Sunday, January 02, 2011

Georgia Prison System Retaliates Against Prisoners Involved in Historic Protest

The Louisiana Justice Institute Dec. 31, 2010

From Our Friends at the US Human Rights Network and the Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners’ Rights:
The Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners’ Rights learned that on or about December 16, Terrance Bryant Dean was severely beaten by guards at Macon State Prison where he was incarcerated. The Coalition asserts this brutal beating was not isolated and was a retaliatory act carried out by the Department of Corrections (DOC) against non-violent striking inmates. The Coalition was formed to support the interests and agenda of thousands of Georgia prisoners who staged a peaceful protest and work strike initiated in early December.

The Coalition is concerned about continued violent retaliation against the multiracial group of prisoners who staged a peaceful protest to be paid for their labor, for educational opportunities, access to family members, an end to cruel and unusual punishments, and other human rights. The eight-day strike, begun in early December, involved united prison populations at various prisons, including Hays, Smith, Telfair and Macon State Prisons.

Dean’s mother, Mrs. Willie Maude Dean, stated that since she learned from inmates that her son had been beaten, she has been given no information about his condition or whereabouts by the DOC, and that she and Dean’s sisters, Wendy Johnson and Natasha Montgomery, have been denied access to him since they discovered he was hospitalized at Atlanta Medical Center.

It was around the same time of this beating that the Coalition was meeting with the DOC making the demand that a Coalition fact-finding delegation be provided access to certain prisons to investigate conditions inside.

The DOC acceded to provide such access to a Coalition delegation—starting at Macon State Prison. However, even as the delegation visited Macon State, the DOC was apparently covering-up Dean’s reported retaliatory beating there by several CERT (Correctional Emergency Response Team) Team members, who witnesses reported restrained Dean after an alleged altercation with a guard, dragged him from his cell in handcuffs and leg irons, removed him to the prison gym and beat him unconscious. The beating remained unreported by the DOC even though the Coalition specifically raised questions about reports of retaliatory beatings and about the status and whereabouts of 37—or more—men the DOC identified as strike “conspirators.”

Mrs. Dean told Coalition leaders last night that when she asked Macon State Warden McLaughlin where was her son, based on concerns raised by prisoner reports he had been beaten nearly to death, McLaughlin told her he was “in the hole,” or, an isolation cell. In fact, Mr. Dean was already in the hospital.

The Coalition is raising concerns about the potential cover up of an attempted murder and the refusal, to date, of the prison to identify the missing 37 or more inmates deemed “conspirators” by the DOC. The Coalition is calling for the DOC and other state officials to sit down with the inmates to start a process to realize the inmates’ human rights.

The Coalition, which has grown into an entity of thousands of supporters and hundreds of organizations across the U.S. and internationally, includes the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, the ACLU, the U.S. Human Rights Network, All of Us or None, The Ordinary People Society and many others, and is co-chaired by Dubose and author-activist Elaine Brown.

A Coalition fact-finding delegation visited Macon State Prison on December 20 and was visiting Smith State Prison yesterday, December 29th, when the Coalition uncovered facts about Mr. Dean’s reported, brutal beating. The Coalition is planning to release a full report of its investigations and prison visits once the investigations are completed.

Family members and Coalition members, including NAACP Georgia State Conference President Ed Dubose and Georgia ACLU Legal Director Chara Jackson, will attempt to see the beaten prisoner today at Atlanta Medical Center.

Photo Above: Young prisoner Rodriques Dukes in solitary confinement at Georgia's Hays State Prison.


Anonymous said...

this is wrong we live in a country that says in "GOD WE TRUST" yet there are men who have been wrongfully acused such as my husband. there are men an women, children who are doing life for getting a ride with someone and on the way home, the man kills someone. people click an in an instant cus they were with someone who was off; there life, in georgia is over, in most cases before it begins! life without parole, wow, in most circumstances this can happen to any one of us! if u want to punish someone make sure u have the facts concerning the situation. not that u want to lock a young man up for the money that u get yearly or daily. or to say we got someone for the whomever reads this there is a GOD an no one on earth should play GOD with others lives. most lawyers an judges in ga have excelled by locking up individuals to get a conviction winning the case and there career is now on its way. after 12 or 13 years isnt that enough. other states are not so hard but georgia is!

Anonymous said...

i wanted to see what goes on in the prisons so i watched lock up and i saw no peaceful strikes! i saw riots all over the world, here an other husband is in one of the participating prisons i commend them for their standing. they've had every thing else taken away, is there no compassion. he who is without sin cast the first sin is greater then any other husband was young a football star til he went to georgia. when u stop fighting for what you believe in thats when that hope, that dream, that goal, that purpose dies. malcolm x an martin luther king fought peacefully. isnt it wrong to retaliate for a peaceful stand they did not bother any one. i think it says there is something wrong with the georgia department of correction and or legal system.