The William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama was on lockdown after a prison riot broke out late Friday. During the riot, inmates in the Alabama prison set stuff on fire and stabbed a corrections officer and the warden of the prison. The riot caused the governor of Alabama to once again call for prisons to be updated and have the ability to control the prison population in an easier manner. The William C. Holman Correctional Facility is the only prison in Alabama that can conduct executions.
— Michelle Holmes (@mlh_holmes) March 12, 2016
Bob Horton, spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Corrections, reported that the warden and corrections officer that were stabbed did not have life-threatening injuries. Horton also stated that 100 of the prison inmates were involved in some capacity in the riot. Three emergency response teams were dispatched in order to regain control of the prison.
The catalyst to the riot happened on Friday night when two inmates were fighting. A corrections officer intervened in order to break up the inmates and that officer was stabbed. Warden Carter Davenport and other corrections officers went to the scene of the fight and Davenport was stabbed. The inmates then attempted to take control of one of the prison dorms. Video of the riot and other pictures ended up on social media due to prisoners having illegal cell phones. After the warden was stabbed, an inmate was heard on one of the videos shouting “It’s going down!”
2 corrections officials stabbed in Alabama prison riot after Inmates set fire https://t.co/tVpUb1DckW pic.twitter.com/PBAn4GZILs
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) March 12, 2016
The Alabama prison system is not a stranger to problems such as Friday’s riot. On Monday, a corrections officer was stabbed during a fight between two inmates at the St. Clair Correctional facility and in November, another corrections officer was stabbed at St. Clair. In 2015, six inmates lost their lives during inmate-on-inmate encounters. This statistic is a cumulative total from the entire prison system in Alabama.
According to prison reports, Alabama prisons are severely overpopulated. The prison population is double than what the facilities were designed to hold. Last month, Alabama governor Robert Bentley spoke about the need for at least four new prisons to be built in the state. Governor Bently took to Twitter and commented about the riot and the prison system.
“We have had two incidents just this week at our prison facilities. Prisons are overcrowded & poor design makes them a major safety concern. The situation at #Holman is under control, but is another reminder that we must address the issues that plague our prison system.”
The most recent prison census taken for the William C. Holman Correctional Facility showed that 830 prisoners were incarcerated. The prison has beds to accommodate 835 prisoners. When it was built, the William C. Holman Correctional Facility was said to be filled to capacity with 581 inmates.
Senator Cam Ward, chairman of the legislative prison oversight committee commented about the prison overcrowding issue.
“It’s going to get worse and worse until we still start dealing with the overcrowding. You can’t have that low level of staffing and that many inmates in such a small confined inmates. Anybody who has been inside the facilities know what a dangerous situation those officers work in every day.”
Alabama is not the only state in the country that is dealing with overpopulation of their prison system. Prison overpopulation is one of the main arguments being used in Washington in order to overhaul the criminal justice system.
What do you think could have been done differently in order to avoid the prison riot in Alabama?
[Image Via YouTube]