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ADOC captain accused of retaliating against incarcerated individual

Bernard Jemison says he’s being retaliated against over videos showing medical neglect and conditions in ADOC prisons.

Bernard Jemison says he's being retaliated against over videos showing medical neglect and conditions in ADOC prisons.

An Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) captain has been accused by an incarcerated person of trying to get them hurt for documenting medical neglect within ADOC facilities. 

The incarcerated person, Bernard Jemison, is claiming that Captain Elizabeth Lasseter is trying to retaliate against him due to his videos showing medical neglect and conditions that incarcerated persons face in ADOC prisons. Jemison is currently incarcerated at Ventress Correctional Facility.

APR and the Guardian have previously reported on Jemison’s videos. 

In a TikTok post made on June 10, Jemison said that Lasseter and another officer, Lieutenant Walker, are deliberately trying to get him hurt by other inmates. Jemison says that Lasseter is searching other incarcerated individuals and having their cell phones, earbuds and other forms of contraband taken from them then blaming it on Jemison for his advocacy. Jemison said that this makes other incarcerated people upset and could potentially lead to violence against him.

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“These people [news media] need to know firsthand what’s going on with me in the event that something tragic does happen,” Jemison said in the TikTok video. “That these 2 people [Lasseter and Walker] will be held responsible. That they will be the direct result of any harm that I receive inside this facility.”

Janette Jones, an advocate of Jemison’s, told APR that the warden of the prison was aware of the claims by Jemison but no action was taken. Jones also said she left a message with the county commissioner’s office but received no response.

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APR attempted to call both the warden of Ventress Correctional Facility, Karen Williams, and the Barbour County commissioner’s office on Friday but received no response.

APR asked ADOC Friday if they planned to investigate Lasseter and the warden who may know of the claims by Jemison. Within an hour ADOC responded saying they confirmed Captain Lasseter did not threaten Jemison and Jemison would be disciplined for using social media and possessing a cell phone. 

However, APR followed up by asking how did ADOC confirm Lasseter did not threaten Jemison and if Jemison was effectively being disciplined for documenting medical neglect that other incarcerated individuals faced. 

ADOC did not respond.

Recent reporting by APR and other outlets like Alabama Appleseed have documented the deaths of incarcerated people inside ADOC facilities. So far the number of individuals who have died in ADOC prisons this year is 56 but that number is likely an undercount.

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

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