In the video a pair of bodies fly across the screen. One is Idaho Correctional Center inmate Hanni Elabed--he's on his back. The other one is inmate James Haver--he's not. The beating that ensues goes on for several minutes and includes a point where Haver sits in a chair and takes a breather before resuming the assault. What it doesn't include is any point where guards swoop in and do anything useful other than bring in a stretcher.
That video and others are part the evidence in a class-action lawsuit against the privately run Idaho prison. And from the look of the latest case, the very near future will hold several undisclosed settlements.
The AP reports that one lawsuit involving another inmate, Marlin Riggs, has been settled under secret terms, and the remainder of the case may be settled this week.
In Elabed's case, after being beaten within inches of his life, he was later returned to the same cell block where once again he was severely beaten. Now a free man, Elabed now suffers from brain damage and "can't do anything," according to his father.
ICC settled with Elabed late last year.
Riggs' case started when, as soon as he arrived, he was forced to "pay rent" (give his stuff to the biggest dude in the block). Even after he gave his stuff away, he still got beat up. Later he asked to leave, telling the guards that if he stayed he'd get assaulted immediately. The guards put him back in the cell block. And what do you know--he got assaulted immediately.
The incidents are just two of many for the ICC, which has come to be known as "Gladiator School" among inmates for its violent nature.
The lawsuits accuse the prison of using inmate-on-inmate violence as a way of crowd control and of denying medical care to prisoners.
The ICC is just one of 264 privately run prisons in the United States, but lately it's been one of the most controversial. A U.S. Justice Department investigation is currently under way, looking at exactly the kinds of issues reported in the civil lawsuits.
Expect more settlements later this week.
And watch the full AP coverage of the Elabed case below.