A warning letter sent to the Lee Arrendale State Prison by the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) enumerates several claims of inhumane treatment against women incarcerated at the Habersham prison. This is the second warning letter the SCHR has sent to the prison.
Some of the accusations include women contracting bacterial infections from contaminated water, not receiving meals, being given food labeled “not fit for human consumption,” and becoming ill from mold infestation.
The most disturbing and graphic allegations the SCHR has raised are those surrounding postpartum care at the prison. The letter notes multiple cases in which new mothers did not receive the medical attention they needed, including lack of access to medication, hygiene, mental health services and postoperative care.
“Some women who have just given birth are sometimes sent to Arrendale wearing clothing soaked with afterbirth fluid and blood and not given clean clothes for days on end,” the SCHR says in a press release. “One mother was forced to remove her own vaginal stitches with a toenail clipper after developing an infection that was left untreated, despite her repeated and frantic requests for medical attention.”
While Lee Arrendale State Prison Warden Murray Tatum has not responded to either of the SCHR’s letters, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) says they are aware of the allegations.
“The GDC is aware of the letter from SCHR outlining their allegations regarding Lee Arrendale State Prison,” says GDC Office of Public Affairs Director Joan Heath in an email to Now Habersham. “If these allegations are found to be factual, they will be addressed appropriately.”
The SCHR says it will continue to stay in contact with the women who are incarcerated at the prison as they work to further advocate on their behalf.