The following is from a letter written by a prisoner wishing to expose the long train of abuse visited upon inmates at Lanesboro CI, particularly those held in solitary:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I just read your “Black Rose” October 2011 News Bulletin and would like to elaborate on the issue presented concerning prisoners at Lanesboro CI in Polkton, NC.
I was a close custody prisoner housed at Lanesboro from March 9th, 2004 until November 26th, 2008, at which time I was transferred. During my stay at Lanesboro I was on several occasions subjected to chemical agents such as pepper spray, mace, and tear gas, while locked securely behind a steel door in a single cell where I posed no threat to staff, myself, or anyone else. This was done in response to alleged rule violations for which I was never even written up.
On one occasion I was tear gassed, then placed in full mechanical restraints (handcuffs, waist chain, black box, and shackles) for a period of four hours before being allowed an opportunity to decontaminate, and was never evaluated by medical staff. I was not written up for any type of rule violation. This incident took place because I simply asked an officer to hand me a newspaper that lay on the floor approximately fifteen feet from my cell.
On another occasion I was subjected to tear gas, placed in restraints, then physically beaten by at least two correctional staff (til I lost consciousness), then awakened by having my head held under hot water, then had my head slammed into the shower wall, then had my feet pulled out from under me, at which time I was dragged by shackles back to my single cell where I was place nude on a steel bed frame and strapped down in four point restraints, then sprayed in the face and genitals with pepper spray and again physically assaulted by guards. I was not seen by medical personnel and was restrained physically for approximately seven hours without a bathroom break, and no staff member ever checked on me to see if I was alright during the entire time I was restrained. I was not charged with any type of rule violation.
On another occasion I had over 2,300 personal drawings confiscated and destroyed by a staff sergeant at Lanesboro, who took my art because he did not believe prisoners should be able to express themselves through “pictorial” art!
Another time at Lanesboro, while housed on the Anson Unit, an officer confiscated around 850 personal photos that I had that were supposed to be mailed home, but were in fact lost or destroyed.
Lanesboro staff routinely beat prisoners in single cell units at the prison on the Richmond and Anson units, and teargas single cell-confined inmates on a weekly basis for minor or non-existent rule violations, then destroy grievances that are submitted in order to cover their illegal actions.
If contact, many former employees of Lanesboro will admit that they quit their jobs there due to the way other staff treated prisoners, not out of fear of attack by us. Turning a blind eye cost former superintendent Rick Jackson and former assistant superintendent Kevin King their positions after some of this abuse was exposed in the past.
I hope you will print my letter to show the public the type of injustices that take place at Lanesboro CI. Maybe it will other prisoners a reason to write them or someone they know, or that they personally witnessed.
Thank you for your time.
James Eaker 0115791