Alabama Governor Blames Prisoner Uprisings On “Overcrowding And Understaffing”

George Lavender

Holman Correctional Facility

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.

For a limited time:

Donate $20 or more to In These Times and we'll send you a copy of Let This Radicalize You.

In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?

We've partnered with the publisher, Haymarket Books, and 100% of your donation will go towards supporting In These Times.

George Lavender is an award-winning radio and print journalist based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeLavender.
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.