In West Virginia, we have some of the worst jails in the country. I’m not talking about the prisons, but the jails – places where people go who are awaiting trial, or who were sentenced to a short sentence of incarceration. It seems like every other day there is a correctional officer being fired for sexually assaulting inmates, or dealing drugs with inmates. And these are just the one’s who get caught. I’ve heard countless stories from different clients of the abuse perpetrated by guards. And most of them are almost identical, despite the fact that these people had never met each other.
Don’t be surprised if the Department of Justice announces an investigation….
– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.