Governor’s panel tours aging, understaffed prison


State officials toured a state prison that the corrections commissioner say illustrates the state’s problem with aging facilities. It also shows the state’s ongoing problems with understaffing.

The Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy on Tuesday toured Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. The maximum-security inmate houses more than 1,000 inmates in facilities originally designed for about 500.

Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says the 50-year-old prison was built under a “warehousing” model of corrections, and lacks spaces for rehabilitation programs.

Gov. Kay Ivey’s administration is exploring a plan to build three new mega-prisons and close most facilities.

Holman Warden Cynthia Stewart says the prison has about one-third of the corrections officers it is authorized to have.

An inmate hung a “Help” sign in a window as reporters approached.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.