RALEIGH: Expert: Blind spots persist at NC Central Prison - WNCN: News, Weather

Expert: Blind spots persist at NC Central Prison

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A court-appointed expert says North Carolina's Central Prison still has blind spots that are hidden from the view of new security cameras added last year following inmate abuse allegations.
    
New cameras and digital video recorders were installed after eight inmates sued in U.S. District Court alleging that guards beat prisoners in Unit One, a section of the prison known as "The Hole" where those cited for disciplinary infractions are held in solitary confinement. The inmates say they were shackled and handcuffed before being ushered from their cells to unmonitored areas where they were severely beaten.
    
The inmates' abuse claims are supported by medical records documenting blunt-force injuries that occurred while the prisoners were segregated from other inmates. They include broken bones, concussions and a shattered hip that left one prisoner using a wheelchair.
    
Officials at the N.C. Department of Public Safety deny any abuse, saying staff used the minimal amount of force required to deal with inmates characterized as the "worst of the worst" among the prison system's population. Still, the state agreed last year to add security cameras to cover the previously unmonitored areas.
    
A report with the court this week by former corrections administrator Eldon Vail says the new cameras still don't monitor all the blind spots where inmates say the abuse occurred. Vail also reported finding lenses so out-of-focus and smudged with grime that it was difficult to make out what the cameras were recording.
    
Vail, who served as corrections secretary for the state of Washington prior to becoming a consultant, listed several recommendations as part of his report, including a requirement that prison staff regularly clean the lenses and maintain the camera equipment.
    
Vail was appointed to review the prison's surveillance system by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle. In November, Boyle rejected efforts by the state to dismiss the inmates' lawsuit for lack of merit.
    
A spokeswoman for the department of public safety said she couldn't comment because of the pending lawsuit.
  

RELATED STORIES

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:53:18 GMT
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
  • Man charged with killing UNC professor had just left Wake Jail

    Man charged with killing UNC professor had just left Wake Jail

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:14:57 GMT
    Derick Davis II, 23 (Left) and Troy Arrington, Jr., 27, (Right)Derick Davis II, 23 (Left) and Troy Arrington, Jr., 27, (Right)
    An Orange County dispatcher sounded shocked Wednesday afternoon when a 911 caller described finding University of North Carolina professor Feng Liu beaten and dying on a street near the UNC campus.
    An Orange County dispatcher sounded shocked Wednesday afternoon when a 911 caller described finding University of North Carolina professor Feng Liu beaten and dying on a street near the UNC campus.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.