ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
76°
Partly Cloudy
H -° L 68°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H -° L 68°
  • cloudy-day
    Today
    Partly Cloudy. H -° L 68°
  • cloudy-day
    90°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy. H 90° L 68°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
‘I’ve seen people go crazy’: Former inmate describes 9 years in solitary unit
Close

‘I’ve seen people go crazy’: Former inmate describes 9 years in solitary unit

‘I’ve seen people go crazy’: Former inmate describes 9 years in solitary unit
Daniel Barfield, 33, who was just released from prison after serving the last 9 years of his 20 year sentence in solitary confinement, sits on the bed in his bedroom at his mother’s home on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018, in Bainbridge. Barfield discussed the human toll of being locked up in isolation for such an extended period of time. (Photo: Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

‘I’ve seen people go crazy’: Former inmate describes 9 years in solitary unit

The sounds that echoed through the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson’s solitary unit are not easily forgotten.

Daniel Barfield, who spent nine years inside the notorious special management unit, knows them well. He’s reminded of the agonizing screams from his friend Kareem, so desperate for human interaction that he’d cut himself just to get transported to the prison hospital. At least, there, he’d be able to talk to people.

>> Read more trending news 

“I’ve seen people go crazy. I’ve heard people go crazy,” said Barfield, who completed his 20-year sentence in November

“Just out of the blue, a person will flip and act out all kind of different ways, saying they’re going to kill themselves,” he said.

Barfield survived the forced isolation and inactivity, confined 23 hours each day to a 7 by 13.5-foot cell, bereft of natural light. But his story goes beyond mere self-preservation. His willingness to tell all has already helped exact major changes to the place where he spent nearly a quarter of his life.

His testimony was pivotal to a settlement reached last week in which the state agreed to make changes in the way it holds prisoners in solitary confinement, according to Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, which sued the Georgia Department of Corrections over conditions inside the Jackson prison’s solitary unit.

Read The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's complete report here.

