[Ppnews] Georgia Dept of Corrections Withholding Medical Care to Brutalized Inmate

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 22 12:40:31 EDT 2011

Georgia Dept of Corrections Withholding Medical Care to Brutalized 
Inmates, Retaliatory Campaign Continues

By Bruce A. Dixon
Created 03/21/2011 - 19:53
Submitted by Bruce A. Dixon on Mon, 03/21/2011 - 19:53

 From the correspondence of their attorney and the testimony of their 
families and friends, details are emerging which indicate a still 
ongoing campaign of brutal beatings and withheld medical care in the 
wake of the December 2010 inmate strike in Georgia prisons. Does the 
fact that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has take charge of 
inquiries into the beatings confirm the suspicion of some that the 
Department of Corrections is not to be trusted with investigating 
itself? And is it time, as Rev. Kenneth Glasgow of The Ordinary 
Peoples Society suggests, for a thoroughgoing yearlong series of 
public hearings into all aspects of Georgia's troubled prisons?

Is Georgia's Dept of Corrections Withholding Medical Care To Beaten 
Prisoners as Part of Retaliatory Campaign After Dec 2010 Inmate Strike?
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

"...correctional officers singled out Miguel Jackson and Kelvin 
Stevenson, handcuffing and savagely beating both inmates after a 
search of their cells."

Has the Georgia Department of Corrections, in the wake of the inmate 
strike of December 2010 embarked on a campaign of brutal retaliation 
against inmates in its custody? Is the department deliberately 
withholding medical treatment to prisoners its officers have 
viciously assaulted? Is the removal of Smith Prison's former warden, 
and apparent demotion to a superintendent of a probation facility 
connected with extensive ongoing investigations into prison abuse and 
potential corruption? Have the department's own internal affairs 
investigators turned a blind eye to ongoing threats and beatings 
inflicted upon prisoners with the apparent blessings of their 
supervisors, leaving investigations of these allegations exclusively 
to the GBI? And is the Department of Corrections preparing to go 
before a pliant southeast Georgia grand jury, where prisons are one 
of the region's major industries, in the hope of seeking pre-emptive 
indictments against prisoners to shield its officers and supervisors 
from civil or criminal prosecution?
The questions around Georgia's Department of Corrections are piling 
up. Some of the answers, as well as fuel for brand new questions, are 
in the stream of correspondence and open records requests filed 
<http://www.goodgeorgialawyer.com/>Mario Williams of Williams Oinonen 
LLC [7], attorney for several of the brutalized inmates.

 From portions of that correspondence we know that on December 31, 
the day after a team of citizen observers were admitted to Smith 
Prison to interview staff and inmates, correctional officers singled 
out Miguel Jackson and Kelvin Stevenson, handcuffing and savagely 
beating both inmates after a search of their cells. Smith suffered 
multiple indentations to his head, blunt trauma apparently inflicted 
with a hammer-like object resulting in weeks of severe untreated 
pain. Georgia Diagnostic officials placed Kelevin in max lock down 
with a broken jaw that the officials knew needed to be wired, yet, 
waited nearly three weeks to do so, and only wired Kelevin's jaw 
after repeated letters from Mr. Stevenson's attorney to DOC officials 
requesting that immediate action be taken. And it is clear that 
Miguel Jackson and Kelvin Stevenson sustained these injuries not 
during the search, but only after they had been removed in handcuffs 
from their cells.

We know that all the fruitful investigations and arrest warrants for 
guards thus far were conducted and sworn out not by the Department of 
Corrections' internal affairs officers, but by the Georgia Bureau of 
Investigation. And we understand that the former warden at Smith 
State prison has been inexplicably transferred and demoted.

We know that Kelvin Stevenson and Miguel Jackson were denied doctor 
visits, urgently needed examinations and access to their own medical 
records for weeks after the assault despite daily complaint of 
hearing and memory problems, as well as problems with vision and 
other dangerous symptoms. The correspondence also documents a series 
of dire and terroristic threats made on multiple occasions by Jackson 
State correctional officers. After his attorney's repeated complaints 
to Ricky Myrick of DOC's Internal Investigations Unit, one of the 
guards making said threats was finally transferred out of the wing, 
but no other action was taken against him. The correctional officer 
continues to incite other inmates against Miguel Jackson by spreading 
rumors that he is a snitch.

