Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison - Georgia

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Abuse] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia]
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Grievances lost or ignored in Georgia

Today I'm writing in hopes of somebody in you all's organization to be of some kind of assistance concerning a few issues. As we both know I'm in a rather oppressed state and very racial as well, so therefore please understand that the majority of prisoners locked up are "locked up" mental wise. Now my issues are concerning, 1st the grievance procedure: Once I file a very important grievance with one or two witness statements by other inmates that live around me, it either gets lost or comes back late every time stating "insufficient evidence" ten times out of ten. There has to be a next step to take.

Here is the last major grievance I filed. I'm in Highmax/Tier 3 program on 23 hour lockdown and two COs were serving dinner trays. These COs are two cells away from me when an inmate throws feces out on both officers. They yell at him and call him a nigger, yes the COs both are white and even give him a DR for his actions. The worst part was they continued to serve trays. Me and the man next door to me didn't know what was going on until we got our trays, and then ol' boy said hey don't eat the trays I shit those bitches down! So I get on the door make noise to get the officers attention because I get served last, I was in the last cell and haven't ate none of my tray. My next door neighbor say what! So anyways we did not eat that night and we both filed a grievance and statement for each other. Nothing happened!

40 something days later a counselor came to my door and said "insufficient evidence"! There's cams everywhere in this prison so ol' boy got a DR plus common sense he lived in the cell before me, I get fed last. Now I have not filed many grievances since I've been incarcerated and the ones I have filed always get overlooked, lost, or I don't have enough evidence for it to be investigated. There has to be some next step to force these people to stop hiding what prisoners do complain about. We are in a double whammy here at this prison, one minute it's you're in the program, the next its you're on Highmax, right now there is prisoners who don't get yard call "fresh air" 1 hour a day.

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[Hunger Strike] [Gender] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia]
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GA Hunger Strike Against Sexual Assaults

I am a prisoner that's being housed here at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison Special Management Unit (GDCP/SMU). I am here to address the immorality of the conditions that we are facing here on a daily basis.

Below is just a partial list:
  • pernicious forced beatings
  • threats by officials while in handcuffs and leg iron shackles
  • sexual harassments by staff
  • sexual assaults by staff
  • mental torture by staff
  • being shot with stun guns and thrown in strip cells for days at a time without being fed
  • being denied access to the law library, which is guaranteed by United States law
  • being served filthy eating trays that have an extremely obscene smell from the trays being washed by hand and then sprayed down with a water hose
  • being served spoiled food and undercooked food, etc.

On 27 July 2015, over 30% of the prisoners took a stand in a peaceful protest on another hunger strike. This has been a regular strategy here in SMU. We had a hunger strike on 9 December 2010, 12 June 2012, 25 January 2014, and on 9 February 2014. But sadly nothing has changed in the officials' actions or the oppression by the administration. Their oppression strategy is to perplex the minds of the prisoners into thinking like animals.

At least 63% of the prisoners here have been housed at the SMU for over two years without any disciplinary reports on their prison conduct file. Yet the administration is refusing to transfer them back to general population. When prisoners first arrive here at the GDCP/SMU all constitutional rights have been stripped from them, violating due process by law, and equal protection, by not having an institutional hearing to advise the prisoners how long their stay will be at the GDCP/SMU. By law this must be done, otherwise this is as if the Georgia Department of Corrections has kidnapped the prisoners without a proper institutional court hearing. In fact, it's been almost two years since someone has last been transferred out of here, leaving us mentally lost due to being locked down behind an iron door for 23 to 24 hours daily for years without any rehabilitation program to help reinvent the mind. This, I emphasize, is cruel and unusual punishment and deep dark underhanded torturing of humans.

Not only has this refusal of transfers been an underhanded oppression, but the covering up institutional level grievances, from not responding to grievances, destroying them, denied by the administration staffs then writing up the prisoners in disciplinary reports by saying that the prisoners are lying so that this will destroy their credibility for the rest of their time behind bars.

