16 Apr 2003

Prison inmate sues prison, claiming it allowed a Samoan gang to beat him

4:01 pm on 16 April 2003

An inmate at a US prison has sued the state of Hawaii and the prison owners for allowing a gang known as the United Samoa Organisation or USO, to take control of the prison and beat him.

Victoriano Ortiz alleges that in 2001 USO members were preparing and drinking an alcoholic brew under the supervision of guards.

Mr Ortiz claims that 3 or 4 USO members who had been drinking, attacked him in the recreation yard while several guards looked on.

The suit names members of USO, the state of Hawaii and the Corrections Corporation of America as defendants.

Mr Ortiz's attorney, Stephen Leong, says Hawaii, which ships prisoners to mainland facilities because its own prisons are overcrowded, must share in the blame.