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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

A Cry for Justice: Red Onion Inmate Details Disturbing Treatment in New Federal Lawsuit

Written by: Sam Orlando

ROANOKE, VA — Steve Kiddick, an inmate at the high-security Red Onion State Prison in Virginia, has filed a federal lawsuit alleging serious misconduct, retaliation, and a violation of his constitutional rights by prison personnel.

In the documents filed on September 25th with the United States District Court, Kiddick claims a series of distressing events led by a prison official identified as "Mayes." Kiddick alleges that Mayes openly expressed animosity towards him, labeling him a "snitch" and expressing a desire to incarcerate him under false pretenses.

The lawsuit highlights an incident on August 8th, where Kiddick heard Mayes tell another officer about his negative views of the inmate and a purported desire to fabricate reasons to punish Kiddick further. The situation escalated on August 16th when Kiddick's personal property was inventoried due to a trial. Mayes allegedly demanded that Kiddick sign the property inventory sheet before allowing him to check his belongings. When Kiddick resisted, Mayes is said to have verbally abused him, using derogatory language and making inappropriate remarks.

Kiddick's claims delve further into other interactions, suggesting that the ongoing conflict wasn't isolated to just one instance. On various occasions, he alleges that Mayes, along with other officers, engaged in intimidation tactics. These included forceful actions, such as cuffing Kiddick to a wheelchair with his hands behind him, exposing him to potential harm.

Moreover, Kiddick, who identifies as a mental health inmate diagnosed with PTSD, major anxiety, and depressive disorder, asserts that these incidents aggravated his mental health conditions. He describes symptoms of paranoia, depression, PTSD-triggered episodes, and increased anxiety due to the actions and behaviors of the officers involved.

The lawsuit concludes with two primary claims: the first alleging retaliation for using the prison's grievance procedure and expressing intentions to sue, and the second asserting violation of his 14th amendment rights due to the use of excessive force, potential endangerment, and allegations of negligence by Mayes and other prison personnel.

Kiddick is seeking damages of an unspecified amount and has also hinted at a desire for the implicated parties to face consequences, possibly including termination.

Red Onion State Prison, known for its maximum-security facilities, has been in the spotlight previously for issues related to inmate treatment. As this case unfolds, it stands to add another layer to the ongoing debate about prison conditions, inmate rights, and the responsibilities of those entrusted with their care.

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