Sheriff Mann Should Meet With Prisoners, Not Protesters

By: Atlanta Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
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* Decatur - Georgia - US

DECATUR, Ga. - May 8, 2019 - PRLog -- On Monday, May 6, Dekalb Sheriff Jeffrey Mann sent a letter to Meg Dudukovich of the Atlanta Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, inviting her to meet with him regarding abusive conditions in Dekalb County Jail. IWOC has organized several protests outside the jail in response to messages from people incarcerated in the jail that went viral on social media in mid-April. Prisoners sent pictures of themselves with messages written on styrofoam plates that read "Please help, we dying" and "Dekalb Jail is mistreating us." The prisoners report they've been given moldy, inedible food and refused medical care.

Sheriff Mann claimed in his letter that IWOC has not filed any formal complaints about the abuses, and he invited an IWOC representative to meet with him privately, with no witnesses and no electronic or recording devices present.

But Dudukovich and other members of IWOC feel that Mann's invitation is misplaced, and they do not plan to meet with him. "We aren't the ones he needs to meet with, because we aren't experiencing the abuse," says Dudukovich.

Adele MacLean, another IWOC organizer, believes the sheriff's goal is to stop the protests, not solve the issues. "Mann already knows about the mold and the physical abuse, but the problems have continued," she states. "He needs to meet with the incarcerated people publicly, and he needs to end the mistreatment his guards are inflicting as reprisal for their complaints."

Organizers are concerned that prisoners who have reported issues face severe retaliation from guards. Malaya Tucker, the mother of one of the prisoners who sent pictures, says her son Darnell Thompson was physically attacked by guards, placed in solitary confinement, and cut off from all communication because of the messages he sent about conditions inside the jail. "I haven't been able to talk with him for weeks," she says. "I don't want my son to die in there."

Tucker also states that her attempts to lodge a formal complaint about her son's living conditions were ignored.

Protests were held outside the jail on April 12 and 19. The next rally is planned for May 15 at 6:30 pm, when protesters will meet at Kensington MARTA station and march to the jail.

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