Family speaks out after images of Alabama inmate go viral
ELMORE, Ala. (WSFA) - Images circulating online of an inmate at an Alabama prison have prompted a public outcry on social media.
Thousands of people have shared a post made by a Mobile woman who says she received alarming images of her brother from inside the Elmore Correctional Facility saying, “get help.”
32-year-old Kastellio Vaughan is serving a 25-year sentence on multiple charges out of Baldwin and Mobile counties for unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle and first-degree robbery. That’s according to court documents and a statement from ADOC.
WSFA 12 News spoke with the family who says they are outraged over what they say is the abuse and mistreatment of their loved one.
“What if that was your family and you got a picture of your big brother and your big brother looked dead,” said Kastellio Vaughan’s sister Kacie Vaughan. “For his eyes to be rolled back and him just sitting right there in general population I’m like, this like a zombie.”
The family from Mobile says when they last visited Vaughan in June of this year, he was healthy. But then, they said about three weeks ago, Vaughan called his family complaining about stomach issues. That’s when he told his family he asked for medical treatment.
“And no one was giving it to him and when they did it was like the bare minimum,” Kacie Vaughan said.
The family said days later they received a call from an inmate who let them know their brother had been taken into surgery at the prison’s medical facility. The inmate told them he had part of his small intestine removed.
“We weren’t even informed of the surgery, at all,” Kacie Vaughan said. “The inmate said it was less than 32 hours he was back in there with 32 staples going down his abdomen.”
The family said upon first knowing of Vaughan’s condition, they reached out to the Alabama Department of Corrections, who had promised them he would be in good care. But after they received the disturbing images, the phone went silent. That’s when they took to social media, calling for help.
WSFA 12 News reached out to ADOC for a response to the images and they released the following statement:
“The Alabama Department of Corrections understands there is concern about the welfare of inmate Kastellio Demarcus Vaughan. He is assigned to Elmore Correctional Facility (CF) but is currently housed at Staton Medical Observation Unit. ADOC’s Office of Health Services has fully investigated his situation from a clinical perspective, and he has been offered all necessary treatment for his condition. Also, he has been in touch with his family to update them on his situation.”
His family said in response to the statement, “he’s been offered all necessary treatment? Now y’all are trying to treat him because he’s on the media. The boy’s been asking y’all for help,” Kacie Vaughan said. “I believe that a prisoner serves their sentence and that is the consequence, not them being subject to foul living conditions.”
“Our main concern is - we need medical attention. That’s what we’re shooting for. We don’t care about anything else at this point,” said Iesha Foster, the mother of Kasetllio Vaughan’s child.
Despite ADOC saying Vaughan “has been in touch with his family to update them on his situation,” they said they have not heard from him since his condition escalated. They also said they have not heard from ADOC.
Once Vaughan recovers, the family said they plan to have him transferred to a different facility.
WSFA 12 News reached out to ADOC to ask if families have to be contacted when a family member has surgery inside of a state prison. ADOC officials released the following statement after our report:
“Inmate Vaughan has requested and received medical attention with the ADOC at least 11 times between July 30, 2022, and September 22, 2022. As a result, each time he received appropriate medical treatment and/or care. As part of that care, he has spent at least 13 days in the institutional infirmary. Additionally, he was treated at an outside hospital three times in the same time frame, resulting in one major surgery and at least 17 days in the hospital.
The ADOC offers a constitutional level care to all inmates. However, inmates are not required to undergo care, just as citizens in the civilian world are afforded choice of whether to receive care.”
Then, on Monday, ADOC released the following statement in regards to notifying the family when an inmate receives surgery:
It is the policy of ADOC to notify anyone on the inmate’s Emergency Contact List in the event of a life-threatening event. It is the right of the inmate to determine if a list is provided and who is on the list. For security reasons, an inmate’s exact location is not provided.
Vaughan was up for parole in June, but that parole was denied. He will be eligible again for parole consideration in June 2027.
Sign up for the WSFA Newsletter and get the latest local news and breaking alerts in your email!
Copyright 2022 WSFA. All rights reserved.