Local News

Father claims Central Prison guards abused mentally ill son

Posted November 9, 2017 10:04 p.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2017 10:51 p.m. EST

— The father of a mentally ill inmate is accusing Central Prison guards of abusing his son, leaving him with serious injuries, including broken ribs and fingers.

Gale Harold said he's been an advocate for his son David for most of his adult life.

Harold said his son's serious mental illness has kept him in and out of prison, without access to adequate mental care. He made similar accusations against Central Prison staff in 2012.

"Prison is no place for seriously mentally ill people," Harold said. "In this particular case, they cuffed him, shackled his angles, they dragged him into a cell, and there were six of them whaling on him with batons.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the State Department of Corrections said David Harold is being held as a “safekeeper,” meaning he is considered dangerous for detainment at other prisons, which is protocol for mental health or custody cases.

"There was an incident as the inmate struck staff that needed outside medical treatment, and the injuries described were exaggerated," the spokesperson said.

Harold disagrees with that assessment and said he wants his son to receive adequate mental healthcare.

"It boils down to me trying to get him the right kind of care by the right kind of people in the right place," he said.

Harold said his son missed his court appearance in October and this month. He has another scheduled for December. He wants Central Prison to make the necessary arrangements to have his son transported to Madison County for that court appearance.