A Report and Lawsuit Expose Harrowing Conditions in a Georgia Prison…


Date: August 08, 2018

01) Could This Be the Worst Solitary Confinement Unit in the Nation?

Thanks to feinmann0!

Community Submitted

“Dr. Craig Haney has investigated the psychological effects of prison conditions for more than 40 years, and has spent time in dozens of supermax prisons and solitary confinement units. But the conditions in the Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison’s solitary confinement facility, the Special Management Unit (SMU)—where incarcerated men swallow hacksaw blades and their own feces and urine in desperation, and the air is filled with “a cacophony of prisoner screams and cries for help”—may be the most atrocious he has ever encountered.

“It is one of the harshest and most draconian such facilities I have seen in operation, anywhere in the country,” Haney wrote in an expert report after touring the SMU and conducting anonymous interviews with individuals confined there. Made public in full earlier this month, Haney’s report was originally submitted this May as evidence in an ongoing class-action lawsuit. The suit was originally filed pro se in February 2015 by Timothy Gumm, who was later joined by plaintiffs Robert Watkins and Johnny Mack Brown.

The plaintiffs claim that they and others in the 192-bed unit have been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and denied due process by current and former officials at the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC), Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison, and the SMU. Within just one year of Gumm’s initial filing, a striking 11 cases with similar fact patterns and claims were submitted to the same U.S. District Court. The men in the SMU are now represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights with pro bono support from the Atlanta-based firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.”


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