Cortez Berry, the 18-year-old Georgia inmate whose brutal beating made headlines this week, was transferred to a maximum security prison, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The AJC confirmed Thursday that Berry was moved from the Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, to Smith State Prison in Glennville.
Berry began serving an eight-year prison sentence at Burruss on March 31, 2014, for armed robbery and carjacking.
Berry was reportedly beaten by 10 juvenile gang members after he refused to join their gang. The gang’s handiwork was photographed with an illegal cell phone and sent via text to Berry’s family and friends. The photo turned up on Facebook and went viral from there.
“The (Gangster Disciples) came in and told him that since he was turning 18, he might as well join the gang, because you about to go to the other side,” said Berry’s aunt Shavondria Wright. She was referring to the adult side of the prison where juvenile offenders go when they turn 18.
In the photo Berry is seen kneeling in a submissive posture in front of a 15-year-old gang member. A leash fashioned from material is tied around his neck. The other end of the leash is tied tightly around the 15-year-old’s left hand.
Wright is disappointed with the maximum security prison where Berry is now housed. Smith State Prison is not conveniently located near her. The violence at Burruss prison pales in comparison to Smith State Prison.
According to a report obtained by the AJC, Smith State prison is one of the three most dangerous prisons in Georgia.
7 inmates were murdered there since 2010.
“Why would they transfer him there to a maximum security prison?” said Wright. “I don’t think it is safer. What do people serving life care for hurting him?”
Wright told a reporter she was not notified of the transfer.
The family believes the transfer was in retaliation for talking to the media.
The Department of Corrections is still investigating the beating incident.