"Founded by ex-offenders in Alabama, The Ordinary Peoples Society has 
worked with prisoners, their families and communities for more than 
ten years in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana."

"Over the last three months the attorney for the prisoner's families 
has had to send a daily stream of letters, faxes, phone calls and 
document requests, visits and other inquiries to uncover and address 
the denial of medical care to the beaten prisoners, along with the 
facts of their cases," declared Rev. Kenneth Glasgow 
of<http://www/wearetops.org> <http://www/wearetops.org>TOPS, The 
Ordinary Peoples Society [8]. "The Department of Corrections has 
dragged its feet at every opportunity during this time. The fact that 
GBI has had to take charge of investigating the vicious assaults of 
correctional officers and their supervisors upon prisoners is a clear 
admission on the part of state government that the Department of 
Corrections is unable or unwilling to uphold the laws it's supposed to enforce.

"So later this year<http://www.wearetops.org/> 
<http://www.wearetops.org/>TOPS [9] is taking the lead in convening a 
series of public hearings throughout the state in which we will 
examine the way Georgia's prisons operate, and specifically look into 
the wave of beatings, retaliations and cover ups that followed the 
inmate strike of December 2010."

TOPS seems eminently qualified to lead such a public inquiry. In the 
decade since its founding The Ordinary Peoples Society has stood with 
and for prisoners, their families and communities in Florida, 
Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana, both on the level of individual and 
collective self-help, as well as advocacy on the level of public 
policy and public education. TOPS is working closely with the 
attorney for the families of prisoners Miguel Jackson, Kelvin 
Dean [10], and other recent victims of unlawful violence on the part 
of Georgia correctional officers.

"We found out about TOPS from talking to the families of other 
prisoners," Delma Jackson, the wife of Miguel Jackson told Black 
Agenda Report. "They told us that TOPS would work with us and stand 
with us to get the justice we need, both in prison and afterward. If 
there's no jobs or education there's not much for those who come out 
of prison, no way for them to support families and build new lives."

"Right now our prisons are making visitation and contact with 
families unnecessarily difficult and expensive," Rev. Glasgow told 
Black Agenda Report. "DOC charges the families excessive amounts for 
phone calls out of its prisons. It levies fines from inmate accounts 
--- from the money sent by their families --- for a host of offenses, 
users fees, fines, what have you, without any published schedule of 
fees or fines, and no public transparency whatsoever. And we have 
allowed private, for profit companies, which for all we know are big 
political contributors, to reap millions a year from some of the 
state's poorest citizens --- those with relatives in prisons --- off 
money transfers to inmates to and phone calls from prisoners."

When you add this to the lack of educational opportunities in and 
after prison, there is ample reason for a year-long series of 
observer visits and public hearings on how Georgia operates is 
prisons. One in thirteen Gerogia adults is currently locked up or on 
paper," concluded Glasgow.

"That's a crime, and the public discussion on how to solve it cannot 
be led by the people who gave us, and who profit from this 
dysfunctional system. TOPS is committed to convening and facilitating 
real public hearings on Georgia's prisons and their impact on our 
larger communities. That is a discussion which cannot be held without 
the voices of the formerly incarcerated, our families, and our 
communities being heard. TOPS and our allies are committed to making 
that happen"

Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and based in 
Marietta GA where he is a state committee member of the Georgia Green 
Party. He can be reached at 
bruce.dixon(at)<http://blackagendareport.com/>blackagendareport.com [11].

Source URL: 

[1] http://blackagendareport.com/category/us-politics/ga-inmate-strike
[2] http://blackagendareport.com/category/life-america/georgia
[3] http://blackagendareport.com/category/us-politics/mass-incarceration
[4] http://blackagendareport.com/category/us-politics/prisons-and-jails
[5] http://blackagendareport.com/category/us-politics/ordinary-peoples-society
[7] http://www.goodgeorgialawyer.com/
[8] http://www/wearetops.org
[9] http://www.wearetops.org/
[11] http://blackagendareport.com/

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