An apprehensive looking Hanson James stood before a video camera prepared to tell whoever was willing to listen to him about his experience at the Bordelais Correctional Facility. The video clip that has been circulating through the media over the last week starts with a fellow inmate prompting Hanson, the 33-year-old inmate who escaped from the prison last week, to “talk loud” while Hanson hesitatingly stands in what appears to be a prison cell, with one of his arms in a sling.
“ I have been tormented inside here by officers,” he says. “Abused by them for the longest while. No one inside here has been taking steps for me. Everyone I’ve tried to speak to, I’ve been ignored by all of them inside here…” A flood of serious accusations relating to human rights pours out of him, most aimed at Bordelais personnel.
“I have been violated inside here,” he says looking into the camera. “My life has been violated. I’ve been abused by officers several times. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to escape from the prison so that I could get to the media and report to the ministry, to let the public and society know what I’ve been facing for the longest while inside here…”
He recalled an occasion when he was taken to an undisclosed location and beaten. “I even get black eye,” he said. “I get black eye by them.” The one minute and 14 second long video comes to an abrupt end.
On Thursday the STAR spoke with Leonard Terrence, Bordelais’ Deputy Director of Corrections, about Hanson’s allegations. The prison official said he could not verify that the person who’d made the accusations was in fact Hanson ‘Dirty White’ James.
“I heard the news report last night,” he confirmed, “and like I said, the investigation will lead wherever. Hanson made certain statements. I’m not surprised by the statements. The investigations will lead where they lead. I don’t even know if it was a cell phone he used, because on every cell unit you have the inmates with cell phones they can use legally. I am not sure whether he called from that or wherever.”
Further reaction to Hanson’s allegations, Terrance stated: “That’s him saying these things. I do not want to say anything to prejudice any investigation that is going on. As soon as the police officers are done [with their investigation] they will make an announcement, and we will move on from there.”
Terrence could not say when the probe might be completed but he gave his assurance the result will be made public. At a press conference on October 18 with Christ Felix, Bordelais’ Assistant Director of Operations, Terrence revealed Hanson had made good his escape by scaling a razor-wired fence.
“When the doctor examines him we will get a better medical report on him,” Terrence had said at the press conference. When the STAR spoke to him this week he would not comment on the recaptured prisoner’s condition but said “normally the inmates would receive some medical attention.” He could not “say for certain” what happened in this particular case. “As far as I know, the inmates see a nurse on a regular basis.”
As for Hanson’s mental health, the Deputy Director said the inmate had been “on the verge of showing some signs of mental health issues.” Ten years ago Hanson had escaped police custody while receiving treatment at Victoria Hospital.