Alabama Governor Blames Prisoner Uprisings On “Overcrowding And Understaffing”

George Lavender March 15, 2016

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.

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