Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009--A Living Testimony on Inhumane Conditions in Valdosta/Lowndes County Jail, Georgia (What a Former Inmate Wants you to know)

A Living Testimony On The Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail “LOWNDES COUNTY GEORGIA”
(By: George B. Rhynes on Former Inmate Johnny C. Parker)[July 17, 20, 2009, 3:45 P.M., 4:00, ---4,239 Words]

Interview Site: South Side Library, 527 Griffin Avenue, Valdosta, Georgia 31606, (Phone Number. (229-253-8313)

Date and Time of Interview: July 17, 2009 3:45 pm

Person Being Interviewed: Former inmate, Johnny C. Parker, 3521 McDougal Lane, Valdosta, Georgia 31606, (Phone Number 229-375-6270, 220-247-8833, 229-333-0544)

Person Conducting Interview: George Boston Rhynes, Phone Number, 229-251-8645, and Rev. Floyd E. Rose, 229-444-1938.

Witness Name: Withheld but available upon request for legal purposes

Introduction to Interview: I have a former Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail Inmate here that was referred to me by Rev. Floyd Rose, President of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). G.B.R.

Special Instructions: George is asking the questions under the heading

Then Mr. Parker responds under the heading RESPONSE.

So please keep in mind that this is not a new problem in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Georgia but ONE our elected officials have allowed to exist for decades.

Turn the page and begin reviewing or “click attachment link above”

“Former Jail Inmate
Interview between George and Mr. Parker”


1. QUESTION: MR. PARKER, where are you from? Valdosta Georgia? Why did you call me today? What do you want the people of Valdosta-Lowndes County to know?

RESPONSE: Well, I talked to Rev. Floyd Rose about the problem I had with my probation. I was supposed to be off December 26, 2008 but then the judge told me I was off. Then he went back and he said I was not off until December 26, 2009, and that was it. And I did not get any justice from that ---OK.

2. QUESTION: That is one issue. I understand that you have a second issue right?

RESPONSE: Yea, the living conditions in the old prison, the old black folks prison when they closed it down. Windows broke out, too many people in the rooms, violation of over crowded, one fan, windows barred up, video cameras that are supposed to be watching inmates do not work.

If a fight break out no body would know about it because there is no guards around. They don’t come around like they are suppose to, no water in there, sink don’t work. They have water coolers in each room. The inmates go in and get ice with their hands, inmates drinking human feces and pee because you can’t wash your hands. You can’t take a shower, no sanitation going on in there.

The gentleman they got coming in there will spray, but they will take mop bucket and fill it up with a cleaning solution and clean the whole cell. That one-bucket can’t clean the cell up like that, if you clean three (3) rooms you need to change the mop water. They treat you like dogs in there and the heating and air condition is terrible, windows been broken out to my knowledge since 1971, and they have never replaced them. They place plastic up during the winter times. I know the windows were broken out for that long. I worked for the county during the time when Patrick was the Warden over the prison. This is when they had the work release.

The gentlemen came from TROOPEVILLE in work release. Then me and two of my friends---- use to walk in the old prison and a couple of them broke some windows out and those same windows are still broken out today. They got metal plates and where you walk by the jail cell 10, and cell 11; they got metal plates on it. NOW: If a fight break out nobody would know nothing about it and a person could get KILLED in there, because no Sheriffs Deputy is walking around in there and there is no way to monitor inmates in Cell 10 or in none of those cells in the Old Prison. They need to do something about that because somebody is going to get killed in there. If they are going to do it like that they need to have a guard there and a monitor to monitor the inmates in the Old Lowndes County Jail Part.

The NEW PRISON, I mean the new jail that has no bathroom, is worst than that, that is they don’t have no water. The bathroom doesn’t work. They lock you up and you can’t use the toilet, they got two of three showers, and leaches and stuff in there, no sanitation like it should be. I would go to hell, excuse my English than be in lock-up in that jail. If I got to go back to do some time in that Lowndes County Jail. I wish they would send me somewhere else; because a dog should not live like that. You know people do interviews on Pit Bulls humane living conditions on how dogs live----but won’t do nothing about human beings.

