As an update to my previous post on Justin Carter …
Justin Carter is being abused in prison (by inmates directly and by guards procedurally).
Of Carter’s time in prison, his father Jack told National Public Radio (NPR) on Wednesday, “Without getting into the really nasty details, he’s had concussions, black eyes, [and he’s been] moved four times from base for his own protection. He’s been put in solitary confinement, nude, for days on end because he’s depressed. All of this is extremely traumatic to this kid. This is a horrible experience.”
I don’t know why inmates are beating him up, though I suspect that being an easy target has a lot to do with it. He’s prey surrounded by predators. He’s an innocent kid who is very quickly losing that innocence. (I can only imagine what “nasty details” his father is holding back to preserve his son’s dignity.)
For those who don’t know this, it’s standard procedure for a clinically depressed inmate to be put in solitary confinement and stripped of all clothing (at night, at least) and often of any covering whatsoever. This is to prevent suicide (using clothing to hang oneself). It “cures” suicide but not depression. It amounts to torture and humiliation.
And police don’t actually believe he’s really guilty of any crime, if the quote from the lieutenant (below) is representative.
“The whole situation is kind of unfortunate,” Lt. John Wells, of the New Braunfels Police, told NPR. “We definitely understand the situation that Mr. Carter is in, however he made the comments, and it is an offense. We have to … protect the general public and specifically, in this case, with it involving schoolchildren, we have to act. We take those very seriously.”
If Lt. Wells thought Carter was an evil person who wanted to harm children, he wouldn’t have used those words. He understands and fully believes Carter is an innocent kid who made a stupid mistake (his mistake being that he made a silly joke on an online game and was turned in). However, he has to do what he is told in the face of this credible non-threat so as to protect the children from the danger that Carter doesn’t pose.