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Jail officials respond to NAACP charge

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April 1, 2008
by Wainwright Jeffers

Tifton --  Family and friends of a Tift County jail inmate worry about his safety. They say he's been attacked by other inmates more than once.

Jail administrators say they're doing everything they can to protect him. Now the NAACP is getting involved to make sure they live up to their word.   

Tifton NAACP leaders are addressing concerns that an inmate at the Tift County Jail is a victim of brutality.

Matilda Church, the mother of twenty year old Horrison Webster said her son has been beaten up in jail several times. She says her pictures are the proof. "He said as he got ready to use the phone three guys walked up to him and kicked him in the stomach and hit him."

The jail administrator said Webster was involved in fights, but they're doing what they can to maintain the well being of him and other prisoners.  "I think the altercation stems from some inmates trying to claim he was involved in something that happened out on the street," Tift Co. Jail Administrator Capt. Jerry Lipsey.

NAACP leaders say they want to make sure nothing worse happens. "After you look at the wounds and all, you could see where that he needs to be checked by a medical physician," says Tifton NAACP President Pat Melton.  

Jail officials say Webster was checked by medical personnel and was moved for his safety.

"He was moved, placed in an isolation area, checked by medical, that's is our protocol and once everything checked out, monitored him there for a while moved him to the other side of the jail, another pod area, where he got into another altercation," said Lipsey.

To try to make sure Webster doesn't suffer any more injuries he may be transferred to another jail.

Captain Lipsey said he would be happy to talk by phone or in person with the Webster family, or any other families to address concerns about their loved ones who are housed at the Tift County Jail.