Prisoners in Alabama went on strike across the state starting May 1st, refusing to work. Many of them are reportedly still on lockdown. Prisoners are refusing to support the institutions which abuse, neglect, and enslave them.
On April 27, 2016 the realities of Overcrowding continues to translate into violence. As yet again, 2 Officers were assaulted in the Segregation Unit in 2 separate incidents.
Due to such a shortage of Staff and surplus of prisoners, Officers result to being over aggressive in order to emphasize their control, which in turn causes an influx of violent altercations between the two.
Since the Riots of March 11th & 14th, where an Officer and the Warden were assaulted, a Lt and 3 CO’s have been assaulted in the Segregation Unit alone as prisoners fight back against the repressive treatment.
How long will the ADOC allow this Overcrowding and associated violence continue before they realize that the money is not worth the cost of keeping so many people incarcerated in its dilapidated system?
Once again, the ADOC CERT TEAM is expected to arrive at Holman Correctional Facility to reassert control and instill fear as a means of addressing the deteriorating conditions.
After 4 attempts in the past 45 days, seems like it would be clear that this is not the most effective method.
As until Overcrowding is properly addressed the violence will persist.
On Saturday, April 9th, more than thirty people answered the call put forth by Freedom Alabama Movement (F.A.M.) for a demonstration outside of the decrepit Holman Prison in Atmore, AL. About four weeks ago, Holman was the site of a large uprising involving hundreds of inmates, who barricaded their dorms, fought guards, set control rooms on fire and even stabbed a guard and warden. This is the third consecutive Saturday where demonstrations have taken place outside of the tumultuous rural correctional facility, and by far the largest to date. The demonstrators gathered to carry the prisoners’ message further and also express our solidarity and our mutual desire to destroy the miserable society that holds them—and to a lesser degree, us—captive.
Family members of the incarcerated, anarchists, communists, activists and locals who lived nearby were all present. Initially less than a dozen demonstrators attempted to hold banners directly outside of the prison and play drums, but were quickly met by Corrections Officers in tactical gear (Camouflage uniforms, body armor, etc) who angrily instructed them to move off the “private road” and to the “free speech zone” located at the highway. The small contingent retreated and reassembled with an additional twenty demonstrators who had just arrived. Stories and plans for future actions were shared, and short interviews were given to a news dude from Montgomery. A banner saying “END PRISON SLAVERY” was rigged over the Holman Prison Sign. After sitting around for about an hour, demonstrators decided to defy the orders given by the corrections officers and proceeded to march down the long dirt road back to the prison. DOC Trucks and Vans kept driving past and guards would scream for the demonstrators to turn around, but they were just ignored, laughed at, given middle fingers, chanted at, etc.
Upon arriving for the second time, a banner reading “SOLIDARITY WITH PRISON REBELS” was unfurled and people began bashing on their drums. Prisoners inside report being able to hear the disturbance outside. There were no more interactions with corrections staff or local police, which many thought meant they were either bluffing about it being a private road or just didn’t have the capacity to enforce any of their demands and threats upon the small crowd.
This is an ongoing campaign so if you are reading this then it is still going
on and your emails are important and appreciated!!!
LINCOLN — For a second time this week, prison personnel have been assaulted by inmates, this time at the State Penitentiary in Lincoln, corrections officials report.
On Wednesday night, two corrections officers were assaulted as they were trying to secure inmates in their cells for the night.
When one officer directed an inmate to return to his cell, the officer was struck. A nearby officer was struck too as he responded to take control of the inmate, the officials said.
One of the two officers was treated at a local hospital and released.
On Monday, three corrections officers were assaulted at the state prison in Tecumseh, which also was the scene of a deadly riot last May. Just before that, the penitentiary was the site of a less-serious disturbance, in which four corrections workers were attacked and some $1 million in damage was done.
State Corrections Director Scott Frakes said he was “deeply troubled” by the most recent assault but proud of the quick response. He said such attacks would not be tolerated and said the results of investigations will be forwarded to the county attorney for prosecution.
“By its very nature,” Frakes said, “working in corrections is inherently dangerous. Knowing that your team is there for you, no matter what, enables department professionals to help keep Nebraska safe every day.”
