In a letter sent this morning to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, officers of the Georgia Green Party urged that he suspend five Department of Corrections employees at Telfair State Prison pending the results of an investigation into the criminal assault of January 12th on Georgia inmate Shawn Whatley. Party officers ask if a ‘criminal conspiracy’ exists to conceal the crimes of DoC employees.
As stated in the letter, “Mr. Whatley suffered serious injuries to his ribs and back and had blood in his urine. He was refused proper medical care at the Waycross facility and it seems apparent that his sudden transfer was a part of an attempt to cover up the crimes committed against him in Helena.”
Reminding the Governor of an earlier letter from the Party related to the December 16th beating by DoC employees of Terrence Dean at Macon State Prison, Party officers wrote: “we fear that an ongoing pattern of such abuse continues in Georgia prisons.”
“The Governor is getting some good press for his prison reform initiatives,” said Adam Shapiro, CoChair of the Georgia Green Party. “So far what we’ve seen from him amounts to little more than deck chair shuffling which fails to address our state’s absurd commitment to criminalizing the health problems of its citizens. Deal’s proposals promise little if any impact on the budget, while failing to challenge the racism which leads to the disparate enforcement, prosecution and conviction of victimless crimes. The hateful rhetoric and policies enacted by our elected officials has justified rampant human rights abuses by DoC employees against those inmates committed to their care by the state judiciary.”
The Georgia Green Party continues to urge calls inquiring after the welfare of the Georgia-37. These thirty-seven inmates were identified by DoC investigators as ‘instigators’ of December’s stop-work action by Georgia inmates on the basis of being found in possession of contraband cell phones. They have been subjected to administrative segregation and reportedly transported to the facilities at Jackson, Reidsville and Washington. Jackson hosts the state’s death row and Reidsville and Washington State Prisons have SuperMax units designed to hold inmates in solitary confinement for extended periods of time.
The Georgia Green Party is part of a Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoner Rights working in solidarity with the inmates organizing for respect of their human rights. Georgia Green Party leadership are actively cultivating a slate of candidates prepared to bring into the 2012 elections the Party’s challenge to public policies which have created black mass incarceration. The nation’s drug war has saddled 15% of the U.S. population with criminal records, including 4% with felony convictions. Individuals with information about human rights abuses in Georgia prisons are urged to contact the Green Party.
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