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The Prison Complex

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016, 1:05 am

Alabama Governor Blames Prisoner Uprisings On “Overcrowding And Understaffing”

By George Lavender

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Holman Correctional Facility   http://www.doc.state.al.us/facility.aspx?loc=33

Alabama’s Governor blamed "a volatile mix of overcrowding and understaffing” for two prisoner uprisings at state facilities in the space of three days. Governor Robert Bentley called for immediate action to “reduce overcrowding and provide facilities that are safer and more secure for both inmates and corrections officers.”

The William C. Holman Correctional Facility was placed on lockdown after prisoners stabbed the prison warden and a corrections officer and set fire to parts of a dormitory on Friday night. The prison was said to be under the control of corrections officers on Saturday, but on Monday morning prisoners again barricaded themselves in a dormitory. According to the AP the dormitory was again under corrections control by the evening.  

Videos from the uprising were apparently posted online along with statements from prisoners themselves, like this one posted on AL.com 

It’s not the first time that Alabama prisoners and politicians have highlighted overcrowding and poor conditions inside Alabama’s prisons. About 24,000 prisoners are currently held in prisons designed for around 13,000.

The Prison Complex previously reported on the prisoner-led “Free Alabama Movement” as well as efforts by legislators to reform the state’s prison system. 

Governor Bentley advocates building three new men’s facilities and closing 13 of the state’s 15 prisons.

George Lavender is an award-winning radio and print journalist based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeLavender.

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