BEYOND BARS: Immunity Through the State

Valencia Simms
Milton, FL

Court rulings such as Hall v. Key and the Supreme Court rendering in Hudson v. McMillian clearly forbade malicious and sadistic abuse of prisoners. The decision in McMillian outlined “excessive force” as prison guards violently imposing not “in a good faith effort to maintain and restore” order, but out of personal hatred for inmates.

Too often correctional officers arrive on the job with carry-on luggage. Always aggressive, they seek confrontation and look for trouble. Living out racist designs to subjugate prisoners (minorities in general) to the worst possible humiliation and emasculation. A few have gone as far as referring to the clause of the 13th Amendment as authorizing their abusive handling.

Through analysis over the years I have long since concluded any prison, anywhere, where there is a continued cycle of guards/jailers exerting “excessive force” to create a climate of fear. Where correction officials go beyond the judges and sentencing to mete out their own brand of punishment, rather than managing prisoners to ensure an environment free of victimization for both staff and prisoners. It is done with the administration’s full knowledge and approval.

Florida statutes expressly prohibit a prison warden from allowing inhumane treatment towards prisoners by staff. Nonetheless, these are people protected by the system itself. Wielding absolute oppressive power inveterate through FDC’s official shield. These multiplies of micro despots are assured physical violence can be doled out with impunity.