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I hereby urge you to stop the inhumane and unconstitutional treatment of Mr. Michael Lewis and immediately move him to general population.

This petition had 231 supporters


Dear Commissioner Bryson:

            I hereby urge you to stop the inhumane and unconstitutional treatment of Mr. Michael Lewis, GDC# 950785, currently housed in administrative segregation in the High-Max Facility at the Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia, and immediately move him to general population.

            Mr. Lewis was placed in the High-Max Facility on your order with a security level of “medium.”  He has committed no act and been charged with no violation to justify the upgrade of his status to “high” security. Indeed, Mr. Lewis has been brutally isolated and dehumanized in administrative segregation for three years on the excuse of a “pending investigation.”

            In addition to the inhumanity and unconstitutionality of Mr. Lewis’ treatment and isolation, his confinement in High-Max segregation violates the DOC’s Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”) on the following grounds: he neither committed nor was charged with any violation prior to his isolation, was never given notice of a change in his status to warrant such treatment, and was not given a hearing regarding this extraordinary punishment. Moreover, Mr. Lewis has never received the required periodic review of his segregation.

            Furthermore, in violation of SOP IIB09-0001, the DOC has failed to complete an Assignment Memo outlining the reasons for his initial placement in administrative segregation; failed to document that it held a hearing after assignment or what the findings might have been, including any statements Mr. Lewis would have made at such a hearing and what actions the warden would take subsequently. 

            Thus, Mr. Lewis’s continued isolation not only violates the DOC’s own procedures but also it is illegal. During these last three years, Mr. Lewis has been subjected to atrocious living conditions, including, among other horrors, denial of:

·Regular showers and decent food, taken to showers in leg and wrist shackles, at one point led by a leash like a dog.

·Sunlight, the only window in his cell painted black.

·Time outside his cell, being on lock-down 24-hours a day, in violation of the SOP requiring one hour a day outside the cell in fresh air.

·All contact with the outside world, no mail, no phone calls, no visits, no radio or television.

·Access to the library, and possession of all legal materials, books, paper and writing utensils, thereby also denying him access to the courts.

·Access to money on his books.

·Clothing, his clothes having been removed initially so that he was forced to live without underwear, socks or shoes, and to wear paper clothing and paper shoes for the first two years.  Even though he was only recently given regular clothing, he does not have warm clothing.

·Heat in winter, fan in summer.

·Visits with counselor.

            While there has been some amelioration of conditions, Mr. Lewis continues to suffer gross human rights violations in his long-term isolation, in direct violation of your SOPs, the Georgia Constitution, the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as the “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners” outlined by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.

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