Donald Trump has until next Friday to visit an Atlanta prison described as “unsanitary” and “overcrowded”, where outbreaks of scabies have occurred and several prisoners have been found dead in their cells.
The former president and notorious germaphobe, along with his 18 co-defendants, were indicted on Monday for attempting to nullify Georgia’s 2020 election. They were told they had until noon on August 25 to surrender or arrest warrants would be issued.
They must go to the Fulton County Jail on Rice Street in Atlanta – a facility built in 1985, which many believe is now due for demolition.
Footage from inside the prison shows the horrific conditions of broken equipment, dirty rooms, cells with falling paint and other conditions that have prompted defenders to demand improvements.
Pat Labat, the local sheriff, said officials would follow “normal practices” when dealing with Trump. This usually includes fingerprints, handcuffs and a booking photo.
Donald Trump, pictured on Sunday, has until August 25 to surrender to the notoriously dilapidated prison in Atlanta
The Fulton County Jail on Rice Street is so dilapidated that local sheriffs are demanding it be renovated
It’s unclear whether normal procedures at Fulton County Jail will occur for Trump. Georgia’s indictment is his fourth, and so far no one has taken his photo, arguing he is well enough known. He was also not handcuffed.
That didn’t stop his campaign from raising money with fake photoshopped shots.
Trump is also unlikely to spend any time in the prison itself, which is intended to house 1,300 inmates but has detained more than 3,000 people in recent years.
“It’s been basically overcrowded since it was built,” said Fallon McClure of the ACLU of Georgia.
“It’s just been a perpetual cycle for years.”
The Southern Center for Human Rights said the site offers “unsanitary living conditions” that have led to outbreaks of COVID-19, lice and scabies.
He revealed that the inmates were “significantly malnourished”, the BBC reported, and suffered from a condition called cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome.
Several prisoners have died in recent months – among them a 34-year-old man was found unconscious in a cell in the medical unit last week.
Last month, a 19-year-old woman, Noni Battiste-Kosoko, died in custody at Fulton County Jail – although she was being held at another site.
In September 2022, Lashawn Thompson died after being incarcerated in conditions akin to a “torture chamber”, his lawyers said.
The 1,300-person facility housed more than double that number, with some sleeping on the floor
Noni Battiste-Kosoko, 19, died in Fulton County police custody in July this year
Lashawn Thompson, 35, died in the prison’s psychiatric ward in September 2022
Thompson, 35, had been housed in the prison’s psychiatric ward for three months when he died.
The Independent Medical Review listed “untreated decompensated schizophrenia” as a contributing cause of death, in addition to dehydration, malnutrition and a severe infestation of bodily insects including lice and bed bugs.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office itself said the building was “dilapidated and rapidly eroding” and was seeking the construction of a new $1.7 billion jail.
The ACLU’s McClure said she doesn’t believe the jail will be renovated.
“There’s been a lot of talk about cleaning it up,” she said.
“We haven’t really seen or heard anything particularly significant. It sounds like a lot of postures.
The 19 co-defendants named Monday must surrender by August 25
The prison is well known for its overcrowding and unsanitary conditions
Trump and his co-defendants should not spend time in cells, where many languish for months
She said the drain on resources provided by the Trump case has also contributed to the backlog in the prison.
In September 2022, an ACLU report found that 117 people had waited in jail for over a year because they had not been charged; 12 had been detained for two years for the same reason.
“There’s the assumption that other cases aren’t being charged because it’s taking so long,” she said.
Trump on Tuesday called for the matter to be postponed until after the November 2024 election.
Fani Willis, the prosecutor, said Monday that the time frame was up to the judge.
His officer indicted Trump on state charges, which means that — unlike the federal charges — he won’t be able to fire them even if he wins the election.
Trump has consistently insisted the charges were politically motivated and called the indictment a witch hunt.