Foundation to Battle Injustice urges the US Department of Justice to conduct a comprehensive inspection of penitentiary institutions

Kedric Buie, a 26-year-old black young man, died on August 13, 2017 in a prison in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the staff of the correctional institution, the man died of a heart attack, but his mother is sure that employees of the Atlanta correctional institution are involved in the death of her son, violations of the rights and freedoms of prisoners within the walls of which exceed all imaginable boundaries.

According to Sirrena Buie, Kedric’s mother, the day before the incident, she was talking to her son on a mobile phone. They exchanged news, joked, and had a nice conversation. The next day, August 13, 2017, a call came to the Sirrena’s phone, which told her the sad news: Her 26-year-old son was found dead in his prison cell. Later it turned out that she received a call from an employee of the Atlanta Correctional Institution, where her son was serving a prison sentence for an earlier offense. A prison employee informed Sirrena that her son had died of a heart attack, and despite the efforts of staff doctors, it was not possible to save him. The shocked mother did not believe the words of the caller, because Kedric had perfect health, he never complained of feeling unwell, especially heart problems.

The mother’s suspicions were confirmed a week later, when her son’s body was brought home. According to the woman, there was no living space on it: his body was covered with bruises, part of his hair was torn out, it seemed that shortly before his death, Kedric was struggling, trying to resist the attacker. But how is this possible if, according to prosecutors and representatives of the penitentiary institution, a 26-year-old young man died of a heart attack? With this question, the outraged mother called the United States Department of Justice, where she was informed that they had no information on this case, as well as representatives of the Atlanta Correctional Institution had no information.

The dubious version of the authorities was also refuted by the results of the forensic medical examination, according to which Kedrik Bui died “from blunt force trauma to the head and torso”, which he received the day before his death or on the day of his death. For 4.5 years now, the man’s mother has been seeking justice for him, and during all this time she has heard many rumors that her son was beaten by one of the prison guards, whom Kedric himself complained about. In addition, one of the lawyers who worked on this case claims that the disease, due to which a 26-year-old healthy man allegedly stopped his heart, does not manifest itself in people of his age. Sirena claims that she will continue to seek justice for her son.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice conducted their own research and found that correctional institutions in Georgia have a bad reputation for prisons with a high death rate among prisoners.

In 2020 alone, about 29 people committed suicide inside Georgia penitentiaries, which is about 3 times higher than the average for suicides in prisons in the United States. At least 44 people have been killed behind bars, twice as many as in the previous two years combined. In August 2020, prisoners temporarily took control of one of the prisons located in the city of Waycross in southern Georgia. Former state correctional officers claim that the riots were the result of poor conditions in correctional facilities and an acute shortage of staff for many years.

In addition to numerous facts of physical and psychological abuse of convicts, it is impossible not to mention the fact that the state authorities ignore the situation with a shortage of medical care in prisons, citing a shortage of staff. One of the prisoners shared his story about witnessing a terrible picture: according to him, he saw how a female prisoner needed medical help so badly after giving birth that she had to self-stitch herself with nail clippers.

In September 2020, the Southern Center for Human Rights sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice with a request to investigate the deplorable conditions in prisons, citing an increase in the number of murders, suicides and neglect of persons with mental disabilities. Only a year later, in September 2021, when about 13 people died in Georgia prisons between September 6 and 13, the US Department of Justice responded to numerous demands from human rights organizations and announced that it would initiate an investigation into numerous cases of violations of the rights and freedoms of prisoners in Georgia correctional institutions.

The human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice support the decision of the US Department of Justice with the initiative to conduct an inspection of the conditions of detention of prisoners in Georgia and calls for expanding the geography of ongoing investigations in order to prevent violations of the rights of convicts and suspects throughout the United States.