A gang of inmates at Georgia’s second-largest prison for women has committed brutal acts of violence by intimidating and taking advantage of an understaffed security detail, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The attacks at the Pulaski State Prison over several months include at least three sexual assaults. Some incidents have been motivated by gang members' desire to extort money and resources from fellow inmates, while others have occurred in gang initiation rituals. Some gang members forced other inmates to call their family members and instruct them to pay them via CashApp. The gang, called the Bloods, has committed racially-motivated attacks on Latina inmates. The Georgia Department of Corrections has declined to comment. The agency insists that allegations of sexual assault are "investigated thoroughly" as required by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act. The corrections department has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice since September. The DOJ's is focusing on a rise in inmate-on-inmate violence in Georgia, which has led to 57 homicides in the past two years.
Pulaski State Prison has been hit hard by staffing shortages caused by COVID-19. It advertises 14 job openings, more than any other Georgia facility. Inmates say that this has caused the staff to lose control over gang activity and decline to investigate assaults. In some cases, inmates said that the guards declined to prevent imminent attacks because they believed that they would be outnumbered. Some gang members have been charged in attacks and transferred to other facilities, but some have been transferred back to the prison where the gang problem is said to have started. Some of the victimized inmates' family members have begun to blow the whistle. Regina McClary's mother started a Change.org petition after her daughter's ear was partially severed in an attack.