Inmate Strike Continues at Alabama Prison, Star-Studded Witness List for Hubbard Ethics Trial

May 11, 2016

Dormitory at Elmore Correctional Facility, Elmore, Ala.

A lockdown has been lifted at one Alabama prison where inmates had been refusing to work. At another facility, the strike is still on.

Alabama Department of Corrections officials say they’ve taken Elmore Correctional Facility off lockdown. Spokesman Bob Horton says about 80 percent of the 300 inmates who were striking at that facility have begun reporting to their assigned jobs again.

At the William C. Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore, around 60 inmates are still refusing to work in the prison’s sewing and license plate plants. Corrections officials say that prison is still on lockdown.

The inmate strikes began May 1. The Free Alabama Movement says inmates are protesting conditions in the state prison system. Horton says there is no indication the strikes are taking place at other facilities beyond the Elmore and Holman prisons.

Some of the most prominent names in Alabama government will be testifying at House Speaker Mike Hubbard's ethics trial. APR’s Stan Ingold has more.

Court records show that subpoenas have been issued to Governor Robert Bentley, former Governor Bob Riley, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and multiple state legislators and lobbyists.

The prominent witness list was expected. Hubbard faces 23 ethics charges claiming he used his public position to benefit his businesses through lobbying, soliciting investments and clients and other actions.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin next Monday.

Circuit Judge Jacob Walker has said he will delay the trial only if appeals of pretrial rulings are pending. Hubbard has filed a petition with the Court of Criminal Appeals, but it was filed under seal.

The annual regional job fair hosted by the Alabama Department of Labor will be in Birmingham today.

The fair is expected to have at least 150 employers attend, and participants will have the opportunity to interview on site.

Kelly Betts is the public information specialist at the Alabama Department of Labor. She says that the agency hopes the job fair will help decrease unemployment in Alabama.

“The whole goal of ADOL is to bring employers and job seekers together, because we’re trying to reduce unemployment in our state. The best way to do that is to network the services that we offer at ADOL, and one of the biggest services that we offer is the Alabama Career Center System that’s putting on these job fairs around the state.”

The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the BJCC in Birmingham. Participants should bring their resumes and dress professionally.

Some public parks in the Birmingham area will also become children’s libraries later this month.

GPS Educational Services announced the installation of "Little Free Libraries" earlier this week. The tiny libraries are book exchanges designed to promote literacy and a sense of community among area youth.

The Little Free Libraries look like large birdhouses. Children are encouraged to take and leave books as they please, for free. The libraries will be installed next to benches so children will be able to read at the parks.

The first Little Free Library will be unveiled May 21 during a ceremony at Maclin Park. Other libraries will also be installed in Crestwood Park, Cooper Green Park and Central Park.