Category Archives: Medical neglect

Mistreatment rife in Dekalb Jail; jail blocks calls to ABC phone

Atlanta Anarchist black cross has been speaking to people outside the DeKalb County Jail and receiving numerous phone calls from inmates and their family members revealing abusive conditions within the jail. Although the phone originally used to accept calls from prisoners was blocked by the jail system, ABC got a new number and has been receiving multiple calls since. They include complaints of inadequate and inedible food, a rampant mold infestation, a standard practice of medical neglect, and violence and retaliation by guards against people who make complaints.

One woman who spoke to ABC on May 17th said she had to call repeatedly to demand that her son receive medical care that he had been requesting; it was one or two months before he received care. She did not want to give her name because she feared reprisals by guards against her son if she speaks out against the abuse. “I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him… You got to protect your loved ones who are in there, the guards can do anything at all.”

Her fear is not without grounds; guards retaliated violently against the men who sparked protests after photos of them with handmade signs went viral in April are in solitary. their families were not able to hear from them for a month after the photos went viral. when one of them, Darnell Thompson, was able to finally get a postcard out, he reported that his solitary confinement will last until June 7th. Other inmates reported that the three were beat up and had their cell ransacked after the photos went viral.

Another mother told ABC that her son was beaten by guards.

A third mother who spoke to ABC also chose to remain anonymous. She said her son has been told that they are going to stop him receiving his medications for bipolar disorder. She does not know why.

A fourth mother also reported making numerous official complaints against the jail and the mental health staff for refusing to take her son’s mental issue seriously.

An inmate named Matthew Burkins called ABC on May 17th. He said that he began having pain in his chest while breathing a few days after he was brought to the jail. He suspected it was due to the mold infestation. He spent four weeks making a medical requests every day or every other day. He experienced delays in being seen and when he did go to the medical floor they just checked his vital signs and made sure they were within normal limits and then decided that he was okay and sent him back to his floor without treatment. Burkins also reported that it was not until six weeks after he arrived at the jail that he began receiving his regular prescribed medication. The jail staff kept saying that they were unable to verify his prescriptions. It was not until he put in a request at the kiosk saying that he was suicidal that he finally began receiving them; he has been doing much better since. Burkins also said the light is broken in his cell and in many others, meaning that he is not able to study and prepare for his upcoming court case. He has filed formal grievances, but he says, “the grievances don’t mean nothing, they [guards] can get away with murder and still be working the next day.”

Another inmate who called and identified himself just as Victor says his area is on lockdown for 21 hours a day, and he is only out on the floor from 11 am to 2 p.m. Victor also says that the food is inadequate. Breakfast might be oatmeal or grits, and lunch goulash or chicken patties, just a sandwich for dinner with nothing to drink. Victor was also concerned about retaliation for speaking out. He said, “a lot of people come up in here missing, a lot of people come up in here dead. Especially if they don’t got no family” outside to advocate for them.

On Wednesday May 15, a spirited demonstration took over Memorial Avenue. The original ABC phone number was announced for protesters who got arrested to call for assistance with bail, and for people already in the Dekalb jail to speak out about conditions. One of the police at the protest made a show of listening to the number, writing it down and then making a phone call. Less than a day later, that number was blocked by the jail so that no one inside could dial out to it.

Shortly after the beginning of the demonstration, heavily armed police made four violent arrests. Protesters were thrown to the ground and charged with disorderly conduct and blocking a street or sidewalk.

During the protest, people incarcerated in the jail were breaking windows and attempting to pass messages through the holes to the crowd below. One person tried to pass out food to show how moldy and inedible it was. Others shouted out of the holes, one saying that a correctional officer named King was choking someone whose hands were cuffed behind his back. Others put up signs in the windows for the protesters to read, one said I love U.

The next night, May 16, there was another loud demonstration. Protesters banged on drums outside the jail, while inmates banged on the windows to the beat. Police outnumbered protesters by a factor of about two. The sidewalks were lined with barricades. A new phone number not yet blocked by the jail was written in chalk on the sidewalk so that prisoners on that side of the jail would be able to see it–several who called had seen it that way. The number has also been circulating in the jail by word of mouth.

Protesters have decided to return each day with a table and literature to speak to people coming and going from the jail.

Protesters demand answers about DeKalb Jail abuses at county commissioners’ meeting

Members of Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross, the Street Groomers, and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee spoke at the DeKalb County commissioners’ meeting today about the abuses at the DeKalb jail.

