Sen. Ossoff launches new inquiry after disturbing jail deaths in Georgia & Indiana
Last Congress, Sen. Ossoff led bipartisan investigations into conditions of incarceration in Georgia & nationwide — uncovering widespread corruption, sexual abuse of women, and failures to count prison & jail deaths
Sen. Ossoff also passed into law bipartisan legislation to strengthen security in Federal prisons
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, Chairman of the Senate Human Rights Subcommittee, is continuing his oversight of conditions of incarceration in Georgia and nationwide.
In his latest effort to protect incarcerated people from human rights abuses, Human Rights Subcommittee Chairman Ossoff launched an inquiry to strengthen oversight of jails and prisons where brutal treatment and other human rights abuses have been reported.
“The Department of Justice has an affirmative obligation to safeguard the civil rights of incarcerated people, whether they are held in Federal, state, or local custody,” Sen. Ossoff wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland. “Additionally, the Federal government provides hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to state and local prisons and jails through an array of grant programs, including through the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance, and thus has the responsibility to oversee the use of those resources.”
Last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other outlets across Georgia reported that 35-year-old Lashawn Thompson died in Fulton County Jail after being held in the facility’s psychiatric wing. According to local reports, Thompson’s body was later found covered in bedbugs and insect bites due to the alleged deplorable conditions in his jail cell.
In the same week, The Guardian reported that 29-year-old Joshua McLemore was found dead in his cell at Jackson County Jail in Indiana after reportedly suffering from malnutrition and dehydration while in solitary confinement at the facility. Newly released surveillance footage — filed as part of a Federal civil rights lawsuit against Jackson County — revealed that Mr. McLemore was left naked and starving in solitary confinement for nearly three weeks with no medical attention, which reports said led to multiple organ failure and his death.
Last Congress, Sen. Ossoff led substantial bipartisan oversight of the Department of Justice and led multiple bipartisan investigations into corruption, abuse, and misconduct in U.S. prisons and jails.
Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan investigations uncovered corruption, abuse, and misconduct at U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta; nearly 1,000 uncounted deaths in prisons and jails across the country; and widespread sexual abuse of women in Federal prisons nationwide.
Sen. Ossoff also passed into law bipartisan legislation to upgrade security in Federal prisons.
Click here to read Sen. Ossoff’s inquiry.