5 votes

Prisoners forced from cells with pepper spray in order to medicate them

The article refers to them as "mentally ill prisoners" but I don't know how much stock we should put in that characterization.


SACRAMENTO — Videotapes released Thursday by a federal court show mentally ill prisoners in California being forced from their cells by guards who douse them repeatedly with pepper spray.

Some of the inmates are being forced to comply with medication orders; others are to be moved to new cells.

The six tapes, created by guards abiding by a state policy to record all cell extractions, were shown in court in October as part of a lawsuit by inmates' lawyers seeking a ban on the use of pepper spray against the mentally ill. The tapes were ordered released by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton, who is holding hearings on the issue in Sacramento.

In one tape shot in July of last year at California State Prison at Corcoran, a screaming, naked prisoner is sprayed five times in 15 minutes before being tackled to the ground by about half a dozen guards and then strapped to a gurney.

His prison psychiatrist testified that the psychotic inmate had lost touch with reality and needed emergency medication.

"When we order involuntary medications, the inmate is told they will receive medications whether they like it or not," said the psychiatrist, Dr. Ernest Wagner.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

If you weren't crazy before...

Just being in the Sacramento County Jail can drive you crazy. It's on the Amnesty International list because it's so awful. Lots of people commit suicide in there.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift