DA Krasner Announces Charges Against Correction Officers Following Prison Assault
Jane Roh, 215–686–8711, Jane.Roh@phila.gov
PHILADELPHIA (October 28, 2021) — District Attorney Larry Krasner announced two Philadelphia corrections officers have been charged with felony aggravated assault following the violent beating of an incarcerated individual that occurred last summer and was captured on surveillance video.
The District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on Wednesday arrested and charged the two Department of Prisons officers, Jean Castor (DOB: 3/10/1967) and Terrel Felts (DOB: 9/29/1989), with Aggravated Assault (F1), Simple Assault (M2), Recklessly Endangering Another Person (M2), and Official Oppression (M2). The officers are alleged to have violently punched, kicked, and beaten an incarcerated individual, causing serious bodily injury, at Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility on July 16th.
Castor is also alleged to have used a Department of Prisons-issued handheld radio to strike the victim on the head, for which he faces an additional charge of Possessing an Instrument of Crime (M1). While the altercation began when an incarcerated person struck Castor, it ended in an unjustified beating that continued well after all threats from inmates had been neutralized. Video of the incident shows several other corrections officers attempting to intervene and break up the altercation, at times pulling the defendants — still kicking or punching — away from the victim as he lay prone on the ground.
“At a time when we have far more questions than answers about unsafe conditions and staffing levels in Philadelphia jails, this incident should disturb all of our consciences. People who staff and secure jails deserve safe and healthy working conditions, and should be expected to perform their duties with integrity. The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of incarcerated people must also be honored for our criminal justice system to have legitimacy,” DA Krasner said. “I want to thank our Special Investigations Unit for holding these two corrections officers accountable and seeking some measure of justice for the victim of this assault. I will continue to press for answers from our justice system partners, because authority to remove people from their communities and to hold them in our custody must be wielded responsibly and accountability.”
The DAO Special Investigations Unit investigates criminal complaints involving public officials, including law enforcement.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.