“Things seem to be spiraling out of control,” said Sarah Geraghty, a senior staff attorney for the Southern Center for Human Rights, an Atlanta-based legal advocacy group. “We are seeing mass chaos, essentially, in many of the prisons.”
Homicides have spiked in Georgia prisons, which are overcrowded and understaffed, as have reports of violence and abuse, Geraghty said. The Southern Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit in 2011 against against the state, alleging systematic brutality by guards at another facility, Hays State Prison.
A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections declined to comment on the Dean case, or on conditions at Macon, citing the FBI’s ongoing investigation, and did not respond to questions about the overall condition of Georgia prisons. Hall’s attorney did not respond to messages requesting comment. Attempts to reach him directly were unsuccessful.