Under Fire for Negligence, North Carolina Prisons Chief Seeks New Mental Health Funding

by | December 15, 2014

North Carolina corrections chief David Guice wants more than $20 million to improve the treatment of people with mental illness in the state’s prisons. His request comes on the heels of two recent reports showing neglect and abuse of prisoners with psychiatric disabilities in North Carolina, and the death in custody of one such individual, Michael Anthony Kerr. According to autopsy report findings released in September, Kerr died last March of dehydration after being held in solitary confinement for 35 days.

Guice heads up the state’s prison system as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. His request was made last Thursday at a meeting of the state’s Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety, held to discuss North Carolina’s treatment of prisoners suffering from mental illnesses.

At the meeting, Guice cited the difficulties in providing adequate care for 4,600 people – 12 percent of the total prison population – requiring mental health services. The prison system wants the state’s upcoming budget to include funding for more than 300 additional mental health care staff statewide, 64 more for Central Prison’s mental health unit, and 76 probation officers.

As NCCapitol reports on the meeting:

Deputy Commissioner of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter told lawmakers he’d like them to receive more frequent treatment, “but every time a segregated inmate comes out of a cell, it takes two staff members” to escort the inmate to an appointment.

“Are you keeping them in [their cells] for 23 hours?” committee co-chairwoman Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Randolph, asked Lassiter.

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered.

“Day after day after day?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Lassiter responded.

“Don’t they get worse?” Hurley asked.

“Some do,” he answered.

According to the story, Guice stated that system has already started implementing changes, including crisis intervention training for prison workers and a review of all policies dealing with prisoners with mental health problems. He warned, however, that “the needed fixes – more therapy, more medical oversight, specialized units – won’t be cheap, especially in a system that’s already underfunded. For example, he said, budget cuts have emptied one-third of the beds at Central Prison’s inpatient unit for severely mentally ill inmates.”

Recent reports on the treatment of people with mental illness held in North Carolina assert that the state’s Division of Prisons has made little progress to date in protecting these individuals from neglect and abuse, including inadequate health care and the extensive use of solitary confinement.

Report: North Carolina State Prisons’ Use of Solitary Qualifies as “Torture”

One recent report, Solitary Confinement as Torture, published by the Human Rights Policy Seminar at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Law, is based on research and interviews with prisoners and focuses on the treatment of incarcerated people suffering from mental disorders and the use of isolation.

The 216-page report denounces the use of solitary confinement as “torture,” and reach the “straightforward and simple” conclusion that “solitary confinement is ineffective at decreasing violence within prisons; it is ineffective at preserving public safety; it is ineffective at managing scarce monetary resources; and it violates the boundaries of human dignity and justice. Prison officials and the courts must find a way to end the practice without delay.”

The report also documents North Carolina’s failure to provide the rehabilitation opportunities essential to successful reentry into society—in large part due to the prison system’s inclination to place people in solitary for petty offenses and “almost a complete disregard of prisoners’ average mental health needs.” In fact, according to the study, as much as 10 percent of North Carolina’s prison population has been held in prolonged solitary confinement at any given time in recent years.

The UNC report  recommends specific “systemic reforms,” including decreasing prison populations, increasing efforts at rehabilitation, changing the “institutional culture” in prisons and ultimately abolishing the use of solitary confinement.

In an email response to Solitary Watch, UNC law professor Deborah M. Weissman, a collaborating author of the report, wrote:

Mental health systems in NC are underfunded and fail to provide critical care and services to many individuals who, as a consequence of their mental health illnesses, wind up in prison. Either due to a lack of care, lack of training, or lack of other alternatives, individuals whose mental illness manifests as criminal behavior are sent to prison where their situation further deteriorates. Many of these individuals wind up in solitary confinement due to their inability to comply with prison system directives. The harm they suffer is egregious and likely permanent.

Weissman noted that “necessary reforms that have been clearly identified have not been fully implemented.”

Investigation: Mass Shortages Found in NC State Prisons’ Mental Healthcare Personnel

A recent investigative report by the publication INDY Week, “Prison System Short on Psychologists, Long on Mentally Ill Inmates,” finds that the North Carolina state prison system has a serious shortage of mental health personnel. According to the report, “Two years ago, the North Carolina prison system promised change after blaming staff shortfalls for the problem of mentally ill prisoners left isolated in cells splattered with human waste,” but “mental health advocates say they are still waiting for prison officials to deliver on that promise.”