Read More

News

  • Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has agreed to testify publicly in House hearings on July 17. >> Read more trending news House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said in a joint statement that the special counsel has agreed to testify about the Trump-Russia report he issued in April. The Justice Department declined to comment. >> MORE: Mueller resigns as Special Counsel, refuses to exonerate Trump on obstruction The committees have been in negotiations with Mueller for more than two months about his testimony. But he has been hesitant to testify and speak about the investigation beyond a public statement he issued last month. >> Read the latest from our Washington Insider, Jamie Dupree  In a letter to Mueller accompanying the subpoenas, the committee chairmen said “the American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions.” President Donald Trump has denied all wrongdoing and consistently framed Mueller’s investigation as an expensive and politically motivated “witch hunt” aimed at hurting his presidency.  Late Tuesday, Trump appeared to respond to the news in a tweet. “Presidential Harassment!” he wrote. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Scientists at the University of St. Andrews taught three young gray seals to sing, literally. >> Read more trending news Seals, which generally bark, and other marine mammals are known for some of the sounds they make. Whales sing, dolphins click, penguins peep and walruses bellow. Researchers, though, were able to train the three young seals to bark out the notes to the opening bars of the theme from “Star Wars” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” The research is published in the journal Current Biology. It’s not just that teaching a seal to sing is an interesting project, St. Andrews scientists said they wanted to learn more about how seals communicate with each other, according to Smithsonian magazine. Knowing how seals communicate in the wild could become important in the future to conservation efforts.
  • An Orlo Vista, Florida, man believes someone brutally tortured and killed his dog after finding it burned to death in an ash pile down the street from his home. >> Read more trending news The Chihuahua, Stink, never left the side of Rick Parmenter. 'She was so wonderful,' Parmenter told WFTV. 'Anyone who has been to a concert in the Orlando area knows Stink.' Rick's grandson found the dog's charred remains with her collar still on in an ash pile surrounded by beer cans and bottles behind a business. The family posted missing signs and even offered a $200 reward after Stink escaped the family home Saturday morning. Rick said he cannot imagine why someone would hurt such a little dog. Animal crime investigators continue to search for clues and speak with those who live nearby while officials conduct a necropsy to learn how exactly Stink died. 'The findings on that will help, you know how forensics are these days,' said Paramenter. 'So we'll see what happens.' Although the family has its suspicions about who might have been involved with the dog's death, no one has been arrested for the crime.
  • A lightning-sparked smoky wildfire burning through the Florida Everglades has more than doubled in size since it started Sunday night. >> Read more trending news  The fire has consumed 32,000 acres, according to the Florida Forest Service, and is only 30% contained, but no buildings are threatened at this time. The fire, about eight miles outside the city of Weston, started just north of Alligator Alley, a busy stretch of Interstate 75, and a few miles away from a state highway. “Wildfires can strengthen quickly and threaten public safety — drivers traveling along Alligator Alley should remain vigilant, monitor media for safety alerts and the status of I-75, and follow guidelines from state and local officials,” state Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried told WFOR-TV. One of the biggest concerns right now is the heavy smoke in the air, and the westerly winds blowing it along roadways and into western Broward County. The smoke is a respiratory irritant and cause scratchy throats, irritated noses and eyes and worsen asthma conditions, WFOR reported. >> Trending: ‘Well-loved’ American heart doctor gunned down in Belize along with tour guide People and pets living in areas where the smoke is settling should stay indoors, state officials warned. >> Read more trending news
  • A North Carolina sheriff's captain said he is not a hero after saving a girl's life while he was off-duty.  >> Read more trending news  Nash County Captain Allen Wilson said he was enjoying a day at Atlantic Beach Sunday when he noticed several kids and one of them was drifting from shore.  She was on a float, but a wave knocked her off. She tried to swim to it, but couldn't reach it.  Wilson said he quickly grabbed a boogie board and a pool noodle and ran into the ocean to help her.  'Got close and asked her if she could swim and she was panicking, you could tell she was panicking,' Wilson said. 'By this time I was already getting pretty exhausted so I knew if we could just get enough, maybe one of the waves would pick us up and bring us. And it did, thank the Lord, we were able to get a little closer and a little closer.'  Officials said both of them made it to shore safely.  Wilson said he is getting a lot of praise for his heroism, but he is deflecting that to someone else.  >> Trending: VIDEO: The moment deputies save baby girl wrapped in plastic bag on roadside 'It's not about me, I'll be the first to tell you,' Wilson said. 'God, I believe, placed me there and he gave me the tools to use to go get this young girl.' Wilson said on a good day, he can barely swim the length of a pool, yet the girl was about 100-yards from shore. 
  • A roller coaster ride took a terrfiying turn for a metro Pittsburgh family over the turned terrifying at Pennsylvania's Kennywood amusement park. >> Read more trending news A father says his daughter’s seat belt unlatched mid-ride on the Phantom’s Revenge, and the proof is in a photo taken on the ride and shared with WPXI-TV. 'You can clearly see there was some shock and awe in their faces,' Dave Feehan said. Feehan's daughter was on the ride with her mother. He said that at first he didn't believe it. 'I said are you sure it wasn't loose, then she sent me the picture Kennywood actually took,' he said. When the ride came to a stop, the family flagged down the operator who reassured them everything was OK. A Kennywood spokesperson said the ride was inspected and given the green light. Additionally, the park reviewed the surveillance video and confirmed that when the operator checked the seat belt and lap restraint they were both fastened. The park is owned by Palace Entertainment, and on Tuesday afternoon the executive director of Maintenance showed Channel 11 how the safety measures on the ride work. 'It's an extremely robust system and not one we have any concerns about at all,' Jeffrey Savelisky said. Additionally, Kennywood says seat belts aren't even required on that particular ride, but are there for added comfort. >> Trending: VIDEO: The moment deputies save baby girl wrapped in plastic bag on roadside Feehan said he's bringing the concerns forward because he wouldn't be able to live with himself if something were to happen. 'Sometimes you have to skyline things, especially if it scares you. It scared the hell out of me,' he said.