Donaldson Correctional Facility

The commissioner of Alabama’s Department of Corrections took the stand yesterday in an ongoing trial regarding mental health care for state inmates.

Back in June, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the care available to Alabama state inmates was “horrendously inadequate” and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. This phase of proceedings is all about how the Department of Corrections plans to fix those issues.

Alabama Department of Corrections

State health officials say Alabama's prison system is dealing with its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years.

Officials say they've diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons this year.

Alabama prisons averaged fewer than five cases annually each year since 2009.

All but one of the cases this year occurred at the St. Clair Correctional Facility. The other occurred at Donaldson prison north of Birmingham.

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.