The article includes the following table, highlighting the mental health staff vacancy rates in the North Carolina state prison system:

Source: INDY Week

North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) spokesperson Pam Walker told INDY Week that almost one-third of the 98 positions for prison psychologists were unoccupied as of November 3. Not only are 60 percent of senior psychologist positions vacant, but 22 percent of the prisons’ 1,314 nursing positions – which are critical to providing people with mental health disorders daily assessments – remain open.

Terri Catlett, deputy director of health services for state prisons, denied that prisoners suffering from mental illnesses were “in any additional danger because of the staff vacancies.”

The INDY Week investigation notes that, according to a 2010 report by the Wake County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), approximately 5,513 prisoners, or 14.6 percent of the state prison population, were diagnosed as “severely mentally ill” in 2006, and the number of incarcerated people with mental illnesses was increasing sharply—a trend that would suggest an increased need in personnel to provide adequate care and treatment.

Vicki Smith, executive director of the nonprofit Disability Rights NC, believes the prison system’s unremitting personnel shortages were a cause in Michael Anthony Kerr’s death. Quoting Smith, the INDY Week study states:

“In any facility where you find a high rate of vacancy, you have a lot of workers putting in overtime. If you have people working a lot of overtime, they’re not letting downtime. Poorly trained, overworked staff always contribute to abuse and neglect.”

Disability Rights N.C. opened an independent investigation into Kerr’s death and found “severe deficiencies” in the care for mentally ill prisoners. The group asked Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a hiring emergency in North Carolina prisons and to authorize an expedited hiring system to fill the vacancies.

Solitary Watch obtained a copy of the Disability Rights NC’s letter making the request to commission an accelerated employment system. Dated October 3, 2014, the letter urges the governor to immediately address the severe statewide mental health staffing shortages in the NC DPS.

In another story, INDY Week reports that the Disability Rights NC’s investigation into Kerr’s death, noting that, according to Smith, the probe found “severe deficiencies in the provision of services to inmates to mental illness—such significant problems that constitutional rights are implicated.”

Smith also said that prisoners suffering from mental illness will no longer be held in solitary confinement for more than several days if health care staff find that it would be detrimental. She further stated that prisoners will no longer be placed in isolation based on their symptoms.

In an email response to Solitary Watch, Smith wrote:

The inadequacies of treatment for people with mental illness start long before they end up in prison. Many prisoners like Michael Kerr are in prison because of the criminalization of the symptoms of their mental illness.

Failing to offer affordable, accessible mental health community based service has both an immediate and long term cost. But budget writers are motivated to look only at what those services cost in the short run and err on the side of short term savings.

As a result police are often the first responders to a mental health crisis. Jails are filled with repeat offenders jailed for having untreated symptoms. They are put on a path that ends in prison where they continue to be punished for having a mental illness.

What is happening in our state prisons is horrendous and requires reform. Segregation is used to manage behaviors related to mental illness and minimize the disruption to the general population. It is cruel and inhumane but if you look at the path of prisoners like Mr. Kerr, we failed him much earlier when his mental health needs where ignored. A travesty from beginning to end.

The Death of Michael Anthony Kerr

Michael Anthony Kerr spent 35 days in”restrictive housing” – solitary confinement – at the Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, NC. The man was transferred to Central Prison’s hospital in Raleigh via prison van but was dead by the time he arrived. According to his recently released autopsy report, Kerr died from dehydration in his solitary cell March 12 of this year. The report also shows that Kerr was not receiving treatment for his schizoaffective disorder.

During his 35 days in isolation, Kerr was cited for flooding his cell on two different occasions. Prison staff responded by shutting off the water supply to the man’s cell, which, according to the NC DPS, is permissible when a prisoner abuses plumbing facilities.

The NC DPS, which has released almost no information on Kerr’s death, responded to prison officials’ negligence by terminating a total of nine employees, including Captain Shawn Blackburn, the former captain who ordered that Kerr remain handcuffed for five days. Blackburn appealed his termination, but last week lost his case.

Th NC DPS said that 30 staff members have been disciplined or demoted as a result of Kerr’s death. But a state investigation revealed that the prison discipline system is not equipped to manage people with mental illnesses.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) opened a criminal investigation into Kerr’s death days after the autopsy report was released, with a federal grand jury in Raleigh, NC, issuing subpoenas to obtain related records from the NC DPS after the agency’s lack of cooperation became public.

Track Record of Prisoner Abuses in North Carolina Prisons

The North Carolina prison system has for many years faced criticism for its track record of the mistreatment of people with mental health disorders.

