Torture in Prison
In the Polk County Annex Jail, where Mr. Serrano finally left on June 28, 2007, he was denied migraine medicine for 52 months, an operation to help with the advancement of osteoporosis and his right to see a doctor.
The conditions there were as follows: he was in solitary confinement for 23 hours and 40 minutes every day, seven days a week. There were no windows, mirror, or a clock, or anywhere to sit. It was 6ft x 9ft and he had no interaction with anyone throughout the day. They gave him only 20 minutes to shower, shave and make a phone call.
At one time the toilet overflowed onto the floor and nothing was done to clean it up for 7 days Mr. Serrano lived in this, until one of the guards gave Mr. Serrano a bucket and a mop for him to do it himself.
We assure you that these conditions are exact. In fact, his family tried repeatedly to contact the authorities of the prison. When they were reached they said they would check into it, but on the contrary the punishments Mr. Serrano received got worse. They would deny his medications, give him no access to make phone calls or to buy anything and wouldn’t give him his mail.
November 26, 2006: The day things got worse. Tuesday night they removed his bed and obligated him to sleep on a thin mattress directly on the concrete floor. This caused him much back pain. Prior to this the doctor had prescribed a metal bed for him so his back wouldn’t hurt. Then they stripped him of his belongings. He had to ask other prisoners to call his family to let them know. Even other prisoners were sorry for him because of the mistreatment he was receiving. His family continued to call without any progress. It seemed the more they called the worse the treatment became. The family was waiting for the assistance of the Ecuadorian Embassy and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to call attention to the violation of human rights.
The jail said he was in "protective custody(pc)". This meant that it wasn't secure of him to be with the other inmates and he required more surveillance. Polk County has two jails the Annex in Bartow where Mr. Serrano was and the principal one in Frostproof. All the inmates under PC go to Frostproof. Yet Mr. Serrano was taken to the Annex and placed in solitary confinement during his trial so he could be close to the courthouse. But now the trial is over and he is still in the Annex even though Frostproof has better facilities for PC prisoners. Yet still the Sheriff's Office did nothing to move him.
Nelson Ivan Serrano
from Injustice to Freedom