Over the past 6 years behind the walls of the GDCP/SMU there have been so many ongoing sexual abuses by staffs that have been ignored by the administration or covered up, without any investigation outside of the institution, as due process requires by law. And when, or if, investigated inside of the institution, the investigation always comes back not finding any evidence due to administration covering up for their staff. And as a matter of fact, for the past few months, the administration has covered up the actions of sexual abuse by Mr. Phillip King and Mr. Robert Moore, who have carried out gang rapes, sexual assaults, sexual harassment, racist profiles, and other brutalities on Black prisoners. And after their sexual abusive actions, they threaten that if the prisoners tell anyone, that they will kill them and get away with the murders. Now the prisoners live in fear because of the threats, not knowing if poison will be placed into their food.

On 28 July 2015 a prisoner was sexually harassed by Officer Phillip King, while this prisoner was in his cell, with sexual comments of how he wanted to rape him. After the prisoner reported Officer King's sexual abuse under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to officials, the issue was never even taking seriously as the PREA program of no sexual abuse requires in the Georgia Department of Correction. This left an open door for Officer King to return back to work days after and retaliate on the prisoner, and the prisoner was punished by administration.

Consequently on 31 July 2015 another prisoner was sexually abused by Officer Phillip King, and this action was ignored. Then on 5 August 2015, another prisoner was abused by Officer Phillip King. While taking the prisoner to the recreation yard by escort, Officer King physically assaulted the prisoner by body slamming him on his head while in handcuffs and leg shackles for no reason at all. Or should I say by racial profile. And the prisoner was punished after the assault by the depraved administration.

The actions of Officers Robert Moore and Phillip King are truly getting out of hand, along with the underhanded covering up by the administration. And if their actions don't get attention from the outside then the next step could be someone's life, or another sexual abuse. And to support the ones that suffer this struggle, we stand in a massive peaceful hunger strike for the outside support by protesters across the nation.

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[Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia]
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Georgia Tier 3 Oppression Must be Fought

I'm a Muslim prisoner currently being housed in a Georgia Department of Corrections torture chamber called the Tier 3 Program. There are no requirements or due process to go through to be placed on the Tier 3 Program. If you file lots of grievances, the Warden doesn't get along with you, or if a rat who works for the administration wants you out of the way for some reason he can lie to the Warden about you and get you placed on the tier.

Here at Tier 3 for the first 90 days you are locked in a cell with just a shower, toilet, sink, and bunk. For 10 days there is no recreation, books, or magazines. All the windows have a metal gate over them preventing prisoners from seeing out. Throughout the state we are only fed breakfast and dinner Friday through Sunday. Without store items on the weekends, they basically force us into starvation.

Every time I speak out about it, the guards curse me out. If I resist any other way, they pepper spray and beat me. They also use our food as a means to punish us. It's time to stand up against the oppression. I'm waiting to hear back on two assault grievances. So far it's been over 60 days and still no response. There are 200 prisoners here on Tier 3.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In Georgia we have heard a lot about this new system of long-term isolation with the neutral-sounding name of a "tier" program. This torture and starvation are just a few of the reasons why we have a campaign to shut down all control units. These units target politically active prisoners like this comrade who is filing grievances. We look forward to working with this writer as a part of the USW campaign against control units. Building unity in Georgia and beyond, we will take on these tools of social control as part of the broader anti-imperialist prison movement.

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[Abuse] [Medical Care] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia]
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Medical Abuse in Georgia

Hello comrades, as quoted on news radio and a nationally syndicated news station, one of the medical companies that supplies medical care for prisons in Georgia has 50 doctors that work in prisons. Of that 50, 13 of those doctors have had major complaints that are stopping them from working in the private sector. Four of those 13 doctors failed to diagnose an obvious medical condition that led to these patients' deaths and have law suits pending due to this poor medical performance.

Comrades, these are the doctors that are treating you and your family in the prison system. Doctors that aren't fit to practice in the private sector. This just goes to show the disregard that Georgia shows for the health and well being of its prisoners.

