A barbaric prison photo of inmates at a Georgia correctional facility could intensify an effort to alleviate poor prison conditions, including overcrowding and lack of cellblock oversight, that can lead to unchecked barbarism, says the Christian Science Monitor. The picture from Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Ga., shows three young, shirtless African-American male prisoners. One is pointing at the camera as though holding a gun, another is holding a makeshift leash, and the third, an 18-year-old, is on his knees, his left eye closed from a beating, and the leash lashed around his neck.
The image is shocking on several levels, including a similarity to the Iraqi Abu Ghraib torture pictures, the fact that a contraband cellphone was used to capture the degradation, and that prison officials didn’t witness the mass beating and subsequent humiliation of a young man serving an eight-year sentence for aggravated assault after first being arrested for armed robbery as a 14-year-old. “I think this picture can go a long way toward galvanizing a discussion about what prisons are for – particularly, does anybody believe that these men are deterred by prison?” says Jonathan Simon, a University of California, Berkeley law professor and author of “Mass Incarceration on Trial.”