The Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied clemency for Brandon Rhode. Please continue to voice your opposition to Rainbow Medical Associates. Vigils will be held around the state, please see the GFADP website for more information regarding a location in your area.
Do you have a family member incarcerated in GA? We’ve been getting reports of violence from several prisons run by the good ol’ folks Georgia Department of Corrections (as well as their county relations). Unfortunately the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Creative Loafing, the Sunday Paper and the Macon Telegraph haven’t picked up the stories- not that the officers report the events themselves. And inmates have too little a voice. This is a challenge we face and also part of the reason we started the Georgia Prisons blog. We’ve heard from people with family at a few different locations lately.
* Autry has had significant and very dangerous gang violence over the past few weeks, but; a nurse who had been a problem is no longer there. She has moved on to Chatham County Jail where she continues to cause problems for those being housed there.
* Dooly is infested with gangs and drugs and both have brought the place to heightened levels of violence which is disturbing to inmates who have been locked up for years and say that they’ve not seen it this bad in a while.
* Hays was the scene of a total shake down on Sunday, September 12th and a number of inmates were plasti-cuffed while around a half dozen officers were cuffed. Later it was learned that at least 3 officers had been arrested. This was a coordinated effort by both federal and state agencies according to family members who witnessed part of it.
* Smith has endured increasing violence over the past few months. The G building was the site of a particular incident that required a medical helicopter and ultimately was the death of one. The place was locked down Friday and small groups were escorted to eat dinner making it close to midnight before many ate (Fridays are lunch free days, by the way). The Tact squad appeared today and broke ear phones of one guy who had been told to hold onto a TV remote by a guard. Another inmate received a new pair of shoes yesterday only to have them sliced by the Tact squad today because they found two cigarettes in his box. He asked why they were slicing his shoes and the Tact squad attempted to have him given a DR for masturbation while looking at a female officer. This was not done, however; the guy did get taken away for a majority of the day. Countless inmates received DRs for the first time in years today simply because of the Tact squad.
* Alto has been very much on edge since tobacco was removed from their facility in August. The tension levels are becoming too much for some to handle. The same can be said for Macon State (and likely others though we have not heard directly from them).
* Calhoun has been the place of gang violence at alarming levels. Sunday evening Gangster Disciples went off on one of their members with such brutality that he began to seize.
The budget cuts have been devastating to inmates for many reasons. They have seen less and less food on their plates and the quality constantly calls to question why the FDA is not regulating it. Any programs that remain are being cut- education/ GED programs and classes are all hanging on by a thread. The consolidation of prisons means that the already overcrowded prisons are bursting at the seams. Add to that the fact that fewer and fewer employees are on duty makes the above mentioned violent incidents more frightening because of the lack of ability to obtain/ maintain control over any situation.
The execution warrant has been signed and Brandon Rhode is set to be executed on September 21, 2010 in Jackson, Georgia. The good people at Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty have put together letters to be sent to the Board of Pardons and Paroles as well as to Rainbow Medical Associates. Please take a moment of your time today to fax these in- the fax numbers are printed at the top of each letter.
Rhode was barely 18 years old at the time the crime was committed. His teenage mother used various substances during her pregnancy and substance abuse was a norm for members of his household. At 5 years old Brandon’s stepfather attempted to kill his mother by shooting her in the head- while he was in the house. By the age of 12 Rhode was well experienced in substance abuse having been drinking, smoking pot and doing mushrooms. A year later he attempted suicide and spent three months in New Orleans Adolescent Hospital. He was released with a recovery plan that was abandoned by his parents. By 15 he had dropped out of school and been introduced to crack by his father.
From the time of conception Brandon Rhodes faced challenges on top of challenges. Please take a moment to fax a couple of letters on his behalf. Let the Board of Pardons and Parole know that execution of this young man is unacceptable. Tell Rainbow Medical Associates that no doctor, no medical professional, no private company should kill a man.
Charles Stanley of the Sunday Paper has written a piece regarding the recent changes to the treatment of inmates on GA’s Death Row (which the Department of Corrections has stated have NOTHING to do with the murder of Timothy Pruitt and the suicide of Leeland Braley). Stanley has done a good job of covering the issue and expressing how very detrimental this is to both inmates and family members. The sister of Troy Davis speaks out about other frustrations visitors meet which have caused many to cut back already.
If you haven’t already please be sure to fax and mail a letter to the Department of Corrections letting them know that this inhumane behavior is unacceptable. You can find a sample letter on the GFADP website. This letter is also posted on our site in the box on the right hand side where you may find additional documents.
Stephen Gurr of the Gainesville Times has written an article regarding the investigation of the so-called suicide of Timothy Pruitt. Pruitt was found in his cell in November and after time in a coma passed away in December 2009. His death was called a suicide by the Department of Corrections, however; common belief has been that Jerry Jones murdered Pruitt.
The nephew of Troy Davis was recently featured on Savannah stations Fox 28 and WJCL discussing his work on behalf of his uncle’s case. The 15 year old Antone’ De’Juan Davis-Correia has been passionately speaking about his uncle’s case around the globe. Amnesty International has posted an article about the news stories and gives an update on the case.
The situation on Georgia’s Death Row is truly dire. We encourage you to write a letter, fax a letter, call your elected officials (any and all levels of government) to ask for their support in ending this inhumane treatment. Not a resident of Georgia? No problem! Call, write and fax anyway! The whole world is watching—let Georgia know!
Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (an excellent organization) has posted a letter that can be sent on their site and is calling it an urgent action. Please take out a few minutes from your day to help in this struggle! This is not only something that effects those housed on death row. This effects their families as well.