Indiana Prison Inmate Cut Off Part Of His Own Finger And Sent It To A Newspaper To Protest Jail Conditions

Helen Storms

Michael McCune is a 60-year-old inmate at the Madison County Jail in Indiana. McCune recently cut off the tip of his own finger and sent it in the mail to a local newspaper, The Herald Bulletin. WTHR, who partners with the Anderson-based newspaper, now says that the reason McCune did this was to protest jail conditions.

McCune included a written two-page letter and what was reportedly the tip of his severed middle finger in hopes of gaining the publication's attention. In the letter, McCune insisted that he is mentally stable and that he did this to alert others of the types of conditions he is living in. As far as how he managed to sever his own finger, the Madison County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that he used a razor blade that was given to him for the purpose of shaving.

"Find enclosed my left middle finger tip that I removed for a reason: to bring to light the oppressive conditions that exist here at the Madison County Jail," the first part of McCune's letter begins.

He then went on to discuss the ways in which he has reportedly been mistreated since being housed in the Madison County jail. He discussed being forced to sleep on the floor, being a victim of abuse, and being fed cold food. He also alleged that the staff at the jail falsified conduct records and violated due process.

"I am of sound mind. I removed this finger-tip to bring about changes of the oppressive conditions that exist here [...]," he wrote in the letter.

According to The Herald Bulletin, McCune took the blade out of the razor to mutilate himself and likely hid his hand from staff so they would not find out what he did. He later had to have surgery on the severed finger to avoid potential infection.

Sheriff Scott Mellinger discussed McCune's accusations, emphasizing that he does read any complaints brought to him from inmates regarding jail conditions.

"We address each complaint. If the inmate is not satisfied with the response to the complaint, he can appeal to the jail commander and eventually to me," he said.

Mellinger went on to say that he believes McCune had a certain agenda when mutilating himself.

"He hates being in jail and wanted to be returned to the DOC (Department of Correction). He has filed a number of grievances that the county is not taking care of his medical needs," he said.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, jail conditions have become an increasing concern. This has led some celebrities, such as R. Kelly, to ask to be released, according to The Inquisitr.