We are human beings in the (Valdosta- Lowndes County Jail (VLCJ) and be treated like we are treated. We can’t use no phone to call a bondsman. They got that locked up. They check our mail because…

3. QUESTION: Excuse me! What do you mean they check your personal mail? I read a Court Order and Consent Decree by Judge Hugh Lawson Civil Action 1989-54-VAL in 1989, and the Judge ruled in June 1997 that that particular item should be fixed in that jail within two years. The order stated that a deputy must open inmate’s personal mail in your presents. Do you mean to tell me? That this violation is still going on in the jail. Talk to me…

RESPONSE: Yea! I can prove it. My daughter deceased now sent me a letter written I red ink. They sent it back to Jacksonville Florida. They took the money order that she sent me. Every bit of mail sent out in of that jail, you cannot seal it, unless it is legal mail. And when you get your mail, it will be opened, and if you get to many pictures in there. They allow you so many pictures in the letter, and they are going to take them out and send them back and that is not right.

4. QUESTION: Let me ask you another question. How is the medical facility and treatment at the jail? I get lots of complaints; could you tell me something about this area of the jail? And before I get to the medical conditions are you willing to give me your NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER if you don’t mind?

RESPONSE: I do not mind: My name: Johnny Parker: PHONE NUMBER: 229-375-6270, 229-247-8833, 229-333-0544, ADDRESS: 3521 McDougal Lane, Valdosta, Georgia 31606. The medical is Ah; you might as well let my three-year-old daughter do MEDICAL. They take you back in medical with no television, and that’s not really important and they don’t even check on you. They got a sign in sheet. They come and sign, and if you forget three hours all you do is backdate it. They don’t come check on you and you don’t get no medicine. You get one Tylenol and it’s going to cost you $5.00.

The FOOD is not maintained at the proper temperature to maintain safety, and local FOOD inspectors must not be doing their jobs. The food trays are not properly cleaned there are food particles on plates from the previous meal still on the plates. Ha, check this. We only get plastic utensils to include one (1) fork, (1) Spoon, (1) stiriphon Cup, (1) Tiny deodorant and it is hard to get a replacement on any of these items. Therefore, we get and keep utensils from inmates who are released and we use them. We know this is unsanitary but we have no other choice.

5. QUESTION: Excuse me but there was a white lady out there. Her name is Melanie she got out a few weeks ago and she was speaking to m about that and there was a “Letter to the Editor” on July 3, 2009 speaking of the high prices of medication out there. I am happy my brother for brining these old complaints to my attention. We have been fighting these type complaints for far too long now. But our Mayor, City Council, County Commissioners----we put in office don’t seem to care about you all who are housed at the facility.

I along with fourteen other citizens were arrested and taken to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail on May 5, 2005 for exercising our constitutional rights to address our elected officials at a Public Valdosta City Council Meeting on the renaming of a local park. The part denied Blacks from swimming in the pool in the 60s and 70s. But the Mayor, and all black city councilmen along with Whites had us arrested and we got to see the ill conditions at the jail first hand.

However, no local television station ABC, NBC, CBS, WALB, and FOX Etc. ever interviewed a single one of us. But they covered the opposition (City Mayor and Council Actions), again, and again on both television in newspaper, and on a local radio station.

6. QUESTION: Now you say that you went to a local TV Station. Will you please tell me about that experience?

RESPONSE: They were doing an interview at the Lowndes County Court House concerning some land and I asked if they would take my interview on the inhumane conditions at the jail and they would NOT do it.

7. QUESTION: Who was this? And was it a local news station?

RESPONSE: Yea, Channel 6, and WCTV. Their office as just across the street. I left there and went to their office across the street.

