Alabama Department of Corrections

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Corrections is investigating the death of an inmate at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

The prison system says in a Friday news release that no foul play is suspected, but an autopsy is being conducted.

The prison system says 46-year-old Ricky Gilland of Vinemont was found unresponsive in his cell on the morning of Oct. 18. Correctional officers entered the cell with medical staff and discovered Gilland was deceased.

CLAYTON, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama prison inmate was found with a stab wound to an eye last week and died several minutes after a correctional officer found him bleeding amid a group of fellow inmates, authorities said Wednesday.

The Department of Corrections said in a statement that 52-year-old William Stanley Warren was stabbed Thursday at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton. It didn't elaborate on why the information was released days later, but said an investigation is ongoing.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama on Wednesday made its execution protocol public after being ordered to do so by a federal judge.

The Alabama Department of Corrections filed a redacted copy of its execution procedure with the federal court following a legal fight with news outlets over the release of the information. A judge allowed the state to keep some of the information secret for security reasons.

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — Corrections officials are investigating a second inmate death at an Alabama prison within days.

A statement from the Department of Corrections says 53-year-old Elvin Burnseed of Dothan was found unconscious in his dorm at Donaldson prison near Bessemer on Monday.

He was taken to the prison infirmary and pronounced dead after life-saving measures failed.

Burnseed's was serving a life sentence for a robbery in Houston County. The state hasn't released a cause of death.

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama prison system says an inmate was killed after rushing at officers who then used "physical measures" to subdue the threat.

Alabama Department of Corrections said Monday it is investigating the Saturday death of 35-year-old Steven Davis at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer.

The state released limited information about Davis' death, but said it will provide more after the investigation is complete.

Radspunk / Wikimedia Commons

TROY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say an Alabama corrections officer arrested on drug charges planned to buy methamphetamine and take it inside the prison where he worked.

The Department of Corrections says 26-year-old Corey McClendon of Louisville worked at Easterling prison in Barbour County. He was arrested a week ago in Troy.

A statement from the prison system says McClendon was arrested after buying drugs from an undercover officer. They say he told investigators he planned to purchase meth and introduce the drugs into Easterling prison.

Trent Penny/Anniston Star

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A search of Fountain Correctional Facility in Alabama's Escambia County has found more than 600 makeshift weapons, 51 cellphones, synthetic drugs and multiple gallons of an alcoholic drink that prisoners call julep or pruno.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Corrections on Friday will graduate its first class of a new category of corrections officer as the state tries to address a prison staffing shortage.

Sixty-one basic correctional officers will graduate from the Alabama Corrections Academy in Selma.

The prison system created the new position of basic officer this year to speed the hiring of security staff. The program has easier entry requirements, and graduates can do some, but not all of the tasks, handled by correctional officers.

WETUMPKA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man arrested in the stabbing death of a good Samaritan now faces a capital murder charge.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that a grand jury recently indicted 32-year-old Ronald Jason Mann, of Elmore County in the death of 47-year-old Davon Waldrep, also of Elmore County.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama corrections officer has been arrested on charges of accepting money to help smuggle forbidden items into a state prison.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said Wednesday that Willie Gene McLemore, Jr. was arrested last month on charges of using his official position for financial gain.

The prison system said investigators discovered evidence that McLemore had received electronic transfers of money that were traced to criminal activity by an inmate.

It was unclear from court records if McLemore had an attorney.

Taylor / Bailey

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — One prison inmate was stabbed to death by another over the weekend, state officials said Monday in Alabama, where high rates of prison violence have recently been criticized by the U.S. Justice Department.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton said in a news release that 29-year-old Jeremy Reshad Bailey was fatally wounded Saturday at Fountain Correctional Facility in Atmore, which is near the Florida line.

segregation cell

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — After 15 inmate suicides in 15 months, a federal judge ruled Saturday that Alabama is putting prisoners in danger by failing to provide adequate suicide-prevention measures.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrote that there are "severe and systemic inadequacies" in the Alabama Department of Corrections' care of inmates and the facts behind recent suicides show that unconstitutional conditions persist in state prisons.

CO trainees

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a pay raise for correctional officers as Alabama faces a federal court order to increase prison staff.

Representatives voted 92-0 Tuesday night to give officers a 5% pay increase, expand bonuses and create a payout program for unused annual leave.

Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa said the changes could add up to about $10,000 in more pay for officers.

A federal judge has ordered the department to add about 2,200 correctional officers.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Three inmates were injured during an assault involving 11 prisoners last week in a housing area at an understaffed Alabama prison.

The melee, which happened Friday at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, is the latest incident in a prison system that has come under criticism for violence, understaffing and crowding.

Prison Reform: Health Care in Alabama's Prisons

Apr 29, 2019
segregation cell

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Violence, inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have all pointed out plenty of problems.

The Alabama Public Radio news team spent several months in a national award-winning effort examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out.

St. Clair Prison
Equal Justice Initiative

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama Department of Corrections guard has pleaded guilty to assaulting two handcuffed inmates at a state prison.

Federal prosecutors say former Sgt. Ulysses Oliver Jr. entered the plea Tuesday.

