SCHR Calls On GDC Commissioner to Address Deaths, Torture in Georgia Prisons

16th June, 2014
Southern Center for Human Rights

ATLANTA–Today, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) sent a letter to Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Brian Owens regarding the unacceptable level of violence and security lapses at Smith State Prison and other GDC facilities. SCHR is requesting a change in leadership at Smith following the seventh homicide at that prison since 2010. 

 At Smith and other prisons, SCHR is hearing about incidents of prisoner-on-prisoner violence that amount to torture.  In January 2014 at Coffee Correctional Facility, a prisoner was tied to his bed, beaten intermittently for hours, had bleach poured in his eyes, and scalded with boiling water causing third degree burns.  In February 2014 at Wilcox State Prison, Ariel Ocasio was attacked by a prisoner wielding a 19 inch machete and had three fingers severed. 

“The level of violence at Smith and other prisons has reached a crisis point,” said SCHR Senior Attorney, Sarah Geraghty.  “A change in management and mission at Smith is necessary since other strategies do not appear to be working.”       

To read the letter in full, click here.


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For additional information, contact Kathryn Hamoudah at 404/688-1202 or [email protected]