Monday, December 15, 2008

Advocates Call For Investigation at Pa Prisons

Advocates for prisoners want the FBI to investigate allegations of abuse inside state Department of Corrections facilities. The Human Rights Coalition and Fight for Lifers West say they have more than 100 pages worth of reports from prisoners.

Bret Grote with the Human Rights Coalition says they want the FBI to focus on allegations from one inmate in particular: Michael Edwards. Grote says prison guards at the State Correctional Institution-Fayette placed photographs of lynchings inside Edwards' solitary confinement cell in retaliation for a lawsuit he was preparing. Grote says several prisoners have alleged that solitary confinement is used to punish inmates who try to expose wrongdoings in the corrections system.

Grote acknowledges that questions about inmate credibility can make this type of advocacy difficult. But he says the documentation his group has collected over the last 15 months suggests a pattern of human rights violations.

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