The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday the launch of an investigation into Georgia prisons over alleged civil rights violations after 26 inmates were killed in state facilities last year.
The focus of the probe is “harm to prisoners resulting from prisoner-on-prisoner violence,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke during a virtual press conference.
“We are also investigating sexual abuse of gay, lesbian and transgender prisoners by prisoners and staff,” Clarke said.
Clarke said that the DOJ’s investigation pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). If the Attorney General finds reasonable cause, CRIPA allows them to take civil action against prisons for violation of the constitutional rights of prisoners.
“Violent assault is not a legal or morally acceptable part of a lawful prison sentence,” said David Estes, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.