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Videos show apparent medical neglect at ADOC facility

Multiple videos taken at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton show several inmates suffering from medical neglect and harsh conditions. 

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Multiple videos taken at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton show several inmates suffering from medical neglect and harsh conditions. 

The videos were taken by Benard Jemison, an inmate at Ventress himself. In one video Jemison is talking to Willie David Lee about his injuries. Lee is a double leg amputee and can barely use either of his arms due to medical complications resulting in having to be fed. 

Lee revealed he was denied medical parole because he was labeled a “menace to society”.

Another video shows an inmate who was not named suffering from a bulge on their lower jaw and neck area. The individual is seen crying and sweating while asking for help and reveals they have a colostomy bag as well.

In a third video, Jemison walks around the facility demonstrating the lack of guards present to oversee the inmates. Then, Jemison can be heard criticizing Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to build more prisons. 

“Actually funny how Kay Ivey say she’s gonna build new prisons but who’s gonna work at the prison,” Jemison said. “Right now today there’s over 1200 plus inmates and like three officers that’s working here, absolutely nobody. If we had a medical emergency right now we’d have no way to get any kind of help.”

According to Janette Jones, a friend of Jemison’s, officers at the facility retaliated against him for recording the horrible conditions. Jones also revealed it was because she reported an officer for assaulting another inmate. Jones said Jemison was placed in segregation away from the general population yesterday and that he was on a hunger strike that the facility was aware of.

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Jones states via email that Jemison’s, “moral conscience led him to bravely and boldly protect and speak out for those that have been assaulted, abused and medically neglected.” Jones added that Jemison was isolated with no clothes, hygiene products, or any other belongings.

APR asked the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) if they were aware of Jemison’s isolation as well as the medical neglect and alleged abuse of inmates. APR also asked ADOC if it would ensure Jemison was released back into the general population.

ADOC said this in response: “Inmate placement and bed assignments are a matter of security and cannot be disclosed. However, I can verify that inmate Jemison is not currently in the Restrictive Housing Unit.”

When asked for a follow-up on if Jemison was recently in Restrictive Housing ADOC never replied. ADOC also never addressed the medical neglect and alleged abuse of inmates and whether they condoned those actions. 

“The deplorable conditions and treatment of inmates must come to an end,” Jones said. “This is no longer acceptable and the public is becoming aware of it and the time is NOW for Alabama external prison oversight and reform.”

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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