The tables have turned on four Georgia Corrections officers who routinely abused and brutalized inmates after the four were found guilty today of viciously beating a handcuffed inmate and then concealing the beating by playing dumb on how he received his injuries. No report of the beating was ever filed.
Lt. Geary Staten, 31, Sergeant Patrick Sharpe, 30, and Deputy Correctional Officers Brian Ford, 25, and Jamal Scott, 35, were sentenced to terms ranging from one year to four years in federal prison for their roles in the 2018 attack on a prisoner at Valdosta State Prison.
Prosecutors alleged that Sharpe, Ford and Scott took the inmate, who wasn’t identified, to a yard on the prison grounds and gave him a beat down in retaliation for a previous incident with a different CO. Prison conditions and inmate treatment have at Valdosta State Prison have been the subject of several investigations undertaken by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
The Justice Department’s probe has also been expanded to take a look at violence committed by other inmates and on whether the Georgia Department of Corrections was doing enough to ensure that LGBTQ inmates were being protected from sexual assault by other inmates and staff at the facilities.
Earlier this summer the Atlanta Daily World reported on a “pay for protection” scheme at the Fulton County jail, resulting in the release of an inmate featured in the story.
Georgia has 47 state prisons accounting for nearly 47,000 inmates, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.