WASHINGTON -- An Albany man faces up to five years in prison after admitting that he and other correctional officers beat and injured inmates at Macon State Prison in Oglethorpe in 2010.
Willie Redden, 24, a former member of the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Macon State Prison, pleaded guilty Moday to conspiring with other correctional officers to violate the civil rights of inmates in 2010, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
Justice officials say Redden admitted that he and other correctional officers assaulted and injured inmates in separate incidents at the prison, indicating that the beatings were punishment. One inmate was beaten until he was unresponsive and had to be transported from Macon State Prison in an ambulance, federal officials said.
Redden also said that he and other correctional officers tried to cover up CERT's role in beating and injuring inmates, adding that more senior officers told him to write a false report and to stick to a cover story when speaking with investigators, federal prosecutors said.
"Mr. Redden admitted today that instead of lawfully carrying out his public safety responsibilities, he conspired with fellow officers to assault inmates and then cover up those assaults," said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officers who cross the line and engage in criminal misconduct."
"When people are incarcerated, the sentence they are required to serve is their time locked up in prison," U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Michael J. Moore said. "It is not a part of their sentence that they be subjected to beatings by the correctional officers. The Department of Justice and I share a zero tolerance policy for those who violate another's civil rights."
Redden faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. His sentencing date has not yet been set.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Tona Boyd of the Civil Rights Division of Department of Justice, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Georgia.