No Citizens' Rights for Prisoners

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[Legal] [Political Repression] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

No Citizens' Rights for Prisoners

As a jailhouse lawyer my mission is always the same: to fight for justice where injustice lives. My mentor, the late Johnny Cochran, embraced the adage "an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." I believe that's what led me to law school and now I possess two law degrees and I'm an outstanding member of the National Lawyers Guild.

In December 2014, I submitted a Georgia open records act request for the names and titles of all staff at Hays State Prison in Trion, Georgia. Hays is the most high profile maximum security prison in Georgia and it is the most racist. The Georgia Department of Corrections legal office mailed me records responsive to my request after I paid the fee for the copies.

On 2 April 2015, Hays Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) searched my cell and found the request I made for those records. I was immediately locked in segregation/Tier I pending investigation. I was told by five white CERT Officers and one white CERT sergeant that I had no business requesting such information as they slammed my head into the Tier I housing unit door. I was also threatened with being beaten if I told anyone about the assault I had just ingested. All my personal and legal property was taken without due process and not returned. After reporting this to chief of security (who is Black) he laughed and said "you had no business with these folks' information." All I did was exercise my right to acquire public information like any Georgia citizen. I've committed no disciplinary or prohibited act. Yet I remain committed to my mission and will fight injustice wherever it may be found.