State pays civil rights group for trying to overcharge for… | www.myajc.com

11
May

State pays civil rights group for trying to overcharge for… | www.myajc.com

The Georgia Department of Corrections has agreed to hand over 1,000 pages of documents the Southern Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit to obtain, and to pay the civil rights group’s legal fees. The center had sued to force the department to provide records about inmate deaths and broken locks at a northwest Georgia prison.

DOC had first said the cost of producing records would be $250,000 paid in advance: $80,000 for records concerning the deaths of two inmates, $90,000 for records about broken locks on cell doors at Hays State Prison and $80,000 for reports on security audits. Corrections said the cost was so high because it would take over 31,000 business hours to fulfill the requests, the equivalent of 15 years of work for a person working eight hours per day, 50 weeks per year — for every employee to search their records and emails for the information SCHR wanted.

Sara Geraghty, an attorney with the Southern Center, said the lawsuit was dismissed. The cost of the 1,000 pages was deducted from the SCHR’s legal expenses, which meant the state sent it a check for $9,000.

“We applaud the fact that the department and the attorney general decided to resolve this so quickly,” Geraghty said.

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