At SMU [isolation] where I am housed it takes at least 2 weeks to a month to see the so-called doctor that treats us. It is unbelievable and a joke in Georgia that tylenol and antacid treats everything from cancer to heart issues. Comrades, they are treating us as second class citizens, and killing us under the guise of medical treatment. Stop taking this shoddy treatment, file grievances, get your family to check the doctors at your facility and contact news outlets. The time is now to take action, smart action.

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[Control Units] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia]
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Fighting Georgia SMU Torture

I'm currently in a lockdown unit in Georgia called Special Management Unit (SMU). It's a separate building outside the diagnostic prison in Jackson, GA. The conditions at the SMU are like the control units in other states. The E-wing is a 24-hour lockdown unit. You have to stay on this wing at least 90 days. We never come out of the cells for anything on this wing. No yard call or recreation and we have shower heads in the walls.

Most cells here at the SMU are very dirty and have mold growing on the walls from the condensation that builds up in the closed-in area while showering. The cells never get cleaned out and they don't give us bleach or any cleaning rags to wipe the walls and toilet down. They expect us to use what we wash with I guess.

We have no kitchen here so the food comes from across the street; trays are always cold and usually really small. We only eat twice on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We are not allowed books in E-wing or our personal property. We also don't have library or any aids to help on legal work. All we have is a guy from across the street who will bring us two cases a week, which really limits the access we have and is not much help.

They are not acknowledging the grievances about the yard call and the unsanitary living conditions, and I've never even received a receipt back. We have been trying to file a class action suit but no one will represent us or take the case, and no one here will assist us. It's hard time that should be against the law.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We have heard a lot lately from Georgia comrades in various control units like this SMU. And this has inspired some work on the Georgia grievance campagn to demand our grievances be addressed. We build campaigns like this one to expose the conditions behind bars and provide tools for prisoners to fight for improvements in conditions. But we know that even if we win some small improvements, the criminal injustice system will remain as a tool for social control. Grievances alone will not fundamentally alter this system. Our job is to educate and organize, to build a broader anti-imperialist movement that can take on the Amerikan system that needs prisons for social control. We are organizing those the imperialists wants to control.

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[Control Units] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 42]
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Unity Against Georgia Torture Units

I am currently housed in Georgia Department of Corrections's (GDC) Tier 3 program. This is the only Tier 3 facility in the state at this time. There are Tier 2 programs at every close-max facility in Georgia which means there are about 10 of these units altogether. These programs are sensory deprivation torture at its extreme.

There is no due process or even a set standard that GDC goes by to place prisoners in these programs. If you file too many grievances, don't get along with the administration at a camp, or if snitches and rats give information to staff about your activities that can't even be proven, Georgia will place you on the tier.

At Tier 3 there are "phases" to the program, but all prisoners for the first 90 days are locked in a cell with only a shower, toilet, sink, and bunk. All windows are covered with metal, and you are allowed no outside recreation for at least 90 days. During this period you are allowed no books, no magazines, none of your personal property except what legal work the facility deems necessary. There is no store call except stamps and paper (which are also limited), no phone calls, and no hygiene except state issue.

In the whole state of Georgia we are fed only breakfast and dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With no store call on the weekends, they basically enforce starvation torture on us. If prisoners try to resist in any way they are pepper sprayed or beaten. Guards slam prisoners' arms and hands in heavy metal door flaps, curse at us, threaten to not feed us, and then when they don't feed us they say we refused our trays.

We have to fight this. I have filed three grievances so far in the 50 days I've been here, about the illegal classification and the fictionalized classification standards. All have gone unanswered.

There are 200 prisoners all on Tier 3 at this facility. All over Georgia there are probably 5,000 prisoners or more facing these oppressive conditions. I am a white ghostface and I am introducing my organization to the precepts of the United Front for Peace in Prisons. None of our policies, laws, creeds, or codes go against what the front stands for, nor does it go against what the MIM stands for or believes in.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Georgia's tier system is being used to target activists and anyone the prison wants to isolate. We have many comrades now locked down in isolation. If anything, the torture is breeding resistance and organization in Georgia. This comrade sets a good example, looking to educate and organize others, including any organizations that might join the United Front for Peace in Prisons. Coming together around the UFPP principle of Unity we can build a movement to take on long-term isolation units like they have in Georgia, as a part of the broader fight against the criminal injustice system.

