Georgia ACLU joins civil rights organizations urging Atlanta to drop detention center lease

External view of the former Atlanta City Detention Center located on Peachtree Street Southwest in South Downtown.

Last week, the ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and the entire city council with a clear ask: reverse the decision to lease the city’s detention center to Fulton County.

And the organization wasn’t alone. The letter was co-signed by more than 60 civil and human rights organizations, including the national ACLU branch, the Southern Center for Human Rights, and Women on the Rise Georgia.

On this edition of “Closer Look,” ACLU of Georgia deputy director for policy and advocacy Fallon McClure talks about the urgency behind the letter and what alternative paths the city and county could take in addressing jail overcrowding – all while the city council looks to drop, at the request of Sheriff Patrick Labat, an initially required study of the county jail population before the lease begins.

“There is a humanitarian crisis that’s happening at this facility. But it’s a crisis that has been happening for years, over and over,” McClure said. “There needs to be a better resolution.”