8. QUESTION: You mean to tell me the office here in Valdosta Georgia?

RESPONSE: Yea, here in Valdosta Georgia. They said the only way I could address my problem was to take out a lawsuit in order to do something about the problems. I don’t have to take NO lawsuit out if I got Pit Bulls, six or seven Pet Pit Bulls in my yard. They’ll come and do an interview. If they had a child abused or though that I did it. They will do an interview and lock me up.

9. QUESTION: Now you say that CBS was already doing an interview on an issue and you was trying to tell them about the inhumane conditions in the jail and this was a press in the United State of American in 2009, CBS News and they would not even consider your story or listen to you or follow upon on your story. Is this what you are saying to me this day---my brother her in Valdosta and Lowndes County Georgia in 2009?

RESPONSE: Yes! And when I was in the office they said I needed to file a lawsuit if I wanted to complain.

10. QUESTION: Why did not you just let it go----and forget about it?

RESPONSE: That’s what’s wrong with us people now. We need to, when you right---fight, that’s why they do it. You spent 1 million or 2 million dollars last year or two years ago. And say yawl built a new jail. The only thing ya’ll build is a ramp, to bring you in, and a new kitchen because the old kitchen was unsanitary. But the rest of it is not new. The A part, and B Part was suppose to be torn down in 1973.

11. QUESTION: When you started this interview out you kept talking about the prison---is it a prison? It is the Lowndes County Jail.

RESPONSE: NO, NO, NO, That’s the Old Prison. That was the Black Folks Prison.

12. QUESTION: So it was where Blacks was housed-----is that correct?


13. QUESTION: well that was before my time. I was not here at that time. So what you are telling me is that it is called the Old Black Prison Part-----is NOW the Lowndes County Jail?

RESPONSE: Yea, But it is the Old Part.

14. QUESTION: So these are the parts that are really bad?

RESPONSE: Right, Bad? I would not even put my dog in there. My doghouse is better than that prison.

15. QUESTION: One other thing I want to talk to you about before we close. You say there are no air conditions out there? How do people survive-----if this is true? What do they do to keep from passing out, out there?

Response: They got one big giant fan about the size of a tractor tire, a small tractor tire and that’s where they get their air. Plus, it is one fan and you got an upper deck and a lower deck. The Lowndes County Jail is supposed to have a certain amount of inmates per area.

16. QUESTION: Here again my brother this was another item that was identified twenty years ago?

RESPONSE: No, No, No, Part A, and Part B, is supposed to hold fourth (40), people per square. They are housing 56 people because they added more bunks to the beds in the cells. They suppose to have 40 people in the cells. They are running twenty to twenty-six (26), over per day in the cells.

There is no Air Condition but they got air conditioners in the hallways. Let me tell you about the floor. When they have SPECTATORS coming through. We be locked down, can’t talk to no body, the floor looks WAXED, like in a fifty- (50), Million Dollar House. And the area we stay in-----we cannot get no bleach, no wax, nothing to clean the floor. You get something once or twice a week. No toilet, they lock us out on lockdown.

I am fifty-six (56) years old. What do I need with quiet time? I mean quiet time, you “got to” go up there and go to sleep for two hours, an’t that something?

17. QUESTION: What about recreation and exercise time periods as ordered in the 1997 Court Order and Consent Decree? When do you get to go out for recreation or walk around in the yard?

Ha! To all who listen to this tape and read this interview? All these things were addressed in CA #1989-54-Val, and we have been addressing these issues to the Valdosta City Mayor and Council, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and to every Board Chairman since 1989. And this is especially true since 1997 court order and so all our elected officials have been notified. They are aware of these problems at the jail. But no one seems to care about these ill conditions and this includes the Black and White City and County Commissioners. How sad?

We have “A Chorus of Fear Video.” Have you seen the “chorus of fear video?” NO! I will give you a copy before you leave here today. So you can see that our local TELEVISION, NEWSPAPERS, and ELECTED OFFICIALS, in both city and county governmental agencies, have ignored these ill conditions without answering to the general public. We can only ask how many more American Citizens must die BEFORE our elected officials, patriots, and Christians do something to stop this trend in the Bible belt.

