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  #1  
Old 07-02-2002, 06:26 PM
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Unhappy This article really scares me...

Guards: Overcrowded Alabama prisons may cause riots

By MARK NIESSE
The Associated Press
7/2/02 5:45 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Inmates could overwhelm their captors and start rioting this summer because the state's prisons are so crowded, wardens and corrections officers said Tuesday.

The state's prisons can't handle more than 1,000 inmates who have been sentenced to state time but are still being held in county jails, the state corrections department workers, joined by the Alabama State Employees Association, said at a news conference.

There are so few guards and so many prisoners that sometimes the guards are outnumbered 400-to-1.

"The criminal justice system is fast approaching a catastrophe -- every prison in the state is overcrowded," said James DeLoach, warden at Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore County. "There's no more room at the inn. We're not just crying wolf."

About 75 state employees attended the State House news conference, which was brought on by a June 14 ruling by Circuit Judge William Shashy fining the state $2.16 million.

Shashy said the state needs to reimburse county jails for housing their inmates who have not been sent to a state lockup 30 days after being sentenced, and he threatened to imprison Corrections Commissioner Mike Haley himself unless the number of state inmates left in county prisons is reduced. The employees association said it will appeal Shashy's ruling.

"We are understaffed, overcrowded and underpaid," said Annie Latimore, a corrections officer at Staton Prison and president of the Alabama State Corrections Association.

Alabama's prison system holds more than 27,000 inmates. Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said that as of Friday there were 1,254 state inmates still being held in county jails beyond the 30-day limit.

Corrections employees said they need new prisons, sentencing alternatives, more guards and higher pay that only the state Legislature can give. Shipping prisoners to other states and selling out to private prisons would not solve the problem, said Mac McArthur, executive director of the employees association.

But the county sheriffs have said the state needs to take responsibility for its inmates and quit shifting the burden to their jails.

"It's absurd to try to say that the county jails should be overcrowded just so the state prison system isn't overcrowded," said Sonny Brasfield, spokesman for the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. "The judge's order said the prison system is much more capable of dealing with overcrowding than we are."

Criminals will quickly get out of hand and won't be able to assimilate to society when they're let free unless there are livable conditions and job training, said Lt. Otis Smith, who trains corrections officers at a facility in Selma. Guards now have little power over inmates, he said.

"You're not in control -- you're just a figurehead," Smith said. "It's a disaster waiting to happen -- you just hope someone comes to your rescue."
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On September 22, 2003, my better half came home after 657 days in an Alabama prison!!!

And he's now forever free - passing away from this life and into the next - on January 9, 2010.

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January 21, 1954 - January 9, 2010

I'll always love you.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2002, 09:57 PM
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This sounds scary!
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:29 PM
Valerie Valerie is offline
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Yes, very scary!
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Old 07-03-2002, 08:25 AM
BillnDenise BillnDenise is offline
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Yes, frightening.
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:33 AM
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Well, what sense does it make to fine doc when they are obviously too broke (we'll call it that even though we know it is poor budgeting) to care for the people they have stuck in the jails?? That is just throwing gas on the fire.
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:34 AM
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What scares me is that if a riot takes place the effect it will utlitmately have on all inmates - involved or not. Wayne is easy-going and I doubt he'd be involved, but it's hard not to follow the crowd mentality. Also at times the crowd will turn on itself.

The thought of one CO monitoring 400 inmates is terrible - for the inmates safety as well as the CO's.
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Monica Danielle
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On September 22, 2003, my better half came home after 657 days in an Alabama prison!!!

And he's now forever free - passing away from this life and into the next - on January 9, 2010.

My Sweet Wayne
January 21, 1954 - January 9, 2010

I'll always love you.
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:42 AM
vnvdvc vnvdvc is offline
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Unfortunatley a riot sounds like the perfect time to settle scores somewhat unnoticed. I'm sure people will take full advantage of the chaos.
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