Prison Attack Raises Questions

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A Georgia mother is demanding answers after a picture of her son with his eye swollen shut and a makeshift leash around his neck while at a correctional facility surfaced online.

Demetria Harris, found out what happened to her son Cortez Berry, 18, after a friend saw the image on Facebook Friday. “I was like oh my God! What happened? How’d it happen? It’s a terrifying picture to see,” she told News 12.


Harris was left with lots of questions.Was her son okay? How did a cell phone make it into the prison? Where were the guards?

“I want justice for him. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it for him, because at the end of the day, he don’t deserve this. No one deserves this,” she said.

At 14, Berry entered the Augusta YDC after being convicted of assault, robbery and theft. He was sent to the Burruss Correctional Training Center for violating his probation last year.

The prison attack appears to be gang-related. The caption of the Facebook photo reads: “When you disrespect the Nation, it brings nothing but pain and suffering.” Experts say the Nation is short for the Gangster Disciples gang.

According to Cortez’s aunt, Shavondria Wright, 10 people jumped him and choked him to sleep. She says they pretty much left him for dead. The family wants to know where the guards were.

“He didn’t get checked on until 9:45 at night. It happened at 3:15 and he didn’t get checked on until 9:45,” said Harris.

Here’s a statement submitted to News 12 by the Department of Corrections:

“The Department is fully aware and this incident is currently under investigation. The Department does not allow inmates to have access to cellphones, as possession of such contraband is deemed illegal. Introduction of cellphones into our facilities is a nationwide issue the Corrections system is facing. The Department continuously works to utilize extensive resources to combat this issue. We take very seriously our mission of protecting the public and running safe and secure facilities.”

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