The video above, obtained by the Associated Press, isn't for the faint of heart. It shows a 24-year-old Idaho prison inmate being beaten savagely by another inmate for minutes as guards look on impassively. The facility is known by inmates as "gladiator school" because of the pervasive violence within its walls. No surprise that it's run by lawsuit-plagued and Nashville-based Corrections Corp. of America, the largest private prison contractor in the country. In the video, as prisoner James Haver continues to beat Hanni Elabed, Elabed actually manages to bang on a prisoner guard station window, but the guard fails to intervene.
At one point, the assailant actually takes a breather, but gets back up and continues his attack a few minutes later. Only after Haver decides he's finished with Elabed do prison guards move in. Elabed, who was convicted on robbery charges, remained in a coma for three days and now suffers serious brain damage. He's been released on a medical discharge. Prior to the beating, Elabed apparently came to prison officials because threats were made against his life. He also offered information on drug trafficking between prisoners and prison staffers. He was placed in solitary confinement for his own protection, but was subsequently released to the very cell block he'd snitched on. The beating was the result. Elabed and his family have reached an undisclosed settlement with CCA.
Other inmates of this Idaho prison have filed lawsuits against CCA for denying them medical attention in order to cover up assaults.
This certainly isn't the first time CCA has been popped for inaction that, in some cases, costs prisoners their lives. An investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement found nine prisoners had died in an Arizona CCA facility of treatable diseases that were ignored by staff. Earlier this year, the Kentucky governor ordered 400 female inmates transferred from a CCA facility because of the sexual misconduct of male guards. Something similar happened at a CCA immigration detention facility in central Texas.
H/T Seattle Weekly