DOJ investigates Georgia prisons after 44 inmates died, LGBT assaulted

The Justice Department on Tuesday launched a sweeping investigation into the Georgia state prison system plagued by extreme staffing shortages and a culture of violence and neglect in which at least 44 inmates have died by homicide since last year.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, chief of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the said the inquiry was sparked by alarming reports of prisoner-on-prisoner attacks, along with prisoner and staff assaults on gay, lesbian and transgender inmates.

The department’s action expands on an existing federal inquiry started in 2016 that had been focused the sexual abuse of LGBT prisoners.

Earlier this month, the Georgia detention system was named in a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging “abysmal” conditions inside solitary confinement wings that have “deteriorated past the point of constitutional crisis.”

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