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.