Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hearing: Crisis of Violence in Georgia Prisons

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) and Senator Vincent Fort will host a legislative hearing on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. on the epidemic of violence and the escalating level of trauma and violent deaths in the Georgia prison system. At this hearing, family members of men who were killed in Georgia prisons will testify about what happened and ask legislators to help them obtain answers and accountability from the Georgia Department of Corrections. 
When: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 2:00 p.m.
Where: Room 450 of the State Capitol, 206 Washington Street, Atlanta, GA 30334
(please bring photo ID)

The last several years have seen a significant escalation in the level of homicides, stabbings and assaults in the Georgia prison system.

• From 2010 to date, 32 incarcerated people and one officer were killed by others imprisoned.

• Four Hays people were killed in 7 weeks last year. 

• At Smith State Prison, 7 people have been killed since 2010. 

• In 2012 alone, Georgia had more homicides in its state prisons than many states had in the last ten years, from 2001-2011 (e.g. Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi).
The violence shows no signs of subsiding. Families continue to lose their loved ones, and they are often kept in the dark about the cause and circumstances of the deaths. This matter needs immediate attention.

We encourage all who care about what happens in Georgia's prisons to attend and support these brave families in their quest for answers. Please plan to attend and pass this along to people you think would be interested.

For more information contact Kathryn Hamoudah at 404-688-1202, or

The composition of Georgia's jail population (Georgia Department of Corrections) 

Total number of jail inmates
Capacity of jails (number of beds)
Jail utilization (inmates/beds)

Georgia's jails house about two-thirds as many inmates as Georgia's state facilities. There are 146 jails serving Georgia's 159 counties, ranging from Schley and Evans (less than 10 inmates each) up to Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett (over 2,000 inmates each) and the biggest - DeKalb (over 3,000 inmates). Jailers issue monthly reports breaking their populations into four groups: (1) inmates awaiting trial, (2) inmates serving state sentences, (3) inmates serving county sentences, and (4) "other" inmates, including municipal cases, private probationers, illegal immigrants, inmates bound for the Federal system, and so on.

Inmates awaiting trial are the largest group - about 60% of the total. Growth in this group soared in the mid-1990's, when mandatory sentencing laws and severe Parole policies came into effect, motivating ever-larger numbers of jailinmates to risk going to trial rather than plea-bargain to the certainty of a long prison term. The other three groups - state, county, and "other" - are roughly the same size.

Read The Friday Report HERE

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