Andrew Nystrom, a Corrections Department spokesman, said that because of the ongoing investigations he could not comment on whether the two recent assaults were linked.
Officials from the State Ombudsman’s Office and the state employees union have said in the past that the Tecumseh prison and the penitentiary have some of the department’s worst problems with employee turnover and vacancies.
The following post is an excerpt taken from a letter sent shortly after the recent rebellion at Holman. The author (name withheld) is a prison rebel currently housed at Donaldson Correctional facility in Bessemer, Alabama who has also spent some of his sentence at Holman.
March 21, 2016
…We were so excited about demonstrations at Holman, that we spent most of the time talking about that, and how the transfer of many of the brothers who were involved up here to Donaldson will help our cause. That brings me to the other reasons I am in high spirits! I don’t know if you have heard or not, but it’s been all over the news here in Alabama. I also read a small excerpt on the events in Wednesday’s 16th USA Today news paper. In the ‘State by State’ section. I will get the Youtube link from a video ________ told me some guys posted when they had absolute control of the prison and they were running around setting things on fire and whatnot.
As I understand it an officer or group of officers jumped some guy down there, and the men standing by who were witnessing it just went in flip mode! They smashed those officers, and the responding back-up unit. For like three days the inmates had complete control of the camp. They had to call in “emergency response” police from around the state to come in and gain control.
I was there in 2011 when we had a similar situation. The warden at the time was Warden Patterson. That time the revolt spawned from the prison having been on complete lock down for two weeks because of an isolated stabbing between two inmates. Patterson had the practice of punishing the entire prison because of the acts of a few. He also liked to walk around the prison during these lock-down periods and give speeches about how these kind of “behaviors will not be tolerated”. On one of these such speeches in A-dorm a guy threw a AA battery at him and screamed for him to “shut the fuck up”. Although the battery missed him, the act enraged him and feeling emboldened by the thirty or so officers he had accompanying him, he ventured deeper into the open bay unit, which houses 114 men, to try and confront the guy who he thought threw the battery. The man he chose to single out is one who is not to be messed with, and was not the one who threw the it. Nevertheless, Patterson was convinced it was him. We will call this guy “Red”. Once Warden Patterson was within arms reach of Red he attempted to grab Red by his shirt, I guess to direct him our of the dorm. However as soon as he touched him, Red fell into a crouch and came up with a devastating upper cut that knocked Patterson out cold. Red straddled him and began what was an MMA “ground pound”. LOL All the present officers converged on him, and the entire 114 inmates fell on them with sticks, fists, locks in a sock. To this day I can’t tell you how none of those officers weren’t killed. I know over half of them quit that day! LOL The prison officials didn’t have enough personnel to subdue the revolt that resulted so they called in State Troopers, County Sheriffs, and any police that were willing to come help. Once they made it into camp, they began shooting guys with rubber bullet loaded 12 gauges, throwing bang grenades, flash grenades, and teargas everywhere. They also had some machine which pumped teargas into the ventilation units so that the entire prison shortly became filled with the stuff. There was a big cloud of it outside the building. That stuff is what caused guys to submit to the orders of the police. With no escape from teargas, men were having asthma attacks, vomiting and even passing out. Remarkably no one died.
When it was all over, Holman went back to business as usual with about twenty fewer officers. The commissioner of ADOC gave a press conference outside the prison about contraband cell phones. He got on TV and just flat out lied about how “officers were trying to collect contraband cell phones”. There was no searching or shake down period during this revolt!!! But in the shift office they have a large file cabinet where they keep phones that have been collected during past searches. The commissioner filled a large see-through bag with maybe 100-150 phones and gave a speech about how detrimental they are to prison security and that the only way to combat the problem was to jam the cell signals around the prison, but that the public should contact the state legislature about approval of the more blah blah blah… I believe there are maybe more than 20,000 cell phone bills being paid from jails and prisons in AL, because the backlash from activist and different community leaders was beyond what any prisons could have cooked up.
