Warden at medical prison being reassigned

The head of the troubled state medical prison in Grovetown is transferring back to his former role directing the Augusta Transitional Center downtown.

 

According to a statement from the Georgia Department of Corrections, Augusta State Medical Prison Warden Scott Wilkes is being replaced by new warden Ted Philbin, whose first day is Dec. 1.

Wilkes will transfer to the Taylor Street transitional center “as he has been very successful in leading transition and re-entry efforts previously,” said Joan Heath, director of public affairs for the state corrections department.

Wilkes is being replaced by Philbin, who recently served as warden of Autry State Prison in Pelham, Ga. Heath said Philbin “is a good fit for ASMP at this time.”

Last month, an investigation done by the Environmental Health and Safety Division of Augusta University revealed numerous health and safety issues at the prison, including a ceiling leaking from the hospital pharmacy into the operating room and the presence of the greenish-black mold stachybotrys in the dental clinic area.

At the time, Heath said steps were being taken to address cleanliness at the facility.

The Gordon Highway medical prison and Wilkes also are the target of recent ligation alleging the administration ignores guards’ routine use of excessive force against medically fragile inmates. The Nov. 6 death of inmate Montra Moss is also under investigation.

Wilkes headed the downtown transition center for four years until he was named warden at Augusta State Medical Prison in June 2016. He has a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Augusta University and previously worked at the medical prison from 2000 to 2012, according to previous reports.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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