From: SF Bay View
December 6, 2011
by Eugene Thomas
Written Nov. 28, 2011 – On Nov. 25, Hancock State Prison in Sparta, Georgia, erupted into a full scale riot, as prisoners ran off the guards in several of the cell houses (euphemistically called dormitories, as though this was a college campus) in protest over abuses by guards and grievances unresolved by administrators.
[photo: Prisoners donned guards’ jackets after the guards fled]
On Nov. 25, at about 9:45 p.m. EST, while I was in a political education class with Sis. Kiilu Nyasha, a report came in that Hancock State Prison’s prisoners were rioting. Not knowing whether this report was true – or at least an accurate representation of the facts – I began doing some investigative work. And to my amazement, Hancock’s prisoner populace was indeed in full riot – or revolt.
I was told by a comrade there that the spark that ignited this fire was a young female guard calling the prisoners there “bitches and hoes.”
These verbal abuses and disrespect caused this female guard to be “run out of the cell house.” It’s reported that she called for emergency backup, which is standard policy. The team of officers that came as backup were likewise “run out the cell house.”
All the guards were told by their supervisor to leave the prison compound, so that no officers would be present when the State Troopers stormed the compound. I’m told that from 6 o’clock in the evening until about 2 o’clock in the morning, no guard was working on the inside compound grounds.
Prisoners thus set several of the module living units on fire and donned guards’ jackets, danced, sang and celebrated. At around 3 or 4 a.m., State Troopers and local police took back the prison while the local fire department put out the blaze. Prisoners have warned, “This is only the beginning.”
As I write this, I’ve learned that five prisons are locked down. They are Ware, Hancock, Telfair, Valdosta and Smith state prisons. Mind you these were five of the major prisons that participated in last year’s Dec. 9 protest.
Dec. 9 is just around the corner. It’s been almost one full year – and no changes to date.
Tupac said it best in his song, “Changes.” He said, “They didn’t listen until my niggas burned it down.”
If rioting gets the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the state of Georgia General Assembly and the racist, unjust judiciary to listen, then I say, as H. Rap Brown (now Imam Jamil Al-Amin) said back in the day, “Burn, baby, burn!”
Send our brother some love and light: Eugene Thomas, 671488, G-2-148, Autry State Prison, P.O. Box 648, Pelham GA 31779.
Here is what the Atlanta JC newspaper writes:
Dec 1st 2011
Inmates set fires in Georgia prison fight
Guards briefly lost control of a part of an east Georgia prison after a series of fights broke out and rampaging inmates destroyed dormitories, set fire to furniture and broke into an administration office, according to prison records.
The fighting at Hancock State Prison in Sparta on Friday left 12 inmates injured, including one who was stabbed multiple times in the back. Two inmates suffered injuries so severe they had to be airlifted to nearby hospitals. No guards were hurt in the violence, which wasn’t quelled until backup units arrived.
Details of the fight were obtained by The Associated Press through an Open Records request. Prison officials did not immediately return calls seeking additional comment on Thursday.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kristen Stancil has said the fighting was gang-related and was organized using cellphones smuggled illegally into the prison, a facility with about 1,500 beds that houses many violent prisoners serving long sentences.
Much of the fighting took place in a medium-security tent city on prison grounds that houses about 250 inmates in tents that have solid walls, similar to military tents. Several assaults were also reported in the main prison. No inmates attempted to escape, and the names of the injured inmates or those involved in the fighting were not disclosed.
The report documented a frenetic situation, with simultaneous fights in different parts of the facility.
Read the rest here.
Note: how were these cellphones smuggled inside?
Here is the story about Smith State Prison as told in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Inmate killed in third prison system incident in a week
Nov 29th, 2011
An inmate was killed at Smith State Prison Monday but prison officials said it was not part of a wider disturbance.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kristin Stansil would not say how the inmate, whose name was not released, was killed.
No officers or other inmates were hurt, she said Tuesday.
All details were being withheld because “it’s all part of our investigation,” Stansil said. She said she did not know when the internal investigation would be completed.
Smith State Prison is a high-security prison in Glennville, west of Savannah, that holds more than 1,350 men.
The incident at Smith was the third in a week in the prison system, which has already put several institutions on heightened alert or lockdown because of inmate violence.
Over the weekend 12 inmates were hospitalized because of injuries suffered in a gang fight Friday night at Hancock State Prison in Sparta. The disturbance started in temporary structures where 250 medium-security inmates are housed, but it quickly spread to the main facility where violent inmates with long sentences are held.
On Nov. 21, a guard was injured and three inmates were hospitalized after a fight at Telfair State Prison in South Georgia.
Prison officials have said inmates are fighting each other over cellphones that are smuggled in.
But inmates who called The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday said the disturbances are only being coordinated with the help of cellphones and are protests of new prison rules.
Here is the third story, reported on Nov 22nd 2011 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Telfair prison locked down after large fight
Authorities say two of the dormitories at Telfair State Prison in south Georgia were on lockdown after a large fight Monday night.
Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan tells WMAZ-TV (http://on.wmaz.com/uKvS1a ) that three inmates were taken to the hospital, but their conditions were not available.
Hogan said no staff members were injured and no inmates escaped.
She said investigators were at the prison late Monday night and the prison was under control. Hogan says no other information about the fight was available.
Officials from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office say their agency was called to help quell the disturbance.
Information from: WMAZ-TV, http://www.wmaz.com/