A list obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows 195 people working for the Georgia Department of Corrections were arrested for crimes related to their jobs between the start of 2020 and June 30, 2022.
Most of the arrested employees are corrections officers, the AJC reports, and 69 of the arrests involved drugs—including a case where two corrections employees allegedly tried to smuggle methamphetamine inside a Hot Pocket.
The list shows that 21 arrests involved a charge of battery, including four employees accused in the beating of a handcuffed man at Rutledge State Prison in Columbus, Georgia, in September 2021, the AJC reports.
A fifth employee accused of beating a person incarcerated at Rutledge in a separate incident is also among the listed arrests.
Nine GDC employees were arrested for sexual assault. The AJC reports that these arrests included four people accused in assaults against people incarcerated at Georgia’s largest women’s prison, Lee Arrendale State Prison.
A teacher at Autry State Prison was also among those arrested for sexual assault against a person in custody, according to the AJC.
In September 2021, even as a Justice Department investigation into sexual violence against lesbian, gay, and transgender people by staff and other incarcerated people was underway, federal prosecutors launched a statewide investigation into Georgia’s failure to adequately protect people from violence in its prisons.
Earlier this month, two of the men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery asked the court sentencing them on federal hate crime charges to keep them in federal custody, citing the extreme violence in Georgia’s prisons. The federal court denied the request.