Democrats Schedule Hearing on Alleged Life-Threatening Conditions in Georgia Prisons

 

Democrats in the Georgia House of Representatives are scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday to discuss how state officials manage and secure the state’s prisons.

Members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus Committee on Crisis in Prisons are scheduled to hold the hearing at 1 p.m., Thursday in Room 132 of the Georgia State Capitol.

State Representative Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs) and State Representative Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta) co-chair the committee.

This, according to a press release that the Georgia House of Representatives emailed this week.

“This GHDC committee will hear testimony about life-threatening conditions in Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) facilities. The committee has invited formerly incarcerated individuals, relatives of currently incarcerated people and legal and public health experts to share their observations of these complaints and their perspectives on potential remedies,” the press release said.

McLaurin and Schofield said in the press release that GDC facilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic, have seen record numbers of homicides, suicides, and other violent events precipitated by severe understaffing.

GDC officials did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for comment before Wednesday’s stated deadline.

Members of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Justice Department announced this week they will investigate how Georgia’s state government confines its prisoners, particularly those who are gay or transgender. Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia said they will investigate whether Georgia provides prisoners reasonable protection from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners. They will also investigate whether Georgia provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) prisoners reasonable protection from physical and sexual harm by other prisoners and by staff.

Federal officials, in their announcement, made no specific allegations against Georgia prison officials.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia encompasses 70 of Georgia’s 159 counties and covers more than 25,000 square miles. The Middle District of Georgia is home to 15 close-and medium-security GDOC prisons, including Autry State Prison, Baldwin State Prison, Calhoun State Prison, Central State Prison, and Dooly State Prison.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Georgia State Prison” by Bubba73 CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

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