An incident similar to the Kerr tragedy took place at Central Prison in 1997, when an audit found that Vietnam veteran Glen Mabrey, who suffered from mental illness, died of thirst after being held in solitary confinement. Like Kerr, Mabrey’s water had been cut off, in this case for four days, after he had intentionally flooded his cell.

In 2011, an internal review of conditions inside North Carolina’s Central Prison found that prison staff neglected the needs of prisoners suffering from serious mental illnesses. According to the News Observer:

Years of budget cuts, hiring freezes and high turnover led to staffing shortages in critical jobs, especially nurses and doctors. Staff failed to maintain up-to-date records, track medications or respond to calls for medical help.

The report says that nurses acknowledged not knowing which inmates were which and that patients were given too much prescribed medication or none at all.

According to the story, the report also said there have been multiple deaths resulting from medical conditions, including the case of Levon Wilson, who suffered from bipolar disorder. An autopsy report shows Wilson, who was arrested on misdemeanor charges, was moved from Central Prison to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh in September of 2010, with “moderately high levels” of the medication lithium in his bloodstream. The News Observer reports:

[Wilson’s] cause of death is listed as “complications of lithium therapy,” which led to kidney and bowel problems. Still, the state doctor performing the autopsy declared Wilson’s death as “natural.”

DOC officials refused to release a separate internal review of Wilson’s death, citing federal medical privacy laws.

The story also reports that the same internal review also says that, due to staffing shortages, patients were left unsupervised:

Inmates cut themselves and swallowed nails, batteries and shards from plastic eating utensils. The review found numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in written records of observational rounds.

The report also found that inmates in “therapeutic seclusion” were often locked in cells for extended periods without being let out for meals, recreation time or to shower.

A 2012 INDY Week article describes what life is like in solitary confinement in North Carolina prisons. The story describes conditions in the intensive control unit, or ICON, at Central Prison, focusing on the story of Chris McBride, who was placed in ICON after he and a group of other prisoners held a work-stoppage to protest their long hours. According to a letter from McBride:

Solitary confinement is hell. I agree with the public—it is a form of torture. It is a tiny cell about 6 feet by 8 feet. . .

We are in this cell 23 hours a day. We are allowed to come out for recreation five times a week for one hour. The rec is a cage. They just stick us in a little cage and we can walk around. That’s it. We are only allowed to take three showers a week. . .

So if you add up five 1-hour recs, and three 10-minute showers, that’s 5½ hours. Let’s round that up to 6 hours. There’s your answer. Out of the 168 hours in a week, we are out of our cell 6 hours. . .

. . . Normal rules don’t apply to solitary. They are supposed to, but they don’t.

In yet another incident of prisoner abuse at Central Prison, where around 600 people are held in “Close Custody,” prisoners launched a hunger strike in 2012 protest of various prison conditions, the demands of which included “[a]n immediate end to the physical and mental abuse inflicted by officers” and “[t]he end of cell restrictions.

In May of last year, Solitary Watch reported on a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of eight people held in solitary confinement at Central Prison against officers and administrators at the prison. According to the suit, guards used “blind spots” – areas in the prison out of view of surveillance cameras – to beat handcuffed and shackled prisoners.

The beatings took place in Unit One, a cell block commonly known as “The Hole,” where people are held in isolation.

The abuse claims made by the eight prisoners were substantiated by medical records which documented “blunt force injuries,” including broken bones and concussions, sustained while they were isolated from other prisoners. One man was unable to walk for months after his hip was fractured.

The lawsuit named 21 guards accused of participating in the abuse at the maximum security prison in Raleigh as defendants.

Followings hearing on the suit, the judge ordered that additional cameras be installed that would provide surveillance of the blind spots and that digital videos of the surveillance be kept sufficiently long enough to be used by any prisoners who file complaints.

Advocates Call for Greater Oversight of State Prisons

Asked by Solitary Watch to comment on the state of the North Carolina prison system, North Carolina Cure (NC-CURE) Director Elizabeth Forbes responded:

There have been countless issues of abuses of mentally ill prisoners, including the most recent incident– the death of Michael Anthony Kerr. I think this was one reason for Dr. John Carbone’s demotion. It’s just one more lawsuit resulting from his negative and cavalier attitude toward the mentally ill.

Regarding Kerr, our inside sources told us that the guards specifically punished him and he was taken off his mental illness medication…

The problems in North Carolina state prisons originate from severe staff shortages and lack of oversight.