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[Hunger Strike] [Abuse] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia]
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More Reasons for Georgia Hunger Strike

I am writing to you on behalf of myself and the prisoners of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison - Special Management Unit (SMU). I was beaten brutally by SMU's cert team. My ribs were fractured and I was denied any medical treatment. This happened in June 2012. In January of this year I was assaulted (while in cuffs and shackles) by Lt. Micheal J Kyle, he punched me in my face 5 times with a closed fist. This was retaliation because I reported him for sexual harassment after he showed me his fully exposed penis and told me to "suck it."

Right now there are about 9 prisoners on a hunger strike because of the hardships being placed upon us. We are being deprived of our property without proper due process. We face daily ongoing hardships and abuse such as those described above. Our right to religion is also being violated due to our windows being completely covered, so Muslims cannot determine when to pray and prisoners like me who study all religions cannot receive any religious material for certain religions for reasons they will not share with us.

We are in desperate need of a change!


MIM(Prisons) adds: We are getting a lot of mail from Georgia describing the conditions and the need for struggle and change in prison there, especially from the Diagnostic and Classification prison. This unity among the prisoners, and their outreach work to inform media and work with prison activists are all good signs for this struggle. We look forward to working with these new comrades to build the level of political education and organizing in Georgia so that our fight against the criminal injustice system will win both short term and long term battles.

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[Hunger Strike] [Organizing] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 37]
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Georgia Prisoners on Hunger Strike Since February 9

man behind bars
On 9 February 2014, prisoners at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison Special Management Unit (SMU) lockdown began another hunger strike to protest conditions. The hunger strike is to address abusive conditions, bugs being served in food repeatedly, sexual harassment, sexual assaults, beatings by officers while in handcuffs, being thrown on strip cells without food, feeding prisoners only 1500 calories daily when we are supposed to be given 2800 daily, refusing E-Wing yard call, refusing access to law library, and staff trying to poison prisoners. We are facing threats by staff that if prisoners remain on hunger strike they will die under their watch and it will be covered up.

Prisoners in the Georgia State Prison SMU have had enough of the oppression and decided to take a true stand to fight for our rights. Prisoners in the strike include many of the same prisoners from the 9 December 2010 and 11 June 2012 hunger strikes, and these prisoners are refusing to eat until conditions change.

On 25 January 2014, prisoners received trays at the SMU lockdown with bugs in the food. And after the bugs were pointed out by the prisoners to staff, they were told that either they eat the food or don't eat at all. Then when the prisoners tried to keep the trays to show the proof to the warden they were threatened by the daytime Officer in Charge, that if they didn't give up the trays he was going to suit up with his Correctional Officers and gang rape the prisoners. The prisoners still refused to give up their trays and were threatened again the next day: if they didn't give up the trays they were going to be refused their tray meals for that day. The prisoners had to go two days without eating just to show the warden the bugs in their food. And when the prisoners finally got a chance to show the bugs in the food, the warden only replied that it's nothing but a little bit more meat to add in their chili. This is not the first time that bugs had been served in food, but nothing has been done about this issue. Even though we file grievances, nothing but denials.

These prisoners have even been beaten by staff while in handcuffs. Nothing has been done about these employees' abusive actions. There is a coverup by Warden Bruce Chatman, Deputy Warden June Bishop, Warden of care and treatment William Poinel, Cpt. Micheal Nopen, Lt. Michael J. Kyles, aand even down to medical staff Mary Tsore and mental health staff Mr. Whitmoore.

Georgia prisoners are being denied access to the law library as guaranteed by the Georgia and U.S. law. Prisoners are only allowed two court cases per week to be delivered at their door on a piece of paper, and no books.

Medical staff are refusing to take notice of the hunger strike even though SOP VH47-0002 guarantees strikers health service.

