A federal lawsuit claims corruption and poor management are to blame for deaths and violence at St. Clair prison in Springville.
The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative filed suit Monday seeking changes at the prison, which holds more than 1,200 men and is badly overcrowded.
Corrections officials haven't responded to a message seeking comment.
The lawsuit says six people have been killed at St. Clair in the last 36 months, and stabbings and assaults are commonplace.
The complaint contends poor leadership is to blame for drugs and other contraband being sold to prisoners by officers and other workers.The suit says the situation creates instability.
The suit also claims most cell doors don't lock and that cutbacks mean prisoners don't get proper mental health care and have little to do.