July 13, 2015


There has been a class action lawsuit filed against the Illinois prison system due to the sexual and psychological abuse of African American inmates. Over a hundred correctional officers have been accused of abusing their power and forcing black men to perform in sexual activity.

According to a report released by the Atlanta Black Star, half of the men and women incarcerated in Illinois are black, 24 percent are white and 20 percent are Hispanic. Although close to 80 percent of Illinois prison population are either Hispanic or Black, there are no African American or Hispanic correctional officers at Illinois River correctional facility, according to a prison reform advocacy group. The idea of prison scary and hunt the minds of many. The slamming of the bars, the long dark walkways, the constant screaming throughout the night sends chills through the souls of men. Once inside many feel hopeless, leaving them vulnerable and helpless. Behind close doors many 

accused Illinois's prison system of mistreating inmates but it wasn't until March of this year someone finally when on record with their claim. Demetrius Ross has served time within the state prison system and claims to have  violated by a number of prison officers.



The lawsuit claims that similar abuse also occurred at other Illinois facilities filled with Black men Menard Correctional Center, Big Muddy River Correctional Center, and Lawrence Correctional Center. During one of these incidents, the defendant had his head slammed down so violently that his glasses broke and fell from his face, causing him to suffer “extreme dizziness & lightheadedness.”

During one of these incidents, the defendant had his head slammed down so violently that his glasses broke and fell from his face, causing him to suffer from “extreme dizziness and lightheadedness.”


“Officers then shoved their batons in between each prisoner’s legs and jerked upwards, forcing the prisoner to straighten his legs while keeping his back bent over at a 90-degree angle onto the prisoner in front of him,” the suit alleges.

The suit seeks damages for Ross’ injuries and those of other similarly abused prisoners, in addition to an injunction prohibiting the defendants from inflicting such abuse during future searches.


In addition to the guards, the suit also names the wardens at these facilities.

This lawsuit comes a month after a story in The Guardian revealed that Chicago police operated a secret CIA-style site in Chicago called Homan Square where people were brought before charges were even filed against them so that they could be beaten during brutal interrogations that last for hours. A Black man even died at the site.


Protesters have been holding demonstrations outside the Homan Square site to demand that the Chicago Police Department shut it down.

Fears about the possible abuses occurring in U.S. prisons is why Juan Mendez, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, has been trying for the past two years to gain access to federal prisons in New York and Colorado, as well as state prisons in California and Louisiana, among other states. He said he has been trying to go through the U.S. State Department, but he still hasn’t been given access after two years.


“It’s simply outrageous that it’s taking such a long time to provide access to American detention facilities,” Jamil Dakwar, head of human rights at the ACLU, wrote in an email to the AFP news agency. “This begs the question: is the United States hiding something?”

These complaints from Mendez came in the same week that the U.S. was charging Venezuelan officials with committing violence against anti-government protesters—revealing the depth of U.S. hypocrisy on these human rights issues.


And it all cames at the same time as Mendez released a report lashing the United States for being the only country in the world that continues the cruel and inhumane practice of imprisoning children for life without the possibility of release. Because of the unique vulnerabilities of children, Méndez dedicated an entire 21-page report to their status in the world and singled out the United States for its unusually cruel treatment of youths.