In this South Georgia Town there is a saying that if a family leave town for a week. When they return somebody will have started a church in your mailbox. Yet few if anyone care about these human beings living in inhumane conditions in the jail. Moreover, many inmates in there have NOT been proven guilty. Am I right my brother? They are just waiting a bail bondman-----am I right?

RESPONSE: In the city of Valdosta if you get a traffic violation. You should be given an R&R. I believe they call it. But they will keep you in there until you get somebody to bond you out for a simple charge, and when you tell them you did not do it. They simply say. Tell it to the judge and if you got a house, wife, or automobile or a little simple thing… you should be allowed to sign your own bond and go home.

18. QUESTION: Ha! If the right people got a copy of this recorded tape and interview. Would you provide your name, address, phone number and a point of contact so you can be reached on the Internet? And not be like many other people who call me but then get scared and back out at the last minute?

If not give me that information and I will follow behind you with my information and that of Rev. Floyd E. Rose President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). So if any body in the United States of America or in a foreign country cares about human beings will do something. I don’t care why inmates are in jail. They are not terrorists and even terrorists have rights.

19. QUESTION: What is your name: Johnny C. Parker, Phone Number: 229-375-6270.

RESPONSE: One other thing as people listens to this recording. They treat their dogs better than this. Because an’t no dog going to live in nothing-----where they can’t take no bath. You should be able to clean your room, like you clean your own house everyday. I am tired of all this mistreatment. I am not scared but I know it is going to cause me lots of trouble because I got to go to court soon. And I know they don’t like me anyway.

But I am going to fight and say what I got to say. You can knock me down. But I am going to get back up and they been knocking me down for years. I must brush myself off and get out of jail. I cannot say that I am not going to be bothered with that-----I am tired of doing that. (NOTHING)

20. QUESTION: My brother I am thankful to you, and my name is George Boston Rhynes, 229-251-8645, a concerned citizen, Rev. Floyd E. Rose is the President of the SCLC, and HE can be reached at 229-244-1938. We have been fighting these problems for a long, long time, and we are 100% sure that truth will eventually win in the end. It always does. Now I am the president of what is remaining of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Branch of the NAACP and other organizations in this community. As well as working in surrounding areas. People say there is nothing like the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jai. And my heart goes out to inmates, and their family members.

Why do you think Christian Folks who are supposed to care about people, refuse to step up to the plate, and do something in these days and times?

RESPONSE: Yes! But we need to stick together, do what we are supposed to do and treat people like a human being. Please listen: If you heard this interview on the radio, television, or read it wherever. You need to go out there and walk in every cell and see for yourself. If you got some heart. Don’t let them tell you that inmates. This is, like this, or they are like that.

We don’t have phone privileges. If you get locked up from Jacksonville Florida, Macon, or New York you are not allowed to make a phone call. They don’t allow you to make a phone call.

21. QUESTION: What? Do you mean you cannot make a phone call? They don’t allow you to make a phone call like on ----Miami Vice?

RESPONSE: No phone calls. You can’t call your people in New York. No long distance phone calls and if you are given one it’s only for three minutes. You go to clearance, if you are out of town, and you still can’t make no call. I believe this is wrong.

22. QUESTION: This is another violation identified back in 1989 in Civil Action 1989-54-VAL. Filed by Dorthea Patterson two decades ago and she was the lead plaintiff along with four other inmates in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail but still the problems exists. APPARENTLY, THE HONORABLE JUDGE HUGH LAWSON never followed up on his own court order and consent decree (1997). We can only ask why he failed to enforce his own decree.

Somebody must give account of the many deaths that have occurred. (People should google the video “A Chorus of Fear and the Death of Willie James Williams Death.” Professors and students of Valdosta State University put the video together to show the in executives in Lowndes County Georgia.

