USA: inmate recorded horrid prison conditions using cameras hidden in Bible, oversize glasses
A prisoner at the Martin Correctional Institution spent years recording life at the Florida facility, detailing horrid conditions and neglect from staff, according to The Miami Herald.
This is the work of Scott Whitney. The 34-year-old inmate is in the middle of a sentence for conspiracy to traffic. What is he going to do, pending his release date of 2040? Well, he went ahead and recorded life at the prison. As seen on video, he hallowed out a bible, and put a hole through the O in “HOLY” for a hidden camera lens. He also had what the outlet described as a “almost cartoonishly oversize eyeglasses” featuring hidden cameras. The outlet said he gave them permission to publish his footage online.
It doesn’t seem like he went out of his way to make this a huge secret. Inmates are seen speaking to camera. In another piece of footage, a correctional officer apparently just walks by Whitney’s cell during count without looking in.
“They don’t give a damn,” Whitney narrated. “They don’t look. They don’t care if we’re living. They don’t check to see if we’re safe.”
He was first locked up in 2012, and reportedly started taking videos since 2015, but only footage back to 2017 had reportedly been smuggled out. Nonetheless, the available material showed open drug use by inmates, mold on the walls, violence, and other details, like how to make a DIY vest to protect against stabbing. One moment is said to show an open backdoor at the facility.
“This security?” said an inmate whose face was blurred out. He was touching the handle, and daylight is peeking through slight a small opening at the doorway. “This is security in the Department of Corrections at Florida?”
“The department is aware of the video and takes this information seriously,” The Florida Department of Corrections told the Herald only after publication of the article. “The FDC Office of Inspector General has an ongoing investigation into this video.”
If you’re wondering if Whitney has gotten in trouble for these videos, then yeah. He was put in solitary confinement after footage of his made its way to YouTube. But he’d been put in solitary before, and his phone was confiscated. He was able to get another phone after release.