During the public comment section Meg Dudukovich said, 
“I became involved in the protests about the inhuman conditions at the Dekalb County Jail after I saw a series of social media posts depicting men incarcerated there speaking out about abuses and showing the moldy food. Their signs said help us we dying, need food, and we sleep and breathe mold. I got in touch with the mother of one of the men who has been calling attention to the abuses on social media.  She says she has not been able to speak to her son since Sunday April 7, before her posts went viral. He is in solitary.  She has heard multiple reports from other men jailed there that her son & the other 2 men in the posts had their cell raided, were beaten, had their heads forced into toilets, and were thrown into solitary under the pretext that they had a cell phone, which is untrue–the photos were screenshots  from a permitted video visit. The mother of Darnell Thompson, one of the men in the posts, was unable to be here but sent these brief comments that I’m going to read now: ‘Why are inmates being stripped of their rights? My son, along with two other inmates, has been place in solitary confinement; their cells was swarmed and excessive force was used–for what reason? Produce evidence to show reason for the confinement. Since this post has went viral it is very evident that their reason for solitary confinement has been in retaliation; is it unlawful for inmates to take a stand for their rights to speak up against being subjected to abuse and inhumane conditions?  I want to know the physical condition of my son and the other inmates since their reported attacks by officers from several inmates as well as an investigation of every officer involved. (I received a tip that officer “Jones” was one of the attackers). Why are guards abusing their authority to use excessive force on inmates that lead up to physical impairment or death? What happened to funds that was disbursed to fix the air quality in the jail to remove mold and fix plumbing? Are you aware of the man y deaths that have occurred in Dekalb County Jail and no further investigations have been pursued to give justice to families of their loved ones? Why are inmates medical needs being neglected?'”

Later, Adele MacLean said, 
“After we heard about the viral social media posts of prisoners begging for help with the inhumane conditions in the Dekalb jail, we have been speaking to people who have been inside or had loved ones inside, and collecting stories of mistreatment and neglect. Lynn from Mothers of Sons in Prisons is here to support. Almost everyone with experience of the jail tells the same story: horrifying conditions and physical abuse. 
Every person who needs daily medication to survive or avoid serious health problems that we spoke to reported days-long delays in receiving their meds, or never got them at all. – my friend was denied the right to speak today, but he’s here. He ended up in the hospital because was denied his seizure meds for–how many days Haroun?–three days.- I spoke to a woman who went 3 days without her blood pressure meds. I asked did you get sick, she said, “Yeah I got sick! What do you think would happen?” – I spoke to a person in the jail two weeks ago who had just witnessed a diabetic man get ill after going without insulin. he says you have to request meds via the kiosk, which has a sign that says it can take a week for your request to be seen.  not processed, not addressed. there is no time frame posted for that. The other men imprisoned there had to shout at the guards to give him his insulin. I take daily medication, I imagine a lot of you do too. Any one of us could end up in there. Due to racial profiling and biased policing practices, some are at greater risk,  but any of us or our loved ones  could end up in there. For those of us who need meds, that could be a death sentence.   
Medical neglect is far from the only issue.  The outright abuse needs to be addressed. the extreme efforts to silence the men who spoke out in the social media posts shows the length they go to to keep these problems from coming to light. They are clear that speaking out will be met with severe punishment.  These brave men took their lives into their hands to bring our attention to these issues, so why are we still ignoring them? What has happened to these men? Why are they being held incommunicado? Why have their mothers been given no information about their whereabouts? Why has Malaya Tucker been banned from video visits with her son and anyone else?  Can you all speak to this? What do you plan to do? Are there going to be investigations into the allegations of abuse, or are we going to continue to allow the abusers to brutally suppress any criticism?”

The chairman of the commissioners said “now is the time for public comment only. Commissioners can speak during the time allotted for that if they choose to address the issues.” MacLean replied, “I would very much like it if you would ‘choose to address the issues'”.

After the activists stood up to leave one council member approached them and asked for their contact info, saying he would speak to the Sheriff and ask about procedures for investigating complaints. However he did not offer his own contact info or make an concrete promises to follow up other than that he would speak to the sheriff.

Groups involved in protest plan to continue tabling and speaking to people outside the jail, and a public meeting is planned for April 27 at 6 pm at the Little Five Points Community Center on the third floor. Protesters plan a large demonstration for ‘fuk 12’ week, the week of May 12-18.  

