Fulton County Jail, where the arraignment of former President Donald Trump is scheduled on Thursday, has a notorious reputation for detainee deaths and holding suspects without trial for lengthy durations.
The Fulton County Jail will book Donald Trump by August 25, where procedures will include fingerprinting and taking a mugshot in connection with the thirteen charges he’s facing. These charges stem from an indictment filed on Monday, accusing Trump and eighteen others of attempting to reverse the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
A report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from September 2022 revealed that Fulton County Jail was housing 2,892 inmates, exceeding its capacity by over 300. The report further detailed that 293 inmates could not make bail, 515 were held for at least 90 days without being indicted, and 242 were facing only misdemeanor charges. According to the report’s conclusion, the jail held 728 people more than it should.
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) has criticized the jail for “unsanitary living conditions,” citing outbreaks of scabies, lice, and COVID-19. There have also been reports of inmates being “significantly malnourished,” with many suffering from cachexia or wasting syndrome, according to the SCHR. Since 2022, the ACLU reports that at least 18 individuals have died while in custody at the jail.
The death of Lashawn Thompson, 35, in the jail’s psychiatric wing last September has been attributed to “severe neglect” by staff, as reported by BBC News. Consequently, the Department of Justice is investigating the jail’s conditions, including medical care and officers’ use of excessive force.
The physical building of the jail has been described as “dilapidated and rapidly eroding” by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. As mentioned in a BBC report, they have advocated for a new $1.7 billion facility.
Trump’s upcoming arraignment is likely to be handled distinctively. During his three previous arraignments in New York, Florida, and Washington, D.C., he was fingerprinted and entered not-guilty pleas to all charges. The upcoming proceeding in Fulton County Jail is expected to be his first experience having a mugshot taken.