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North Carolina Prisoners and Former Employees Describe “Boom-Boom Room”

Inside the Lumberton Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison near Fayetteville, North Carolina, there is said to be an isolated office known as the “boom-boom room.”

There, according to prisoners and former staff members alike, unlucky prisoners were taken by guards to be beaten under orders from prison supervisors, often when restrained and posing no security threat. According to a July 3, 2016 article in The Charlotte Observer, when confronted with the reports, former Lumberton superintendent Brad Perritt said, “I know no such room” and refused to comment further.

Earlier, in May 2016, the Observer published the story of Morlai Sesay, a 65-year-old Lumberton prisoner who said he was hospitalized for four days after a beating in the “boom-boom room.” Sesay’s allegations were not isolated. Within five weeks after the news article circulated, reporters were contacted by six other prisoners and two former staff members who all described assaults that occurred in the office, which is not monitored by the prison’s surveillance camera system.

Prisoner Randy Massey said he was taken to the “boom-boom room” in March 2015 after he struck a guard in the face. He claimed that superintendent Perritt ordered guards to beat him, which they did – leaving him with a bruised groin, a cut near his eye and several other injuries. Two former employees corroborated Massey’s account; one said Perritt stood outside the room while Massey was assaulted to ensure no one else entered. North Carolina DOC spokesman Keith Acree said officials had reviewed the Massey case and found no evidence that anyone had ordered the beating.

Michael Cook, another Lumberton prisoner, provided the Observer with copies of letters he sent to Director of Prisons George Solomon and state Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry. In one of the letters Cook wrote, “I have had several officers tell me out of their own mouths, ‘Mr. Perritt gave officers the green light to beat the hell out of you inmates.’ And that’s just what has been happening.”

Perritt, who has been employed with the North Carolina prison system for 21 years, is no longer Lumberton’s superintendent. In January 2016 he was reassigned to be the administrator of the Tabor Correctional Institution.

Source: The Charlotte Observer

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