Solitary Watch also contacted North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services attorney Michele Luecking-Sunman, who stated in a telephone interview:

There have definitely been some horrific things that have happened in North Carolina’s prisons in the last several years, and we have and do have pending litigation to try to address the deficiencies that are causing these acts that are occurring.

There’s always a need for greater oversight of mental healthcare in prisons and there is some evidence that there has been some ongoing oversight in North Carolina, but I think that there needs to be more. When there are experts brought in or experts who look at the system to the extent that their recommendations can be followed, they should be followed.

A lot of times prisons are under pressure in terms of funding or what not, but the pressure needs to be there for experts in mental health fields to be the ones that are determining how people are housed when they have mental illness and they shouldn’t always default to custody level people. We need to see treatment instead of punishment when somebody is acting out in a manner that is because of their mental illness.


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  • K.H.G.

    I recently served 44 months in the prison system. I went in fully functioning, I now have PTSD, Anxiety, Depression and most recently was diagnosed with emotional trauma. While incarcerated I suffered a bowel blockage from the rancid food that is served by the truckload to inmates. Due to that, I lost a massive amount of weight, collapsed, and was hospitalized for 7 weeks. It was discovered I had a bowel blockage then, septic bacteria had gotten into my system and ultimately settled in my brain. I struggle daily with my short-term memory and have no memory whatsoever of the events that led up to my arrest, incarceration, nor do I remember much about my time in prison except for a few clipped fragments. Officers often laughed at me making fun of my memory issues for the sake of getting a laugh out of the other inmates, I was psychologically tortured by these officers and had no way to defend myself. The officers and staff of the prison have the attitude that we are there to be punished so it’s ok to make fun of it, keep us pushed down, and treat us like animals. What you see on TV is dramatized obviously but they find ways to torment inmates non the less.

  • Monique

    My son is Bi-Polar he was recently attacked in a North Carolina Edgecombe County Jail how do I go about filing a complaint he has been there for two weeks and hasn’t been on his medicine. The DA refuses to reduce his bond because I won’t apologize to a Detective that was rude and offensive to me so I was rude back to him. There are many cases like this at this same Edgecombe County Jail that is ran by James Knight. This is the same Jail that had several escapes in the same year due to the bribery of guards.

    • Monique

      While my husband was in this same Jail he was refused his diabetic medicine amongst other medicines that he has to take or he will die. They told me they didn’e have any medicine and it will take 90 days to get it I had to bring his medicine from home and it was not given as prescribed. i was told they don’t have time to give him medicine four and five times a day so they double up on his doses and he became very ill and was refused hospital treatment.

  • Sonia Ignacia

    Husayn Fernando Rivas was born on September 14, 1975 and Died January 14, 2014 in a North Carolina Prison, I was 15 when I had him, he was 39 when pronounced dead, as Fernando Prieto Rivas. I am left living day by day in with a nuce around my neck and a hole in my heart.

  • eileen

    There is a prison director in India or Pakistan who is engaging a yoga master to help recuperate her inmates, who range from those guilty of murder to those who may not be guilty of anything. A yoga master doesn’t charge millions, and the logic of this prison director is pretty convincing.

  • Brian ,
    I have experienced all you mentioned as well constantly threatened by the badge on many accounts . I feel in my heart for you as our cases are similar. They , the badges are more corrupt to have the monetary gain and it hurts my heart to know this will as is continuing to occurr as the public officials feel we don’t deserve anything at all since I treat my dog good as gold and the treatment of a mentally ill bipolar son of the other gentleman is being neglected ! It’s true my son is bipolar and his civil rights were violated by being refused medication , took a week almost five days to get one hand towel , no toothbrush or toothpaste and soap no hygiene from bob barker. WNC has a bad taste because they re job scared ! Ashame to think that way but that’s the reality

