A North Carolina prison warden has been suspended while an investigation is underway into allegations by inmates of elaborate acts of torture.
Six inmates from the Sampson Correctional Institution sent a hand-written letter to a U.S. District Court in July reporting that guards had made them perform painful and abusive acts. The men said they were told to ingest large spoonfuls of “exotic hot sauce” and to “pull their pants down so the officers can watch them rub hot sauce on their rectums and testicles which [left] them blistered and raw for days.” The prisoners would complete the cruel tasks in return for work assignments that paid just 70 cents as well as food, alcohol and cigarettes.
Other allegations include that the men were forced to strip and simulate sex with each other. They also report being made to grab and kiss wild snakes while working on a road crew and throw captured bunnies in to oncoming traffic.
“In their letter, the inmates ask for the court’s assistance in finding lawyers to help them file a lawsuit against the state and said they feared retaliation from the prison staff,” reported the AP, noting that prior to the letter the prison system had been alerted to some of these abuses through internal grievances filed by inmates.