Georgia’s Hays State Prison sees exodus of guards; violence feared when inmate lockdown ends | timesfreepress.com

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Jul

Georgia’s Hays State Prison sees exodus of guards; violence feared when inmate lockdown ends | timesfreepress.com

When a fourth Hays State Prison inmate was killed in February, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal knew something had to be done.

Warden Clay Tatum was removed and a new leader was put in place.

Rick Jacobs, then the state’s field operations manager for Northwest Georgia, assumed command before inmate Pippa Hall-Jackson could even be buried.

Five months and $2 million later, tougher security measures are in place at the Trion, Ga., prison for the most violent offenders, a new locking system has been installed and guards have stab-proof vests and soon will be armed with pepper spray.

And Jacobs cited these changes as reasons that Hays should become the model for the Georgia prison system.

But guards fear this new sense of order isn’t going to last.

As a result, they are resigning at a rate not seen since inmates attacked two prison guards 18 months ago.

The latest exodus began in June, around the time the Department of Corrections announced that Jacobs would be promoted and Walker State Prison Warden Scott Crickmar would replace him, effective Monday.

In the past three weeks, 16 officers gave their notices, quit or were transferred to another facility. That’s twice the number who left Hays per month on average over the past year.

Some guards said they fear the worst when the partial lockdown that has been in place prisonwide since Jacobs took over is finally lifted.

via Georgia’s Hays State Prison sees exodus of guards; violence feared when inmate lockdown ends | timesfreepress.com.

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