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Governor Urged to Investigate Inmate Beating


January 1st, 2011

Governor Sonny Perdue
State Capitol
Atlanta Georgia 30334

Governor Nathan Deal
State Capitol
Atlanta Georgia 30334

On behalf of Green Party supporters across the state of Georgia, we write to inquire about the condition of Terrance Dean (GDC ID: 0001194267) who was reportedly beaten by prison employees at Macon State Prison on or about December 16th. We have made past appeals urging that DoC officials choose negotiations with rather than retribution for striking inmates, and take steps to meet their very reasonable demands that the human rights of Georgia inmates be respected.

Reports conveyed by the families of other inmates held at Macon State Prison and other sources suggest that Mr. Dean was assaulted by state employees in the aftermath of the inmate sit down strike. His injuries necessitated that he be transported from Oglethorpe Georgia to the Atlanta Medical Center. The Department of Corrections failed to notify his family. When family members and advocates finally discovered that we was in Atlanta and attempted to visit with him that they were denied that opportunity and denied any information as to Mr. Dean's condition. The DoC website now lists him as being held at the Georgia Diagnostic Center in Jackson Georgia.

Ignoring concerns of a broken arm at the Augusta Prison, Assistant Commissioner Schofield of the Corrections Department assured the Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoner Rights at a December 17th meeting that "It was peaceful on their side and on our side." But now we learn that the day before, Mr. Dean was injured by prison officials and spirited away incommunicado.

We write:

(1) to ask that Terrance Dean's medical condition and the circumstances which led to his hospitalization be made known;

(2) to ask why Mr. Dean's family was not notified by the state of his condition;

(3) to ask that you launch an investigation into whether the DoC's apparent efforts to conceal his condition rises to the level of a criminal conspiracy;

(4) to inquire as to the names and welfare of the Georgia-37, the thirty-seven inmates identified by DoC investigators as 'instigators' of the stop-work action, who have been subjected to administrative segregation and transported to the facilities at Jackson, Reidsville and Washington;

(5) to urge continued cooperation with our Coalition's fact finding efforts to untangle what is happening in the prisons which led to the strike;

(6) to underscore our previous plea that the DoC respond with negotiations not retribution to the non-violent sit down strike by Georgia inmates; and

(7) to remind your administration that the state's responsibility for the 'custody, care and control' of those committed to state institutions by the judiciary includes a responsibility to protect the human rights of those inmates.

Most inmates under the care of the Department of Corrections will one day return to our communities. Whether they do so through a revolving door of recidivism depends partly on whether the authority and resources of our state are used to model respect for human rights.

We look forward to your response to our questions above.

Sincerely,

Adam Shapiro, CoChair
Hugh Esco, Secretary
Al Herman, Treasurer