Dekalb County Jail Intentionally Conceals Human Rights Violations, Says Inmate

By: Atlanta Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
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* Prison

* Government

* Decatur - Georgia - US

DECATUR, Ga. - May 23, 2019 - PRLog -- On Wednesday, a volunteer with the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) received a phone call from Samuel McCollum, an inmate in Dekalb County Jail. McCollum stated that his repeated efforts to file formal complaints about human rights violations have been ignored, and that jail authorities are intentionally deceiving the public about the inhumane conditions inside.

A coalition that includes IWOC and the Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross has been organizing demonstrations outside the jail to protest the abusive conditions inside. During the demonstrations, organizers used a bullhorn to announce a phone number to prisoners, asking them to call and inform organizers about conditions inside the jail.

McCollum was one of the first to call the number, since he had been trying for months to communicate to the outside world about the abusive conditions he has observed and experienced within the jail.

In addition to filing numerous official complaints through the jail grievance system, McCollum has attempted to send letters to the Georgia Health Department, to a lawyer, and to Fox 5 News ( McCollum says he does not know whether his letters were delivered.

In his letter to the media, McCollum expressed concern that county authorities are hiding the severity of conditions from the public eye. He wrote, "When anyone is allowed into this facility, they do not get a chance to see the areas of the jail that are most affected by the abuses (7th and 8th floors)...They are taken to a clean, staged area, and if they get to speak to an inmate, it will be from a group that has been pre-selected and is fearful of some sort of retaliation by the jail's administrators (Like being moved to the 7th or 8th floors)."

Also on Wednesday, representatives from NAACP Dekalb County branch were invited to tour Dekalb County Jail facilities to observe potential human rights violations. Fox 5 reported that the NAACP members toured the jail kitchen, housing area, and medical unit, and that they stated they were "satisfied" with what they observed during the tour.

It is unknown whether NAACP was able to observe conditions on the 7th or 8th floors.

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