The legal system refuses to respond, grievances are ignored or destroyed, and there is very little that Georgia prisoners can do to fight for their rights. Our only choice is to put our lives in danger by refusing to eat, and plead for some outside support.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The past few years have seen a sharp increase in prisoners using food refusal as a tactic to demand some improvements in conditions. Considering the powerlessness of prisoners, and the complete failure that is the grievance system in many states, it is not a surprise that people feel their only option to demand basic rights is to starve themselves.

We print many reports on these strikes in the pages of Under Lock & Key, and we know this inspires others to learn of similar struggles across the country. But we also encourage everyone to study these actions and learn from their mistakes. In Illinois, prisoners were manipulated by the pigs to end their strike prematurely. In South Carolina lockdown coordination problems ended their strike. In Nebraska prisoners failed to make clear demands and gained nothing after a two day protest. Even in California where prisoner unity is remarkably high, the response to the massive hunger strikes has been little more than lip service and program name changes. We must be prepared for such lack of response from the state with a long view of how to make change.

The underlying lesson in all of these struggles is the need for stronger education and organization before taking action. Greater unity will be achieved through education, and organization will build a solid system of communication and a strong and winnable list of demands. One quick lesson for all: when sending information to the media about your strike include something clear that people on the outside can do to support you. It can be a number to call or place to write to register their support.

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[Abuse] [Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison] [Jenkins Correctional Center] [Georgia]
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False Disciplinary Reports used to Classify Prisoners into SMU

I have been to three prison camps this year alone. This month makes it 18 months that I've been incarcerated. Riverbend was the first prison I went to. After an incident happened between and officer and I, I wrote a grievance on him and there was an ongoing investigation. But before it could get anywhere they transferred me to Jenkins. I was at Jenkins for three weeks before I got transferred. While I was there I had a verbal altercation with an officer and he wrote me up but he exaggerated the incident, so to defend my character I asked his supervisors to review the cameras, but they refused. Then while I was on administrative separation I kept getting written up (about three times) for things that they didn't know who did them. I had a roommate with me at the time and when something went down they wrote us both up instead of finding out who did what.

Now my issue is that all those disciplinary reports (DR) that I got were not investigated, furthermore I didn't get a chance to go to DR court to defend myself. I don't know if you're familiar with the DR process but when you get one, a DR investigator is supposed to meet with you and discuss the incident. Afterwards you can take a plea or go to DR court where you're either found guilty or innocent, and that's the official DR process. These steps were not taken on any of the DRs I got.

After I was transferred from Jenkins I was sent to Jackson State Prison, to a program called Special Management Unit (SMU). When I got here they told me it was a program for prisoners who have a record of assaulting officers and behavior problems. I only have two DRs on my record that were concluded. The disposition for the first was dismissed and I was found not guilty on the second. So with that being said, I feel it was injustice to place me in this program.

Anyways, the most current issue is that I have been here since 23 January 2014 and I have not received any of my property. Recently I've been asking for my mail and writing materials, (i.e. paper, pen, etc) so I can contact my family and my attorney. I've spoke to the unit manager, the Lieutenant, the counselor, and the property manager about this at least twice and not one of them will tell me where my property is or why I haven't gotten them yet. There are several others with the same problem. If anything can be done to get this problem resolved please help.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This trick with the false disciplinary reports, especially on prisoners who write grievances for guard abuses, is common across the criminal injustice system. The campaign demanding that our grievances be addressed needs to be expanded into Georgia so that prisoner's there can take up this organized struggle. We are looking for a prisoner in Georgia who can modify a general grievance petition to the state-specific rules and situation in Georgia. Let us know if you can volunteer and we will send the information.

This is just one example of the system of oppression in this country that puts bad marks on the permanent records of oppressed nation youth starting in grade school. From there they are put into gang databases, given sentences, parole, plea bargains and in prison they receive disciplinary reports, STG status, etc. This is the state-sponsored burueacracy that keep the First World lumpen in its place. They are excluded from the economic system and many other benefits of imperialist society, and these discriminatory and often baseless labels help make it acceptable to the Amerikan public.

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