Isolated island like, sitting ominously on a little more than an acre of land and enclosed behind several barbed wire fences stands a torture chamber known as the Special Management Unit (S.M.U.)
This morbid looking structure is home to up to 192 souls who are alleged to have committed an assortment of prison infractions or who have simply been designated as individuals of notoriety by the Georgia Dept. of Corrections.
Admission into this draconian abode often comes absent of even the most basic fundamental due process of law protections as many inmates are essentially kidnapped and sent to the S.M.U. At the mere whim of prison wardens across the state.
To assign the word “appeal” to the process that inmates have at their disposal to challenge placement in the S.M.U. does the very word a grave injustice.
The so-called appeal is nothing but a thinly-veiled, empty and meaningless farce as field operations manager, Belinda Davis, responsible for the processing of these appeals rarely if ever bothers to answer or issue an inmate a response to their written appeals. Let alone conduct a legitimate review as to the validity of the reasons for an inmate’s internment.
Once encased inside this house of horrors a person can expect to languish inside it for four, five, even six years or more of practically 24-hour a day solitary confinement experiencing physical, mental and psychological torture in its purest form!
While there are certainly aspects of the S.M.U. which inherent to its construction render it inhumane and cause its punishment design to be of a medieval type, the real malevolence of the S.M.U. is directly attributable to those who operate it on a day-to-day basis.
The S.M.U. administration is composed of three classic house negroes; Superintendent Michael Cannon, Deputy of Warden William Powell and unit manager George Ball. In concert with one another, this sadistic trio ensures that inmates under their supervision experience the absolute worse that humanity has to offer.
Inmates under their care are prohibited from enjoying any outside recreation time for an automatic three-month period of time when first admitted to the S.M.U. This despite the S.O.P. policy requiring every inmate receive a minimum of 5 hours out of cell rec. per week.
These three orchestrators of misery through their non-intervention and subtle direction allow a Gestapo like atmosphere to fester inside the S.M.U. in the form of numerous physical beatings suffered by inmates at the hands of prison staff.
Inmates housed in the S.M.U. are fed animal-like as meals are served in child-sized, thin styrofoam trays, where food items are often mixed together, cold to the point of congealment and severely under proportioned.
Even the very core of the Tier III Program in the S.M.U. which is based upon a gradual increase in relation to an inmate’s behavior and compliance to rules is subjugated by the administration as inmates who have earned certain privileges do not receive them.
The S.M.U. administration’s indifference to inmates’ health is manifest in delayed or blatantly substandard medical care.
The administration also places inmates safety in constant peril as they ignore the widespread practice of officers essentially abandoning dorms and falsifying cell check documentation. It is not uncommon for officers who have been assigned to work in dorms to disappear for two, three, sometimes four hours. When the officers do show up and make their rounds they routinely sign the “cell checklists” multiple times at once giving the impression that their required 30 minute cell checks were performed.
While there has been an onslaught of attention focused on the many deprivations of the S.M.U. by various media outlets lately, I wonder how much longer it will take before the brutality and inhumanity being inflicted upon myself and other inmates here comes to an end?
I wonder when the Georgia Dept. of Corrections hierarchy will have an epiphany and recognize that the S.M.U. is an innate object and that those who they have assigned to operated are responsible for its cruelty?
I do know that the arch enemy of evil is light. The light of exposure to its darkness!
Thus, I encourage anyone who believes that all human beings deserve humane treatment to utilize whatever resources at their disposal to expose the S.M.U. for what it truly is.
The Pen is My Sword