People are tired of local television and newspapers ignoring these news worthy events. It seems like the Holy Bible said in that the love of many shall wax cold. The don’t care and all they want to do is get to heaven, and sit down with Allah, Jehovah, Jesus Mohammed, and Mosses. Yet care nothing about their fellow human beings. But I as a follower of Jesus Christ, Mohammed, and all these other great worthies. I want somebody in this country to get a conscience. And show some love for their fellow man and stand up and do something about these ill conditions, deaths, and a dead like news media whiteout machine…

Hold on! I see a Valdosta City Councilman. (NAME OMITTED HERE BUT AVAILABLE). I am going to see if I can get him (NAME AVAILABLE) to come over here and speak. Needless to say that the councilman would not speak on tape. However, he said he would talk to the sheriff and a county commissioner about the problem Johnny C. Parker was talking about.

Now is there anything else you wish to include here?

RESPONSE: Yes one more thing The Mayor of Valdosta, John Fretti----who ever is over the county, Sheriff Prine, should walk with the sheriff in that jail.

23. QUESTION: Wait! Didn’t you mention the Mayor John Fretti?

RESPONSE: Yea, the Mayor.

24. QUESTION: Well, that’s why I say the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and Chairman Sheriff Paulk also. If you mention the Mayor? Then you must include the Chairman of the County Commission “Ashley Paulk” as well. Let us continue to be fair and balanced.

RESPONSE: OK! The City and County got inmates out there. So why don’t they walk from cell to cell, door to door and talk to the human beings (INMATES) that are breathing and taking in Gods air.

And you will agree that you wouldn’t put your dog in there.

25. QUESTION: Personally I don’t believe anything will be done until someone outside of the State of Georgia Comes in here. This includes people outside the State of Georgia from the GBI, FBI or the United States Attorney General’s Office. There is no way that Georgia Law Enforcement in the State of Georgia including all investigative agencies could NOT know what is going on this county. And it may be going on in other South Georgia Cities and Counties. The people must become God like and prove to the world that America is truly a nation of laws and that the power is with the people. Otherwise we should stop spreading lies around the world.

So how can local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies allow these inhumane conditions along with these many known deaths to occur WITHOUT ANY INVESTIGATIONS BEING DONE? While Georgia politician, Christians, members of Law Enforcement, and God himself refuse to help and come to these citizens aid and their family members?

How can this be? With all these religious institutions etc., how can “RELIGIOUS PEOPLE” speak of love in places of so called worship but ignore their fellow human beings? I NOW see why people around the country are turning to SATAN WORSHIP.

RESPONSE: Well it seems that somebody is getting paid. I am not saying, but it is my opinion that somebody is being paid. Michael Vick went to jail. But I went to jail too, but I along with others are living like and being treated like a dog.

26. QUESTION: HA, I am going to close this out--- my courageous brother but give me your name again---WILL LYOU?

RESPONSE: My name is “John C. Parker a former Valdosta-Lowndes County Jailed Inmate.

27. QUESTION: Well, I shake your hand and appreciate the information. I also would like to thank Minister Floyd Rose, President of the SCLC for sending you to me to take this interview this day. I will add this scrip, and taped interview, and add it with other materials that I have been given from various sources. This will be sent out to television, newspapers, internet, radio stations locally, within the State of Georgia and around the nation to show that for over twenty years no real action have been received from Valdosta-Lowndes County Elected Officials—for whatever reasons.

RESPONSE: Ha! I am a brother, a brother standing on the square OK? I am ready to talk to anybody but this mistreatment must STOP! You be strong----brother Rhynes.

28. QUESTION: Peace!

RESPONSE: And peace be with you…


Retired United States Armed Forces Veteran
President of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Branch of the NAACP
A concerned citizen and brother of humanity
The person who interviewed Mr. Parker to the best of my ability


Signed and witnessed

Former Jail Inmate in Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean