NEW YORK (Sputnik) – On Monday, Szczepanski and other attorneys filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against employees of the Clinton Correctional Facility for allegedly submitting numerous inmates to torture in exchange for help in locating two escapes.
"Bringing more light to what goes on in there is just one of things we can do through this lawsuit and hopefully get some reforms so events like what we described in our complaint don’t happen again," Szczepanski said Thursday.
Interrogations included "slamming heads into desks, wrapping heads with plastic bags, slamming heads into pipes, (and) punches to the head and ribs," according to the complaint. At least one inmate inside the prison was allegedly threatened with waterboarding, the complaint added.
"They’re supposed to be in a system that’s rehabilitating. But they are in this environment that just does a number to their psyche, they are in constant fear," Szczepanski said.
One of six plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, Luke Matthews, has lost partial hearing in both his ears and received numerous neck and back injuries as a result of the abuse, according to Szczepanski. The lawsuit also alleges that several prisoners were subjected to "racist and religious epithets" during their interrogations.
The six plaintiffs listed in the complaint are of African American and Hispanic descent.
The lawsuit is seeking monetary payments for the emotional and physical abuse of the prisoners. An exact monetary amount was not listed in the complaint.
The alleged interrogations began after two inmates escaped through an elaborate tunnel in June 2015. Their escape prompted a nationwide manhunt that ended several weeks later with the death of one and the recapture of the other prisoner.