The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to open an investigation after six inmates claimed that guards forced them to burn their genitals with hot pepper sauce, perform simulated sex acts and kiss snakes.
N.C. Department of Public Safety spokesperson Pamela Walker told The Associated Press on Monday that one Sampson Correctional Institution staff member went on leave and another was reassigned after inmates sent a letter the U.S. District Court in Greensboro alleging civil rights violations.
The six inmates claimed that they had been forced to entertain correctional staff by pretending to have sex with each other while nude and perform other humiliating acts.
“The inmates also reported being forced to gulp a super-hot ‘Exotic Hot Sauce’ purchased off the Internet and slather it on their testicles, as well as being forced to grab and kiss wild snakes while working on a road crew and throwing captured bunnies in to oncoming traffic,” The AP reported.
Inmates who cooperated said they were rewarded with better work assignments, food, alcohol and tobacco. Both alcohol and tobacco products are prohibited in North Carolina prisons.
“[Division of Adult Correction] considers the allegations to be serious and the alleged actions in violation of policy, which warrants further review by management,” Walker said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake agreed on Nov. 19 to accept the inmates’ letter for a formal civil rights action, but said that the complaint would have to be re-filed in federal court in Raleigh.
On Tuesday, Walker announced that Sampson Correctional Institution administrator Lafayette Hall had been suspended with leave pending an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Watch this video from WSOC-TV, broadcast Dec. 3, 2012.