Sixteen corrections officers at a northwest Georgia prison have either quit or are transferring as a new warden is set to begin duty. Some guards say they're not confident new security measures will keep them safe when a partial lockdown is lifted at the prison. The security upgrades were implemented in the wake of four inmate deaths.
Authorities say charges have been filed against a north Georgia woman and her teenage son who are accused of trying to provide prison inmates with cellphones. Police say they threw a bag of cell phones and chargers over a fence at the Augusta State Medical Prison in mid-May.
The Georgia Department of Corrections is moving more than a dozen prison officials. The changes affect prisons across the state but are being called routine. The Department has named eight new wardens, six new deputy wardens and two new superintendents in a total of 13 facilities.
Corrections commissioner Brian Owens sounded off Wednesday about an "epidemic" in illegal cellphones smuggled into Georgia's prisons. Owens told lawmakers that prison officials confiscated more than 8,500 phones in state prisons over the last 18 months.
State officials said illegal cell phones inside the Telfair State Prison were the cause of a large fight Monday night that led to three inmates being taken to a hospital and two of the dormitories being locked down. Georgia Department of Corrections officials said the disturbance brings to light the serious dangers of cell phones in Georgia's prison system.
Prisoners at Hays, Macon, Telfair, and Smith state prisons placed on lockdown Thursday when the department of corrections learned of a coordinated strike effort . Officials say the lockdowns will continue until an internal security review is complete.