RALEIGH: Judge weighing NC prisoner video requirement - WNCN: News, Weather

Judge weighing NC prisoner video requirement

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Prisoners’ rights advocates are going to have to wait to see if correction officers at Central Prison will start using hand-held video cameras to document the actions of guards who have to deal with “use of force” incidents involving prisoners.

The use of those cameras is part of a federal lawsuit inmates filed against Central Prison in Raleigh accusing guards there of mistreatment.

The case hinges on whether guards at the prison engaged in retaliation and violence against prisoners . A lawsuit filed by eight of them claims that is the case they were beaten, and the lawsuit claims the guards use blind spots in the current video system to hide from surveillance so they can beat up prisoners.

Earlier in the case, Judge Terrance Boyle appointed an expert to review the prison’s surveillance system, and that expert made five recommendations. The state adopted four of them but said having a hand-held video camera is not feasible.

“They think it’s going to interrupt their operations,” said attorney Elizabeth Simpson with the North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services. … “What [Central warden Carlton Joyner said] was that it would make them completely change the way they deal with a use of force situation—and I think that’s a good idea.

Lawyers for the prisoners said they’re frustrated by the state’s actions…

(SOT attorney David Strauss/ NC Prisoner Legal Services @ 11.52.02)

“It seems like such a common sense solution to ensure what Judge Boyle was getting at, which is safe, humane conditions in the prison,” said David Strauss of N.C. Prisoner Legal Services. “Their refusal to adopt this simple solution just seems to be malicious, really.”

Boyle is reviewing the matter and said he will rule on it as soon as possible.

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