published Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Hays State Prison warden replaced

Former Hays State Prison Warden Clay Tatum
Former Hays State Prison Warden Clay Tatum

After four inmate deaths in less than two months, Hays State Prison warden Clay Tatum is being replaced.

Commissioner Brian Owens has appointed Rick Jacobs, the Georgia Department of Corrections’ field operations manager, as the acting warden in Tatum’s place.

Jacobs, who has been warden over the Trion, Ga., prison before, said his first priority is keeping staff, inmates and the community safe.

The announcement comes a day after a Hays State inmate was killed by another Hays inmate. Both men had been transferred to the Diagnostic and Classifications Prison in Jackson, Ga., where that killing occurred.

The Times Free Press has been investigating Hays State, an institution described by sources as being on the ragged edge of control, with locks that don’t work and not enough guards to maintain adequate supervision of inmates.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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