  • My son had a run in with HCDC and the nurse. They knew he was diabetic, to say one mind altering comment ” the guards claimed fasley he primed his needle to remove the air that he was squirting out his medicine ! Not true , that is a medical procedure they have no training for ! He also is bipolar had no medication given for 23 days . He was not provided enough food to keep him alive or drinks or juices to keep him out of DKA well to be point blank he ask officers to take him to er for two days ! Finally they took him with a glucose reading of 560 or higher then taken immediately back to solitaire confinement that he was in the whole time ! He was constantly calling home for help saying he did not know if he would make it . Guards belittle , doubted his every word which is totally appalling ! There should be one set of rules there not double standards like the sentencing guidelines have as well ! If NC is so at amine with the human warehousing to promote jobs , why are the medical jobs not filled to date? Why do officers leave a wet girl in her cell that’s dx is a mental illness! Why did the nurse REBECCA just loose her job and not put on probation like other humans are sentenced to ! We are talking about human people not animals ! I would not deprive my dog of water but we always hear what the warden says , is that always the truth? Well in most cases no it’s job security not a smack on the wrist or face ! Not a prison sentence for those humans just a paycheck! If they are not required to take lie detectors tests , and we the people take a simple mans word then why do inmates not carry the validly of the truth in knowledge? It times of the ADA to step in !! I have seen , heard so many horror stories like the girl Victoria pincinoi who died of a massive heart attack after telling the nurse and dr for a week she had the classic symptoms of cardiac failure , they called it heart burn! I am thou rally in disbelief this situation at hand can not be controlled by the federal gov ! The Feds need to step in !! There have been to many deaths in North Carolina Prisons and county jails when they knowing violate a persons civil rights repeatly!!! To commit a crime is wrong but to ignore a person asking for medical treatment when knowling they have the proper medical conditions stated and medication prescribed they refuse to except the facts not take the information as if it were a rumor. I am open for comments and conversation on this matter since I did six years in NCDOC myself and now it’s a true nite mare to think all I seen is still happening it just hearts my heart then infuriates me to believe that this matter is totally out of hand ! Where Mr Obama because our public officials are in fear of job loss ! That’s a serious problem and it’s still occurring I seen a women try to get medical attention and they swept in under the rug and the lady died in a week with numerous request for help! The warden was not swept away the lady is six feet under , our NCDOC is not swept away and the problem still exists! I want to know why something still has not been done? No answer to human warehousing legislation won’t allow it , right ! So the true legal criminals are still on the street and not locked up either so the system is broken without a fix! We can’t let incorrupt people manage our prisons without due reguard to the truth in evidence ! If every prison record of death was opened then you will find the flaws ! Npccw I seen another death ! I have seen three deaths personally and if a prisoner had a seizure and you try to keep them from beating their head on the ground with uncontrollable body movements then you get threatened to be sent to solitary confinement! So who are the real criminals with or without badges ! Let’s face it we all are imperfect humans , so the wardens and officers are subject to bad behavior as well as the rest of us are ! Now let’s talk turkey in the legalities of human warehousing and negligence with a human that first hand witnessed bad behavior from officers that took 100 bills from inmates , then for a small fee they would take the hundred and return 60 to the inmate in five dollar bills . Ok I know to much from both sides . I can distinguish right from wrong but I feel like immediate change in laws need to occur . I have plenty if suggestions but all they do is turn their heads ! Ok this is ignorance and the law will not except it for the truth only if your a criminal!

  • helpusplease

    Hey Brian Berger….I was worried about you…although I don’t you. I prayed for you, I knew you were suffering, I was the one blogging in your defense. It is a wonder you came out of New Hanover County jail alive…the sheriff was not so lucky you know…a number of people have not survived New Hanover County jail. I did not know you were so well spoken, thanks for posting! I could not even attend my son’s trial…they were following me and taking things I said out of context…the judge threatened to put me in jail twice, although I was not a witness and I was not on trial,I knew they were planning to put me in jail….so I could not attend my own son’s trial. New Hanover County is out of control for sure! I was also intentionally hit by a car the day of the trial, I am so afraid they are going to kill me and make it look like an accident. Looks like a lot of psychopaths are ruling New Hanover County….I am documenting everything so if something bizarre happens to me….the FBI will have a good “fool” proof leads .I truly think my days are numbered . All family and friends have been informed and are ready to go to my defense if something happens to me. Watch out Brian!

