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USP Atlanta Locked Down

Prisoners at U.S.P. Atlanta are now on lockdown and are seeking assistance of counsel - pro bono - to represent their interests in litigation against the BOP and warden Willie Scott.

On Thursday, January 18, 1996, a guard working in the education department was stabbed during an altercation between himself and one prisoner. The guard was taken to Grady Memorial hospital, treated for minor injuries and released.

Warden Scott immediately placed the penitentiary on lockdown. He has subsequently indicated that the population will remain on lockdown for thirty days. This lockdown comes only 30 days after the last lockdown, which started in October when a number of federal joints rioted after Congress voted not to eliminate the 100/1 crack cocaine-powdered cocaine sentencing disparity.

This current lockdown, however, is not associated with any institutional "security" concerns. Warden Scott is fully cognizant of the fact that this incident was an individual act of violence. It was not gang related or a precursor to a riot. The individual [allegedly] responsible was immediately apprehended, placed in SHU and will be subject to both BOP and criminal prosecutions as punishment.

This lockdown has been implemented for the sole purpose of mass punishment. Prisoners at this facility were warned by prison officials to expect this type of retaliatory action and that the general population would be punished along with the responsible prisoner.

Telephone and visiting privileges have been suspended and contact with the community is limited to censored correspondence only. This type of tyranny has been deemed unconstitutional in federal courts and should not be allowed to continue. Legal assistance is greatly needed.

-- J.S., USP Atlanta

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