Alabama Department of Corrections

Prison riot
7:56 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

15 inmates treated after St. Clair riot

A dormitory in St. Clair Correctional Facility
Credit Equal Justice Institute

15 inmates received medical treatment after a riot at St. Clair Correctional Facility Friday afternoon.

A correctional officer was assaulted during the prison's morning meal Friday. After the attack, the Alabama Department of Corrections' Correctional Emergency Response Team was sent to the prison. All inmates were ordered to return to their cells, but the occupants of one cell block refused.

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Committees
10:26 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Busy day ahead for legislative committees

Alabama's Senate floor

Committee members throughout the Alabama Legislature have a busy day ahead of them.

The Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing this morning on a bill aiming to repeal the Common Core curriculum standards.

The House Ways and Means Education Committee will also consider changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, a state program that provides scholarships to help some families pay for private school.

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Newscast
9:17 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Same-sex marriage hurdles and Birmingham school tax increase

Meredith Bagley and Alexandria Davenport with their Vermont marriage license

Alabama became the 37th state to legalize same-sex marriage yesterday.

Couples throughout Alabama have been applying for – and receiving – marriage licenses. But some judges are refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite the threat of steep penalties.

Meredith Bagley and Alexandrea Davenport, both faculty at the University of Alabama, were married in Vermont five years ago, but they wanted to get an Alabama marriage license now that same-sex marriage is legal.

But when they went in to apply at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse yesterday morning?

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Razor Policy
5:57 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

New Razor Policy in Alabama Prisons

Prison toiletries
Credit Washington Post

Alabama prisons are changing the way razors are distributed.

The change comes from an agreement with lawyers for inmates suing the state over medical care.  Attorneys had accused the state of giving razor blades to inmates who were known to be suicidal or mentally ill, leading to repeated suicide attempts.

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Women's Prison Oversight
12:25 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

New Ala. Corrections Post Meant To Improve Safety

An Alabama Department of Corrections veteran says she's using her position as deputy commissioner of women's services to improve worker education and inmate safety in women's prisons.
Credit Rivers A. Langley / Wikimedia Commons

An Alabama Department of Corrections veteran says she's using her position as deputy commissioner of women's services to improve worker education and inmate safety in women's prisons.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports the state Department of Corrections appointed Wendy Williams to serve as a deputy commissioner in April. Williams oversees the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, the Montgomery Women's Facility and Birmingham Work Release.

Federal officials have criticized Tutwiler and the state Department of Corrections for reports of sexual harassment and abuse.

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Prison Overtime
4:03 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ala. Prisons Use $20.8 In OT To Supplement Staff

Employees of Donaldson Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Jefferson County, received about $2.9 million in overtime pay.
Credit Alabama Department of Corrections

Alabama's prison system paid $20.8 million in overtime last year, with 14 percent going to one prison.

Al.com reports that employees of Donaldson Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Jefferson County, received about $2.9 million in overtime pay. That averages about $8,873 per employee.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kristi Gates says the prison system uses overtime to supplement chronic staffing shortages. Gates says Donaldson prison has 8.4 inmates for every one officer. The overtime pay reduces the ratio to 6.9.

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Prison Changes
4:40 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Alabama Prison Chief Says Changes Underway At Tutwiler

Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said Friday three months of working with the Moss Group is having a positive impact on Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka.
Credit Office of the Governor of Alabama

The Alabama Department of Corrections says it is working with a consulting group to make changes at Alabama's prison for women, including providing more privacy in the bathrooms.

Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said Friday three months of working with the Moss Group is having a positive impact on Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka. Shower curtains, toilet partitions and privacy curtains have been installed in part of the prison and the full installation should be complete by Oct. 1.

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Alabama Prison Review
3:51 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Corrections Leader Refutes Claims In SPLC Report

Department Commissioner Kim Thomas says the state is proud of the health care it offers inmates and that care provided in state institutions is better than what's available to most uninsured Alabamians.
Credit Office of the Governor of Alabama

Alabama Department of Corrections officials are refuting a report by a human rights organization that criticizes health care in state prisons.

