Multiple disturbances have occurred at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore over the last week, causing Gov. Robert Bentley to visit the city for an update on moves being made to address the ongoing unrest. In two separate instances, inmates at the facility had committed acts of violence against other inmates and prison guards and had started fires and barricaded themselves inside the prison.
Though the two uprisings had been quelled, concerns over the state of Alabama’s prisons continues. The incidents stand to prop up Bentley’s landmark prison reform measures, which have come before multiple committees in the form of legislation known as the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act.
Holman is a maximum-security prison designed to house 637 inmates, though it currently houses 991, which is 156 percent of capacity.
During his visit to the prison, Bentley warned that more uprisings could be on the horizon if lawmakers don’t address the aged and overcrowded system.
“What we have today in Alabama makes it dangerous not just for the inmates, but for our guards and our wardens,” Bentley said. “We want to minimize that.”
“The facility is overcrowded, and there is a shortage of corrections officers,” the news release from Bentley’s office said. “Disturbances like what has occurred in the last three days are some examples of the issues that have plagued Alabama’s prison system for decades.”