Authorities say Oliver went to an observation room in the Elmore Correctional Facility where two inmates were sitting. Oliver pulled the first victim from the room and struck him multiple times with his fists and feet, and then used his collapsible baton to strike the victim approximately 19 times.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — After 15 inmates killed themselves within 15 months, a federal judge will weigh whether the Alabama prison system is doing enough to prevent suicides.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson on Thursday began a mini-trial on suicide prevention measures. It comes almost two years after his initial 2017 ruling that the Alabama prison system provides "horrendously inadequate" mental health care.

Fifteen inmates have killed themselves since December 2017, according to testimony Thursday.

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — Less than a week after an Alabama inmate ended a hunger strike to protest the use of solitary confinement, eight more prisoners have begun hunger strikes of their own.

The Montgomery Advertiser cites a release from a prison advocacy group that says the Alabama Department of Corrections told eight inmates that they were placed in solitary at Holman Correctional Facility as a "preventative measure," unrelated to disciplinary action. Attorney Donna Smalley says the eight are "recognized peacekeepers."

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state inmate has been stabbed to death in the second fatal assault at an Alabama prison within one week.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said in a news release that 56-year-old Ray Anthony Little was killed after being assaulted on Friday at the Bibb County Correctional Facility in Brent.

Authorities said that 30-year-old Devarrieo Montez Shepherd has been identified as a suspect in the stabbing. It was not immediately clear if Shepherd has an attorney.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Corrections said Thursday that it is investigating the apparent suicide of one inmate and the stabbing death of another.

The deaths occurred days apart at separate prisons, but both come after advocacy groups raised concern about the suicide and homicide rates in state prisons.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says his department needs additional funding to hire 500 more corrections officers.

Dunn discussed the request Wednesday during budget hearings before state lawmakers. He says the agency is seeking a $42 million funding increase, part of which would be used to add officers and to raise officers' pay. Dunn argues there is a direct correlation between the department's staffing shortage and "unacceptably high" rates of violence in prisons.

Alabama Prisons Deadliest in Nation

Dec 11, 2018

In the span of three hours at a southwest Alabama prison, one inmate was fatally stabbed and another was seriously wounded after being stabbed in a separate fight.

Eighteen inmates have been killed by other inmates since October of 2016, according to statistics and news releases from the state Department of Corrections.

Grantt Culliver

A high-ranking Alabama prison official has retired in the midst of a misconduct investigation.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton says ADOC Associate Commissioner Grantt Culliver has retired after having been on leave for several months.

The department placed Culliver on leave in September pending the outcome of an investigation into misconduct allegations.

The relatives of a man who died in an Alabama prison say officials provided inadequate medical care before his death.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports the family of 45-year-old state inmate Michael Eddings says workers at Ventress prison in southeast Alabama were "deliberately indifferent" to his condition.

Eddings died on Sept. 24 after a bacterial infection developed into meningitis.

Alabama Inmates Receive Seminary Degrees

Sep 24, 2018

Fourteen Alabama prisoners have earned theological degrees under a new seminary program in the state’s prison system.

The Alabama Department of Corrections says the first inmates graduated from seminary studies under the Birmingham Theological Seminary Prison Initiative Program.

The privately funded program allows inmates to take seminary classes taught at the Bibb County Correctional Facility. The program lasts two years.

Ten inmates earned certificates in biblical studies and four earned masters of arts in biblical studies.

Alabama's prison system is facing a hearing on how it provides mental health services to inmates. reports U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has ordered a hearing in Montgomery later today on why the Alabama Department of Corrections should not be held in contempt of court for failing to meet deadlines for increasing mental health staffing.

Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in Alabama prisons was "horrendously inadequate" and violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

St. Clair Inmate Killed Sunday

Sep 4, 2018

An inmate was fatally stabbed at a state prison in Springville, Alabama last weekend.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton says the stabbing happened Sunday evening at St. Clair Correctional Facility.

Prison staff found 29-year-old Terry Terrell Pettiway unresponsive and suffering from a stab wound at around 6:45 p.m. Sunday evening. Pettiway was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

Loxley work center

A county sheriff in south Alabama is urging the state of Alabama to close a prison facility where three inmates escaped in a span of 24 hours.

Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack tells WPMI-TV that prisoners are just walking away from the work release center at Loxley.

Three inmates have left the state's minimum-security community work release center this week. Two are back in custody, and a third is still at large as of Wednesday morning.

Police say looking for the escaped prisoners puts a strain on local law enforcement.

Authorities say an Alabama death row inmate was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide Sunday morning.  

The Alabama Department of Corrections said 57-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Borden was found hanging by a bed sheet in his cell during a security check at 2:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at 3 a.m., a prison spokesman said.

Authorities say an Alabama prisoner stabbed another inmate to death at a state prison Tuesday.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton released a statement saying an inmate fatally stabbed 35-year-old Jeveria Odess McCall at a housing area at Bibb Correctional Facility Tuesday evening. McCall was hospitalized and later died.

29-year-old Keandre Derrod Houston is charged in McCall's death. Horton said officials recovered a makeshift knife believed to be used in the stabbing.