Department Commissioner Kim Thomas said in a statement Wednesday the state is proud of the health care it offers inmates and that care provided in state institutions is better than what's available to most uninsured Alabamians.

A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center said the state fails to give inmates a humane level of medical care and disabled prisoners face discrimination.

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Prison Protest
3:51 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ala. Inmates Use Cellphones To Post Protest Videos

Alabama inmates have been protesting about facility conditions, overcrowding, parole policies, not being paid for prison jobs and more.
Credit istockphoto

Alabama Department of Corrections officials say inmates who are protesting at state facilities have also been using contraband cellphones to post interviews about prison conditions on the Internet.

Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett told AL.com that inmates involved in the videos could face disciplinary action.

Inmates have been protesting about facility conditions, overcrowding, parole policies, not being paid for prison jobs and more.

Prisoners in state facilities are not allowed to have cellphones.

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Court-Work Release
4:02 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Ala. Supreme Court Approves Work Release Costs

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled the state prison system can charge work release inmates for providing transportation to their jobs and other associated costs.
Credit apr.org

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled the state prison system can charge work release inmates for providing transportation to their jobs and other associated costs.

A group of inmates had challenged the Department of Corrections over charging $5 for a round trip to work and other items, including laundry of their work clothes. The inmates said state law limited the department to withholding 40 percent of their earnings, and the department was already doing that before adding the extra charges.

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Alabama Prisons-HIV Inmates
4:26 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Judge Approves Deal In Ala. Prison Case Over HIV

A federal judge has approved a settlement to end the segregation of HIV-positive inmates in Alabama prisons.
Credit AP Photo/Jamie Martin

A federal judge has approved a settlement to end the segregation of HIV-positive inmates in Alabama prisons.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an opinion Monday saying the agreement isn't perfect but can take effect.

Female inmates already are living with other prisoners at the state's lone women's prison, and male inmates will be integrated into the general prison population next year.

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Alabama Execution
5:03 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Andrew Lackey Execution In Ala. Set For Thursday

Andrew Lackey is scheduled to be executed Thursday. It is Alabama's first execution in nearly two years.

Family members of convicted murderer Andrew Lackey visited with him briefly at Holman Prison in Atmore Tuesday, two days before his scheduled execution Thursday.

Prisons spokesman Brian Corbett said the 30-year-old Lackey was moved at 4 p.m. Tuesday into a holding cell near the death chamber at Holman, where a lethal injection is scheduled to be administered at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Corbett said Lackey's mother, father, aunt and brother visited for about an hour and a half Tuesday.

Lackey would be the first person executed in Alabama in almost two years.

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Politics & Government
7:29 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Ala Prisons Still Understaffed Despite New Workers

Alabama's prison system is getting dozens of new officers, but officials say it's still badly understaffed.

The Department of Corrections is holding a graduation ceremony in Selma on Thursday for 70 new correctional officers. It's the first of three corrections classes planned for this year at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center.

But department spokesman Brian Corbett says the agency loses more than 20 officers a month through attrition, so the new officers only make up for three months of normal turnover.

Politics & Government
7:21 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Ala. Prisons Make Changes Concerning Complaints

(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com)

Alabama's prison system has changed a policy that required placing inmates who make a complaint into segregation while the issue is being investigated.

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HIV Inmates-Trial
7:41 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Judge To Decide Soon In Lawsuit Over Inmates With HIV

A judge will soon decide if Alabama can continue to isolate it HIV positive inmates from the rest of the prison population.

It's up to a federal judge in Montgomery to decide if the Alabama Department of Corrections can continue to isolate inmates who have tested positive for HIV even though the virus is no longer considered a death sentence.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson heard arguments made during the month-long trial challenging Alabama's decades-old policy of mostly separating HIV-positive inmates from other prisoners.

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