Congressman Johnson Leads Tour of DeKalb County Jail
DECATUR, GA – On Monday, August 12, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) led a community delegation on a tour of the DeKalb County Jail. Rep. Johnson was joined by faith leaders, elected officials, school board members and community activists.
Rep. Johnson said it was a chance for members of the community to see jail operations up close, including visitation areas, in-take, mental health and medical facilities, renovations to the cafeteria and to speak directly with inmates.
“There’s a lot of potential for volunteers and the faith community to get involved here at the jail,” Johnson told his delegation at the end of the tour. “Once an individual gets in the clutches of the criminal justice system, it’s hard sometime to keep them out. As a society, we can’t let them slip through the cracks. It’s going to take all of us to uplift the community. It’s up to all of us.”
Before the tour began, Rep. Johnson and his delegation learned about educational and substance abuse programs available to some estimated 1,600 people incarcerated at the jail – and that approximately 30 percent of inmates had a GED or high school diploma.
“We’ve also got to look at our schools and expulsion rates,” said Rep. Johnson. “And what can we as a community do to mitigate that.”
The Congressman also spoke directly with several inmates throughout the tour, particularly women who were incarcerated.
“Everyone has a story,” he said. “It’s all about treating everyone with dignity – it’s all about treating everyone like a human being.”