GEORGETOWN, DE—On Friday, December 17, 2021, William Davis and Isaac Montague filed a complaint in the federal District Court of Delaware against the Delaware Department of Corrections’(DOC) Sussex Correctional Institution (SCI) facility. Today, the ACLU of Delaware (ACLU-DE) and Whiteford Taylor Preston (WTP), LLC have filed an amended complaint to include a growing list of plaintiffs who are speaking out with Davis and Montague on allegations of abuse.
Davis et. al v. Neal et. al, which originally alleged two egregious attacks by SCI officers when it was filed in December, now alleges a significant increase in the number of attacks — shedding light on a horrific, ongoing pattern and practice of violent abuse against people housed at the facility.
A recent article by Xerxes Wilson of Delaware Online spotlights some of the plaintiffs who are part of the litigation. In the article, Keith Campbell, one of the new plaintiffs named, shared that officer Kirk Neal, one of the named defendants, “maintains a ‘severe reputation for beating up people badly’ and has been allowed to get away with it.”
According to the amended complaint, Neal and over 30 other officers are perpetrators of the abuse at the facility. The complaint also states that Deputy Warden Truman Mears and Warden Jon Beck both knew about at least one attack and chose to do nothing about it.
“We’re concerned about the treatment of people housed at Sussex Correctional Institution, and we continue to monitor that treatment as this litigation moves ahead,” said Dwayne J. Bensing, staff attorney at the ACLU of Delaware. “Ultimately, we hope the litigation eradicates the culture of brutality that currently prevails.”
Daniel A. Griffth, partner at WTP and co-counsel on this case, said “The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects all Americans from cruel and unusual punishment, even those who are housed in correctional facilities. The pattern of abuse that’s been revealed at SCI is a clear violation of that Constitutional protection.”
Attorneys for ACLU-DE and WTP have noted that stories continue to come to light on this situation at SCI, and that there may be an additional amended complaint in the coming months.
People who have been victims of abuse at SCI may reach out to the litigation team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.