  • helpusplease

    My mentally ill son who suffers from bipolar is in prison, each day I worry if he will come out alive, recently he was put in administrative segregation for his protection, by the way administrative segregation is just like solitary confinement, this is really sad, there are all types of solitary confinement and goes by different names, having different names for the same thing allows the prison system to continue in their abuse. Five months prior to this my son had just returned from the hospital section. He was in the hospital because once arriving to jail, he was taken off his medications and therefore suffered a major breakdown. He was attacked by a gang member right after getting out of the hospital. He became very suicidal while in segregation for fifteen days as the depressive cycle of his disease kicked in, when he asked for help to deal with this, they offered him another cell but with no clothes. No one suicidal is going to take any one up on that offer. The system is creating a suicidal atmosphere, I can only suppose they want them to die at their own hands. For fifteen days I worried for his life, the state is doing worse to him then what he went to prison for. I thought that at least each day he would be taken out of the cell, as the law states, at least one hour each day, but to my surprise I learned that they did not allow him outside, they just put him in a cage in another room, my son wished he did not have to go into that cage each day, because right next to him are the people who violated him. All of this is inhumane……what a horrible way to treat the mentally ill. My son who suffers from depression was in a tiny room where he could hardly move, and did not get to go outside. You can put rules in place but the prison system is creative at getting around these rules. My son also said that they are not feeding the prisoners enough food, making for a hostile atmosphere, it also forces family members to pay money for loved ones or else they go go bed hungry. My son would not have been attacked if they fed the prisoners enough food. I hope the governor sleeps well tonight…..it all comes down to money.

    • Mandy

      it is and always will be about the money…. here in NC i have heard that if the prisons can make their budgets or even come in under budget for the month they get a little something, and the biggest thing they use is food….

  • Brian Berger

    Torture. Sadistic, immature, bullies with badges and Tazers and guns, but no training to de-escalate situations, empathize, as with the responsive mentally-ill inmates deposited in jails and prisons in lieu of treatment and plans to mitigate problem behaviors prior to re-releasing the suffering back into society.

    Honor, integrity, restraint, empathy, respect for humanity, civil liberties, life, are abundantly rare in law enforcement. Screening new applicants for law enforcement jobs ignores “character” and “ethics” and training could be summed up as “We, the Blue Badges, are brothers and sisters. It’s us against the citizens. all shady criminals where our infidelities and vices are just products of the stress of a dangerous job. At all times, remember, back your fellow law enforcement officer, get your stories straight, lie and fudge if needed to justify anything and everything your eyes witnessed or your ears heard, sympathy and reflection are weakness. You are part of a team. A gang. Everyone up and down the chain including the District Attorney and FBI and Internal Affairs…has your back. You are better than the riff-raff which is why you have a badge and a gun and a license to kill. And your culture doesn’t just disdain officers snitching on fellow officerrs, it resolutely demands lying to cover the lies of your colleagues. Best of all, you will be rewarded for lying, and never held accountable. When I grow up, I want to be in law enforcement. Now hand over your lunch money.

    Despite no violence in my past and no history of mental illness prior to brutality suffered at the hands of a corrupt New Hanover County District Attorney, Ben David, and his team of honor-lacking self-ambitious Assistant DA’s, and a cabal of corrupt Wilmington police Dept. and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputies, with their colleagues in the FBI Wilmington Bureau, I was tortured for months after suffering a seizure. Despite not being impaired, the dirty DA and his assistant in falsifying a police report (law enforcement rarely tell the truth when pressured by prosecutors or superiors…who often have political and social grudges they avenge by throwing honesty and integrity to the dogs) used my seizure to try to force me from public elected office. I was deliberately tortured, beaten, tazered, bullied, harassed, targeted and humiliated for four years, be it walking down the street or isolated, dehydrated, tasered for weeks and deprived medical care for wounds to the head and body. My life has been ruined. The media refuses to tell the real story…Wilmington and New Hanover County are brutal in their often fatal and sadistic treatment of citizens. The DA Ben David, and law enforcement involved, has never, not one, ever been held accountable. The death toll rises and the agonizing torment imposed on citizens who stepped on the wrong politician’s toes or questioned the authorities blatant disregard of “protecting” or “serving” any citizen save their own “teammates” is beyond a crisis and illustrates the need to overhaul screening, training and discipline policies in Wilmington, NC and New Hanover County. Roy Cooper, NC Attorney General, the US Attorney, are guilty too and should take responsibility for their crimes and abuses of power under color of law.

  • Julie from North Carolina

    Here’s an idea….How about the prison officials go up against the Government and ask them to start taking responsibility for the Mentally Ill prisoners instead of making the US Prison system a dumping ground for everyone who needs mental health? Prisons have now become the new Psychiatric Wards in this country. And what better place to put them but in Solitary so nobody has to deal with them. Prison staff nor the medical personnel in the prison’s are equipped to handle these people. Thanks to our Government closing down facilities decades ago and releasing these people to the streets, they become the Prison’s problem now. COMPLETE OVERHAUL PLEASE!

    • Mandy

      Julie you are so right….. am in NC and with a group we have many letters from inmates regarding so many issues mental illness, medical issues, food issues, wrongful write ups…. etc

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