Stewart Detention Center, Lumpkin GA
July 19, 2007
We drove to Lumpkin GA, intending to visit Stewart Detention Center. On the way we carefully avoided Ft Benning, where John is permanently banned. Our advance information, that we could just show up and get a tour of Stewart was incorrect. So, we spent several hours waiting at the 4-Way BBQ, while Sarah exchanged inconclusive phone calls with Warden Vance Laughlin. Late in the afternoon, after checking CPT's record, and getting assurance that we would not chain ourselves to the fence, he offered us Friday or Monday, but our schedule did not allow us to stay. So we simply drove around the facility. It is about 1 ½ miles east of Lumpkin, with the usual double chain link fence, razor wire, and patrol road around it.
According to the May/June newsletter of Prison & Jail Project (firstname.lastname@example.org, contact John Cole Vodicka ) the prison is nearly full, with 1500 men locked inside. This is more than the population of Lumpkin itself (1284)! It is operated by Corrrections Corporation of America (CCA), and was opened Oct. 1, 2006. Shortly afterwards the ICE raids of workplaces around the country increased, and Stewart was soon filled. Like Raymondville, Stewart holds many people who have immigration violations that could be handled in less restrictive and less expensive ways. This is an emerging, widespread problem that we have observed on the CPT Border Witness Drive.