Brother of Prisoner who spoke out about Dekalb Jail abuses also reports abuses

Malaya Tucker is anxiously awaiting news of her son Darnell. She is told he is in solitary confinement after having been beaten by jail guards. She has not been able to contact him since their video visit on Sunday, in which he showed her moldy food trays with insufficient food. Screenshots taken from another video visit went viral on social media on Wednesday. On Thursday, guards reportedly entered Darnell’s cell and beat him up. They put him in solitary confinement, claiming they found a contraband cell phone. This cut him off from communication with the outside.

Mrs. Tucker received news of her son from her other son, Larnell. He is also in DeKalb County Jail due to an administrative error that left an arrest warrant in effect after it had been lifted.

Larnell called his mother from the 6th floor of the jail on Saturday, and she connected him with Atlanta ABC. Larnell was willing to risk being abused himself in order to go public about the inhumane conditions. He said that another inmate who had been transferred from his brother’s floor told him today that his brother had been “jumped” by guards again. He does not know how badly hurt Darnell is.

He also described a case of medical neglect of a diabetic person. Diabetics are not given access to their insulin upon being jailed. Each person has to request it via “health request” on the jail kiosk. A notice says “it can take up to 7 days for your request to be seen”. Larnell witnessed an inmate fall ill from going too long without insulin. It was only when other inmates gathered and began yelling at the guards to give the man his medicine that he was brought downstairs to a medical facility.

Larnell also said there was mold in the food today. He was given food with black and white mold in the noodles and meat. There was so much mold that all of the food was inedible, he reported. “I threw my whole tray away… everybody threw their tray away.” Larnell says another inmate filed a report about the moldy food and held onto his tray so he could show it to someone on the outside next time he had a video visit. While we were talking on the phone, officers came up to the floor to look at the moldy food. Then 11 officers took out tazers and told everyone to get in their cells (Larnell was allowed to stay talking on the phone). The man who reported the food was surrounded by guards outside his cell as they aimed tazers at him, ordering him to get inside his cell. They took the food tray away, but refused to give him a new tray as he requested.

Larnell also reported an infestation of black mold and flies in the showers. “I have to keep a sheet under my door to keep flies out”. He sleeps with just a wool blanket.

Why is Larnell in jail? He says he has a “failure to appear” but he went to court for it in January, and the judge ruled that the warrant would be lifted if Larnell went to pretrial services once a month. But before he could report to pretrial, he was arrested for the same warrant. Now he has been waiting in jail for a month for the courts to fix their administrative error. He says he has called the office of the Public Defender every day and has never talked to the lawyer.

I asked, “are you willing to go public, knowing what your brother has gone through and the risk you’re taking?” Larnell said, “I am because this is ridiculous”.

Overcrowded – Understaff Prisons: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

January 12th 2019
Written by Brother Ladarius Colbert 100145093

Greetings people of society, there is a statewide issue within the Georgia Department of Correction that continues to go underestimated and unattended. To guess many of you would think I’m referring to the gang epidemic or high rate of contraband within the walls of prison, all of which surrounds the criminalization of the offender. However, this article is more so focusing a more vital problem that not only affects the offender’s livelihood but the staff as well… Overcrowded prisons with staff shortages.

I arrived at Hays State Prison on February 16th 2016 on a disciplinary transfer; immediately upon arrival I notice the restricted movement at the camp. Outdoor exercise was rarely allowed and interaction between dorms were prohibited. I will admit, the strict movement had the camp atmosphere settled amongst the offenders but between us and the staff there exists a hostile vibe. Officers were always overly aggressive anytime we encountered one another and at a split action or sign of defiance cause for unlawful use of force.

I was confused at the “fear sowing” tactic because as stated earlier the violence level at the camp was moderate in comparison to the other facilities such as Valdosta, Telfair, and Smith State Prison. It wasn’t until I was placed on Tier 1 in E-1 cell 204, here is where I would find out the cause behind the above said insignificancies. The camp was understaff; like now, the offenders in segregation were deprived of a number of basic necessities. They receive infrequent cell sanitation; infrequent outdoor exercise; infrequent shower call-sometimes two times a week; and infrequent medical attention.

Often there would be one guard working an entire building that houses 128 offenders. On the same notation, but not as severe, general population is no different. The workload is overwhelming for the staff, where there has been numerous occasions where officers have spasm. Their irrational state can be results from lack of rest. Indenture labor, which consists of demeanful treatment, long hour hauls, seldom break periods, and occasional work on off days, has produce poor work ethics and ineffective response efforts to emergencies.

Inadequate security supervision: I am currently housed in a “pre-aggressor” dorm (C and D building). classification claims in a case of any form of an assault we will be the aggressor. Nonetheless, more than often our dorm floor officers are periodically stationed to work other work areas. There is hardly ever an officer available to attend to our concerns except for the control booth guard.

In consequence there has been a pattern of assaults in our dorm as well as others. In the segregation unit there has been a number of suicide attempts (some successful and gone unreported) and a vast of offender on offender assaults. Officers are unable to do consistent rounds because they are required to be in two different stations.

Medical illnesses / emergencies: medical illnesses go untreated and eventually worsen because of insufficient attention. If there is no escort officer available and unit manager McAllister is occupied you’re bound to miss your medical appointment. Friday – Sunday medical is shut except for urgent emergencies, pill call, and dialysis / diabetic check-up.

Education and access to courts – particularly in C and D Building we are subject to frequent setbacks in our litigation efforts and/or completing case plan program due to staff shortage. Many of those who are subject to such preventable disparity fail to meet certain time limitations and in case of the former are delayed relief and for the latter are denied pardonship for parole. On file it appears as the offender is being neglect to his assigned task, without notice or chance to provide an explanation they are shot down in their stride for equity or release.

Lately the education level has been high, reactionary transgression is motivated by capricious thinking. in an environment where the capacity level is 723 but the functioning level is around 1050 with so much animosity and little supervision, what do you think goes on? With the exception of a few, correction cannot be expected when your survival is at a high stake. Let’s not denote the provocative oppression used as an action to maintain submissive order. There are short-timers such as myself, medium/minimum-security offenders, nonviolent offenders, probationers/parole violators, and hardworking staff just to make ends meet inside an unsecured maximum security prison. People of society recognize the existing dangers and misrepresentation of this factor – Incarcerated lives matter too!

On the behalf of the Georgia offender population and the rightful staff who state of peonage goes unnoticed. Keep strong better days are to come.

All concerns and inquirements need to be sent to the following contacts. Your voice matters, make an effort to cause a positive change.

Questions and concern should be sent to the following people:

  1. Warden Sprayberry office number 706-857-0432 email Kevin.Sprayberry@gdc.ga.gov
  2. Commissioner 404-656-6002
  3. Facility director 404-655-2809

SMU (Stressing More Unity): Abuses in the Tier Program

SMU (Stressing More Unity)

Tier III SMU in Jackson, GA houses almost 200 inmates: six dorms, 32 inmates each dorm, two sides east and west side which hold three dorms apiece. Each dorm is supposed to have two floor officers and each side (east/west) supposed to have one transport officer. I’ve been housed here going on two years and the facility has been understaffed the whole time. You’re lucky to have 1 dorm officer most times one officer is overseeing at least two if not all three dorms on the side. Which if it’s an emergency we are forced to kick on the door for long periods of time just to get help. Two months ago a man hung himself he was dead in his cell for five or six hours before they found out. The only reason they found out then was because the officer was serving breakfast.

Tier III is the best example of dehumanizing you get here they keep you locked down for 90 days no recreation, no phone, no nothing. You go see the doctor for health issues he only has two answers: stop working out, drink more water. The facility doesn’t have a dishwasher so the trays are washed with a water hose, green yellow mold growing on the trays. Most of the time if you complain it’s either take the tray or don’t eat.

Constantly being denied our due process grievances not getting processed or properly investigated. If administration doesn’t like you and are on duty when your family comes to visit they will turn your family around and make up a false reason (Lt. Russo). The warden of all care and treatment, security and unit manager abuses his job being that he has to sign off on order forms for books. He’s coming up with new things you have to do to receive books and still denies request after they’ve met the criteria.

This is supposed to be a behavior program but there isn’t no release date majority have been here 4 years or better. The program at most doesn’t supposed to exceed 18 months with good behavior.

None of the toilets work properly yet we are limited to flushes per hour showering in cells with no proper cleaning supplies.

Mail being refused and not being able to send it home it’s automatically destroyed.

In two years no more than 15 people have left–nine of them had filed a lawsuit. Parole wants nothing to do with you if you’re housed here or transition centers they constantly jumping on you or doing some type of harsh punishment not feeding you.

It’s gon take outside help to make a change. We constantly say Black Lives Matter not everybody feel that way. The Captain, Warden and superintendent are black here and they allowing a white man, Lt. Russo, to do as he pleases.

People are so ignorant and stubborn they’ll continue to not get unified because of little boy reasons the fight Behind These doors is against the oppressor administration. All Lives Matter if you think so you should have no problem with us ALL getting together.

