Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program

SPLC

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 has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out.

Myron Thompson
Lloyd Gallman / Montgomery Advertiser

Mentally ill inmates held in Alabama’s prisons may soon be receiving better care thanks to a federal court.

Late last week, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson awarded class action status to a lawsuit on behalf of prisoners allegedly receiving inadequate medical care from the Alabama Department of Corrections. That means whatever decision is reached will extend not just to the prisoners named in the lawsuit, but all of the nearly 25,000 prisoners currently incarcerated in Alabama Department of Corrections facilities.

istockphoto

Advocacy groups say Alabama prisons are giving inmates virtually unlimited access to razors, a practice that's leading to deaths and injuries inside the lockups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program asked a court Thursday to bar prisons from freely distributing razor blades to male inmates.

The groups are making the request on behalf of prisoners who've tried to kill themselves using the razors. They say razors are being distributed even after an inmate used one to kill himself at Limestone prison in 2011.

Alabama Family Trust

An advocacy group is calling to phase out segregated sheltered workshops for Alabamians with disabilities.

Leaders of the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program say taxpayer money now going to the workshops would be better used to move Alabamians with disabilities into regular jobs, where they are part of the community.

Facebook.com/Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program

Advocates for the disabled say they're concerned about the future of special education programs since state officials plan to inspect them less often.

The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/13QW7Qp ) reported Sunday that the state Department of Education will transition from inspecting the programs once every three years to once every four years beginning this school year.