Utah mother concerned for safety of incarcerated son due to his mental health issues

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 20:48:27-04

DRAPER, Utah -- Cameron Payne is not your average criminal. At 24-years-old, he was in a serious motorcycle crash. His mother, Allison Payne, said he barely survived and was left with severe brain trauma.

About a year after the accident, Cameron Payne got into a fight with a friend and was arrested for aggravated bodily assault. He was sentenced to one to 15 years and was supposed to be placed in the medical unit at the state prison, but was never allowed because of bad behavior.

"He’s never going to be able to jump through their hoops. He doesn’t have the ability. He’s legally disabled," Allison Payne said of her son.

Cameron Payne has been in solitary confinement for five years and hasn't been able to see or call his mother in over a year.

"You have to watch your mouth, watch your actions. He no longer has that ability. The brain trauma took that away from him," Allison Payne said.

Allison Payne is worried her son will eventually take his life, a path Brock Tucker took two years ago.

After a near drowning at age 2, Tucker was never the same. He was arrested for stealing a car at age 17 and sent to Gunnison Prison.

Despite being diagnosed with psychosis and severe depression, he was taken off his medication and put in solitary confinement for 160 days. He was 19 when he committed suicide.

"Do you have any idea what it’s like to walk in and see your child black and blue and you can’t do anything about it? You just want to protect them and you want to save them but you can’t," said Tucker’s grandmother Janet Crane.

Crane is suing the Utah Department of Corrections, hoping it leads to better treatment for the mentally ill.

"It's unbearable and it's not right. Utah’s better than this," Payne said.

FOX 13 News reached out to the Utah Department of Corrections for a comment, but have still not heard back.