Valdosta prisoner denounces medical neglect death at ACDC

As I sit here, a few days from the celebration of AmeriKkka’s Independence. I ponder the hypocrisy of this nation.The so-called citizens of this KKKountry turn a blind eye to the treatment of their fellow human beings in this so-called civilized society, and allow the enslaved human to die in these Torture Chambers.The Government in the guise of protecting its so-called citizens have implemented a program of enslaving humans in detention centers and denying them basic human decency and rights! In the ACDC of Georgia, Atlanta, A human was subjected to Willful and Deliberate Indifference by his captors and was allowed to suffer and eventually Die from medical neglect. How can a so-called civilized society ignore and deny any Human being medical help? The answer is simple, the Common man/woman doesn’t matter to the Spiritual and Morally dead.They don’t matter to the enslaver because if they did, the Operator and sustainer of this Evil, would have to admit to the World that he/she is Morally and Spiritually KKKorrupt! Thus in being forced to admit such a Truth, this nation would have to dismantle this System of Exploitation and Oppression of the Common man/woman. So how much longer, will AmeriKKKa’s citizens fail to fight for the voiceless, the poor and disenfranchised, and allow Humans to be Tortured and Murdered by this system. The Land of the so-called Free, what a joke! As AmeriKKKans prepare to parade and party on the 4th of July, a family will be mourning the loss of their loved one, who’s only real KKKrime was trying to achieve the so-called AmeriKKKan Dream. As one who is KKKonfined in this system of Oppression, I can Truthfully Testify that not a day passes, that a Human isn’t being subjected to the Evils of this Twisted and INHUMANE system of so-called public safety. All anyone has to do is investigate the system, and they’ll find just how KKKorrupt AmeriKKKa’s Executive, Judicial, and Administrative administrators truly are. So when anyone boasts and brags about AmeriKKKa’s so-called greatness, think about the senseless death a HUMAN suffered at the A.C.D.C of Atlanta, Georgia due to his captor’s Willful and Deliberate Indifference to his need of Humane and Adequate Medical Treatment. How many more must suffer and Die from such Moral Deprivation?
Respectfully Submitted,
KELEVIN J.STEVENSON #570391
V.S.P- P.O.310
Valdosta, Georgia 31603

Death due to medical neglect at Georgia State Prison; coverup by officials

March 2016 I was housed a Georgia State Prison my roommate was Jacorey Barber. Around the beginning of March he became ill and was having a hard time breathing. He filed a sick call which take from 7 to 10 days to get seen. Once he got seen he was told he develop asthma at age 35 and was given a asthma inhaler his condition worsen at times he was so winded he would walk to sell door to get his tray and have to lean on the wall to catch his breath. He put another sick call in and went back to medical instead of doing a thorough check-up they changed his inhalers and supposedly gave him a stronger inhaler and cough syrup and some type of pill for a cold. Wednesday March 30 our shower day he was so week he almost passed out officer Howard our excourt officer ask was he okay he could barely talk. I told her he needed medical because he had trouble breathing and haven’t eaten since Friday. She call Lieutenant Shumake and told him everything he stated tell Barber to do a sick call. (Keep in mind it takes 7 to 10 days and you still not going to get adequate treatment.) But after being refused treatment he laid down and I did the same I woke for dinner tray and tried to wake him to get his tray but he was dead. It took from 5 to 8 minutes to get officer back in dorm because trays came at shift change. Officer stood in the door like 10 minutes thinking we playing before calling someone. Sergeant Walker came and stood another 10 minutes before he decided to open cell and come in. He claimed he felt a pulse and started doing C.P.R. He stopped and call for medical and told them it was an emergency about 15 to 20 minutes later medical still didn’t come he got on the radio snapping telling him he need medical right now. Finally a old lady come and really she didn’t know what to do. Sergeant walker and a new officer took turns do C.P.R. while she stood around. They finally put him on the stretcher and left. They put me in the cages in back of dorm and kept me there like 4 or 5 hours. Somebody from D.O.C. came and basically threatened me he told me about a list of questions and answers he had and what to say and what not to say and it’s been some inmates that didn’t follow instructions and ended up like Jacory Barber. After doing this I was placed in a different cell and the following week the mental health counselor Miss Humphries came and talked to me and told me he died from a heart attack I told her I don’t think so and explain why I said so. The next week she said Jacory Barber mom wanted to hear from me and she said for Miss Humphrey to give me her address but she forgot it. Before she could bring it back I was transferred down here. Can you please contact Miss Humphrey at Georgia State Prison and get that info for me so I can let his mom know what really happened. Someone needs to look into how many young inmates have mysteriously died at G.S.P.