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Southern Center for Human Rights: #6 Expert-Identified Nonprofit in National Criminal Justice

November 30th, 2011 by dawn Leave a reply »

Today we honor the #6 expert-identified nonprofit: Southern Center for Human Rights. Read about how they brought an end to the violence at Arrendale State Prison and protect the human rights of the vulnerable people there:


Too often, prison administrators tolerate high levels of violence of their facilities, excusing it as an inevitable consequence of life in prison.  That was the case at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Georgia.  For years, Arrendale was a violent and troubled institution.  Dangerously understaffed, the facility housed the youngest and most vulnerable prisoners, including children sentenced in adult court.  Rapes, stabbings, chokings, and beatings with locks, broomsticks, trash cans and other objects left many of these young people with severe head injuries, lacerations, bruises, broken teeth and other physical injuries as well as severe psychological trauma.


The violence at Arrendale resulted in the death of Wayne Boatwright, Jr.  The 18-year old youth was raped and strangled to death in February 2004.  He had written to his grandmother desperately asking her to intervene with prison officials because of his fear of being raped.  His grandmother and father contacted prison officials asking that he be protected.  It was to no avail.  In the six months following Wayne’s death, the Southern Center documented over fifty further violent incidents, including rapes, stabbings, and beatings by officers.


The Southern Center for Human Rights and King & Spalding LLP brought the unconstitutional conditions at Arrendale to the attention of the federal court.  Courageous family members of the young men at Arrendale spoke out at a legislative hearing on the troubled prison.  Under pressure from the court and the Legislature, the Department of Corrections closed Arrendale, moved the men to other facilities, and created a special unit for vulnerable people under age 21.  (Arrendale was later re-opened as a women’s facility).


(Read more here:

The Southern Center for Human Rights is praised highly by experts as one of the most influential non-profits in the nation working to improve prison conditions, provide adequate legal representation to indigent defendants, and reduces the use of capital punishment as a response to crime. To learn more about Southern Center for Human Rights and their impact, read more expert reviews here.


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