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Group calls for inquiry into Hays State Prison 'violence and security lapses'

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Hays State Prison as seen from behind the Guard Line in Trion, GA. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press Hays State Prison as seen from behind the Guard Line in Trion, GA. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press

TRION, GA (Times Free Press) -- An Atlanta-based advocacy group is calling for an outside expert to examine what it calls the "unacceptable level of violence and security lapses" at Hays State Prison and other Georgia facilities in light of three recent killings at Hays.

In its letter dated Jan. 31, the Southern Center for Human Rights said it has received daily calls and letters from family members of prisoners who have been injured at Hays and other Georgia facilities. The center has been told that cell doors have remained broken, stabbings and beatings have been routine and gangs are in control of where inmates sleep at the maximum-security prison in Trion, Ga.

"We can't tolerate this level of trauma in prisons," said Sarah Geraghty, a senior attorney for the center who signed the letter sent to Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens.

"We can't eliminate all prison violence, but we can certainly take steps to do it," Geraghty said Monday in an interview. "The department has failed thus far."

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.


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