Prison Inmates Put a Name to a Feared Guard Known as Captain America
On October 1, The New York Times published yet another article exposing the scope and breadth of violence and abuse that permeates the New York State prison system. In the latest of a string of accounts dating back to the Spring of 2015, NYT reporters Michael Schwirtz and Michael Winerip highlight the prison guard known throughout Clinton C.F. as “Captain America,” not merely for the tattoo he bears of the American flag, but for the abuse he and other correction officers have meted out to the men incarcerated there. The article cites the CA’s prison monitoring and reporting work: “The Correctional Association of New York, an inmate advocacy group with a legislative mandate to monitor the prisons, recently interviewed 30 Clinton inmates who described continuing abuse. Of those, two said they had been assaulted by Officer Stickney before the escape; one of the two claimed a plastic bag had been placed over his head during an interrogation.”
Excerpt from The Article –
Inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York said the guards who beat them in the days after a brazen escape in June wore no name badges and did not identify themselves.
But one guard, the inmates said, stood out. He had a large tattoo of the American flag down his left arm and was known around the prison as Captain America.
No officer has been publicly implicated in any wrongdoing since an investigation by The New York Times nearly two months ago found what appeared to be a campaign of retribution against dozens of Clinton inmates after the escape at the prison.
Now, through interviews with inmates, The Times has identified Captain America as Chad Stickney, a gang intelligence officer and onetime steward in the state corrections officers’ union.
The inmates’ willingness to come forward and be named speaks to their growing frustration with the pace of the investigation into their allegations. Amid worsening violence at the prison, some inmates said they had been subjected to further harassment after speaking out.
In the frantic days after the prison break, inmates said in letters and interviews with The Times that guards handcuffed them, took them for questioning into areas of the prison with no cameras, punched them and slammed them against the wall. One inmate described having a plastic bag pulled over his head and being threatened with “waterboarding.”
John J. Lennon, a contributing writer at The Marshall Project, has written for Vice, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He is currently in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. He will be eligible for parole in 2029. Joe Cardo was out hunting for half-smoked cigarettes. From my perch at the white-boys’ table of the A Block [...]Read More
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“Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Association’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
“The isolation itself is torture. Mentally and emotionally, it breaks you down. Spiritually it strips you. The way it is built is to break you down as a person and push your family away.” From “Solitary at Southport” Solitary confinement is torture. New York State subjects people to solitary confinement and other forms of isolation [...]Read More