SCHR Files Suit Against State On Behalf Of Murdered Inmate’s Family

5th September, 2013
Peach Pundit

The Southern Center for Human Rights is quite the bane of the Georgia Department of Corrections existence. They’ve managed to do a good job of thwarting Georgia’s executions by lethal injection, and today they’ve filed a lawsuit on behalf of a mother whose son was killed while an inmate at Hayes State Prison. Damion MacClain was one of four inmates murdered over a seven week period. The lawsuit alleges negligence.

Damion’s mother RaHonda said in a written statement, “I want those responsible for the death of my only son, Damion, to be held accountable. Officials with the Georgia Department of Corrections were alerted to the fact that Damion was in danger, yet failed to make reasonable efforts to protect him. That indifference led to the loss of not only my son, but three other men in seven weeks.  No parent should have to bury her child under circumstances like this.”

A press release from the SCHR alleges:

  • Many of the cell door locks at Hays State Prison – a maximum security facility – have not worked for years.
  •  Prison audits from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 reported that the facility’s cell door locks could be easily opened, leaving prisoners to roam in and out of their cells at will.
  • The Defendants neither fixed the problem with functioning locks, nor took alternative steps to control dangerous inmate movements. 
  • The broken cell door locks contributed to a crisis in security at Hays, putting prisoners and officers in danger. 

Ms. MacClain’s lawsuit contends that at the time of her son’s murder, Defendants, officers and administrators of the Georgia Department of Corrections, knew that security conditions at Hays had deteriorated to unconstitutional levels, resulting in multiple stabbings, beatings, and assaults on inmates and officers, but failed to respond reasonably to the known risk of harm.