Inmates with violent crime convictions allege abuse at Harrison County jail


GULFPORT -- Two inmates, both recently convicted of violent crimes, have filed lawsuits alleging they were abused and mistreated at the Harrison County jail.

George Lee Parks III, 44, has filed a lawsuit for himself in U.S. District Court and is representing Sterling Jules, 23, in a duplicate complaint. Parks had filed a lawsuit for both of them in August, but was notified separate lawsuits are required unless a federal judge decides to combine them.

Court documents show Parks wants a jury trial in federal court and plans to subpoena 23 defendants. He is suing the jail warden, a number of corrections officers and supervisors, the company that provides inmate medical care and its doctor and nurses.

A lawsuit represents one side of the complaint. Court records indicate those they're suing haven't been served with the civil complaints.

Both men claim they were kicked out of a drug and alcohol program without due process and weren't allowed to appeal 30 days of lock-down as punishment for violating an inmate rule. Parks said he and Jules were mistreated by being confined in a small cell 23 hours a day with the lights on, and said they each filed requests at the inmate kiosk but their requests weren't answered.

Paperwork signed by Parks alleges corrections officers punched and used a Taser on him and Jules in July and he said they didn't received prompt medical attention.

Parks also has asked for a court order for him and Jules to receive physical therapy and that Parks be sent to an orthopedic surgeon to repair shoulder damages allegedly caused by jailers.

Parks' first complaint asked for punitive damages of more than $1.4 million.

Both men remain at the Harrison County jail, but that could change soon.

Parks, a former assistant principal at Gautier High, was sentenced Oct. 1 to 60 full years in a state prison. A Harrison County jury found him guilty of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and cutting a woman with a knife in his Biloxi home.

Parks also faces a felony charge from an incident at the jail Sept. 13. He is accused of striking a jailer twice in the face with his elbow.

A court document alleges Parks became angry because he was using a common restroom when it was time for medicines to be passed out, and was asked to stay in the restroom until the medicine pass was completed.

Jules received a 15-year, day-for-day prison term Sept. 8 after pleading guilty on two counts of armed robbery in Harrison County Circuit Court. A judge sentenced him to 15 full years in prison.

He's also held with no bond on a federal probation violation. At the time of the armed robberies, outside the Super Walmart in Gulfport, he was on probation for possession of a stolen firearm in West Virginia.

Jules has given federal court a West Virginia address for future contact.