[Ppnews] Press conference on Georgia Prisons

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Jan 8 12:20:38 EST 2011

O'Hearn 9:14am Jan 8
A press conference was held this morning in Atlanta GA to press for 
changes in GA prisons. Here is the press release, please post.

10:30 a.m.
Georgia State Capitol
206 Washington Street
Atlanta, Georgia


Reports from Prison Visits
Set Off Coalition Appeal to DOC and Governor-Elect for More Access

The Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners' Rights, formed to 
support the interests and agenda of thousands of Georgia prisoners 
who staged a peaceful protest and work strike initiated early last 
December, will host a press conference this Thursday. The mothers and 
other family members of Terrance Dean and Miguel Jackson, inmates 
reportedly brutally beaten by guards at Macon State and Smith State 
Prisons in connection with the strike, will be in attendance.
The press conference follows reports of violent abuses of these men 
and others and the findings of fact by Coalition delegations after 
visits to two prisons in December. These reports have increased fears 
of the targeting of and retaliation against inmates on account of 
their peaceful protest for their human rights and raise the urgency 
for immediate reform.

"These new developments have increased our fears and our legitimate 
call for more access to inmates," said Elaine Brown, Co-Chair of the 
Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners Rights.

Ed Dubose, Coalition Co-Chair and president of the NAACP of Georgia, 
stated, "Family members are frantic and mothers are crying and 
anguished after learning their loved ones have been badly injured. We 
cannot allow those cries to go unanswered. Since the start of the 
December 9 peaceful work stoppage and appeal for reform and respect 
for human rights, some inmates have been targeted and others have 
simply disappeared. We are urging the Department of Corrections and 
Governor-Elect Nathan Deal to act now to halt these unjust practices 
and treat these men like human beings."

Black, brown, white, Muslim, Christian, Rastafarian prisoners, 
including those at Augusta, Baldwin, Calhoun, Hancock, Hays, Macon, 
Rogers, Smith, Telfair, Valdosta and Ware State Prisons, joined a 
peaceful work stoppage December 9, 2010, refusing to come out of 
their cells as part of a petition to the corrections department.

Among concerns expressed by inmates were not being paid for their 
labor; being charged excessive fees for basic medical treatments; 
language barriers suffered by Latino inmates; arbitrary, harsh 
disciplinary practices; too few opportunities for education and self 
improvement; and unjust parole denials.

Coalition leaders attending the press conference will be Mr. Dubose, 
Ajamu Baraka of the U.S. Human Rights Network, Pastor Kenneth Glasgow 
of The Ordinary People Society, Chara Jackson of the ACLU of Georgia, 
along with Abdul Sharrief Muhammad of the Nation of Islam.

The prisoners have been petitioning the corrections department for 
their human rights, including wages for labor, decent health care and 
nutritional meals, a halt to cruel and unusual punishments, and an 
end to unjust just parole decisions.

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