inmates

Holman Correctional Facility
Sharon Steinmann / AP

Alabama Department of Corrections officials say a state prison was placed on lockdown yesterday after inmates set a fire inside a dorm.

A statement from the department says officers at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala. responded to a fight between inmates yesterday afternoon around 3 p.m. Other inmates then reportedly "became aggressive" toward the guards responding to the fight. The statement says officers secured the door of the dorm, and some inmates inside started a fire.

Today starts the Alabama Families of Prisoners Conference in Birmingham. The two-day event was established to help families who are in need of resources and encouragement now that a family member is incarcerated. Mary Kay Beard is coordinating the conference. She says inmate’s families serve time just as surely as the inmates do.

"But no one tells them what the rules are, and I don't mean specific rules but how to walk through this time of incarceration and we want to provide to them resources that will be helpful."