Survivor Stories




I am 46 years old who is a right-below-knee amputee. I am incarcerated in a private prison that houses about 900 men.

Since coming here, I have observed several robberies, and physical and sexual violence. I have been a victim of several assaults as well as a sexual assault by several inmates. One day in 2002 I was relaxing, reading a book in my cell, when my new cellmate and two other inmates entered the cell. Two of them twisted my arms, pinning me in the chair. They tormented me by slapping me in the face, putting a wash cloth over my nose and mouth to the point where I almost passed out from lack of air. Then four other inmates entered the cell and my artificial limb was ripped off while I was tormented further. They took a black magic marker and drew a face on the stump of my right leg, placing my glasses on it, making comments and laughing. Then they raised my legs and pulled down my sweat pants, trying to stick their fingers in my anus. I was placed face down on my bunk while they drew on my buttocks with the black magic marker. I was slapped on the buttocks several times and they spread my buttocks and took turns looking at my anus, making comments and laughing. Then they placed the marker in my anus.

When they finally tired, they left; saying they were just having fun. They threatened to hurt me if I told. Three days later, I talked to a captain I felt comfortable with and I told him what happened to me. I informed him that the inmates who were involved were also involved in raping and forcing other inmates into sexual acts and that I feared it would escalate into further sexual abuse by these inmates. I told him that I could not give him their names because they belonged to prison gangs and I feared for my life.

Arrangements were made for me to move to a dormitory unit that had no cells, to keep me away and out of reach of these inmates. I was told that my cell would be watched by officers in the unit control tower the night before I was moved. Not a single officer made rounds that night, and my cellmate rigged the cell door so he could exit the cell during the night. He and two other inmates forced me to give up what few belongings I had. This whole incident shows that officers were not monitoring the unit or they would have seen seven inmates in a cell that would indicate something was wrong. I am safe for the moment but worry for how long, and keep holding on to the thought that someday soon I’ll be cleared of my charges. I worry about how long I will have to live with the memory of what they have done to me and the fact that I will never forget or be the person I once was.

– Clifford, Oklahoma