Georgia Department of Corrections
Brian Owens, Commissioner
Director of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (478) 992-5248
STATE OF GEORGIA
For Immediate Release
Forsyth - On the evening of Monday, November 21, 2011, two dorms at Telfair State Prison in Helena were placed on lockdown after a fight involving inmates. Three inmates were taken to the hospital and two are in stable condition. One staff member suffered a minor leg injury. The Department of Corrections is thoroughly investigating this incident.
The Department of Corrections firmly believes illegal cell phones were the cause of this fight. "This incident brings to light the serious dangers of cell phones in our prison system," said Commissioner Brian Owens. "Every day we fight the battle of keeping cell phones and other contraband out of our facilities. While some believe supplying an inmate with a cell phone is useful to contact family and friends, in most cases, the opposite is proven. Inmates are using cell phones to commit additional crimes and carry out gang activity. This incident also illustrates the physical dangers of cell phones in prisons. By supplying an inmate with a cell phone, the safety of everyone at the facility is jeopardized,” added Owens.
Georgia law prohibits inmates from possessing telecommunications devices inside Correctional facilities. It is also illegal for anyone to give an inmate a telecommunications device. The sentence for violating or attempting to violate this law is imprisonment for not less than one (1) nor more than five (5) years. The Department of Corrections is committed to identifying and pursuing prosecution of those persons who attempt to introduce contraband into state facilities.
The Department of Corrections is the fifth largest prison system in the United States and is responsible for supervising nearly 60,000 state prisoners and over 150,000 probationers. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 12,000 employees.