Anyway, man I got off track there. The demonstration that recently took place causd them to bring in these same “emergency response” officers. After they left, the rebellion crank back up. And they were called in again. This happened three days in a row to my understanding. The prison went through many warden changes after Warden Patterson. There was Warden Hetsel, then Miles, Rayborn and now Davenport. I have been here at Donaldson since 2015 so I missed Warden Davenport, but he is known throughout the Alabama prison system to be one of the most cruel, strict, and oppressive wardens in the state.
After the demonstration which took place with Patterson in 2011, wardens never ventured into the housing units there at Holman again. Except GG. She is an assistant warden who likes to play the good cop role of the good cop bad cop act her and Warden Miles created. I have seen potential revolts be ended time and time again by GG. Actually, Warden Miles came in G-dorm once that I know of and a young guy from Prichard, AL we call ________, who is maybe 110 pounds if he is hiding a 10 pound weight, threw a can of shaving powder into his face and told him to get out of the dorm. LOL. Miles ran into no less than 15 beds trying to spring blindly out of C-dorm, LOL.
Well, Davenport is one of these wardens who really thinks he is tough. He walks into C-dorm in Holman, which might I add is the most turnt up of all the housing units at Holman. He walks into C-dorm during this pause in the revolts that took place earlier this week to address the men there. Predictably, they stabbed him up. Say they really fucked him up too. Him along with one other officer who was brave/foolish enough to accompany him. That sparked another rebellion which caused the police to be called in again. Might I add that the state HATES to call in extra forces, even the DOC CERT (Corrections Emergency Response Team) team because that shit costs so much money. Bringing in outside police is substantially more expensive, and ALABAMA IS BROKE!!! since the state has the most overcrowded prison system in the country. The feds have been cutting their general fund for the past 6-7 years. They even closed down all the state parks in order to have enough money to keep the prisons running last fall or last year. As of right now, Governor Bently is complaining for money to build four new state of the art prison facility which he claims will allow them to better manage the prison population.
Anyhow, lots of drama going on right now. Would make for an entertaining reality show. LOL Along with the group of guys who were transferred here from Holman this week I have heard is one of my dear friends. He is really much more than a friend to me. Bruh is my family! And ________ when I tell you he is ’bout that life! Man, G all the way with it. Anytime something jumped off when we were at Holman he was right there in the middle of it, or he was the one to jump it off in the first place. I hate they sent him up here to Johnathins House, but I am going to love to see him and talk with him and ultimately have him stand along side me when we finally get to launch the demonstrations against our oppressors here. Can’t wait to talk to you, man. Till then I will keep you posted, and _________, write me back bruh.
March 7th 2016
We have been fighting in this common struggle since 2012 from G.S.P.’s torture chamber to their general population and beyond! Now; we are, by more than mere coincidence; residents of Hays State Prison where we shipped out the same night and have become roommates!! Fine with us because as the saying goes: steel sharpens steel…
I was asked to share in this letter and I’m delighted to expose the inner workings of corruption that takes place here. It is my duty and anything less would just not be me. I sent a letter to BayView Newspaper last week called: “Welcome to K.K.K.ville” in that letter I described the verbal and physical abuse I have endured and witnessed in less than 14 days in population. Since then, even more has taken place. I’ll begin with arrival: upon first exiting the bus we were approached by this huge, high testosterone, wrestler type officer claiming to turn our testicles into our nipples if we violate facility rules. After intake, we were assigned to the stereotyped behavior dorm. This is our second lockdown in less than 30 days. Word on the cell block as we have 30 days to do this time, because of a disturbance between two different organizations. I am glad to say that me and Ladarius were no part of this commotion, yet still we have to suffer the consequences.
In our first week here; a fight in the chow hall left one prisoner tased by three officers simultaneously. And they got a kick out of it. The same high testosterone officer was amped up as he responded to the fight. He entered the southside chow hall where we were eating our meal, which was the wrong location. Screaming out “where are they?!” When he received another call to report to the northside chow hall, he urged the other officer to move out of his way. This man was jumping up and down with excitement. A day or so later, he brags to prisoners about tazing the prisoner and hearing him scream and holler.
On our 9th day here; prisoner Aaron Graylor was harassed by an officer named Camp during a random “pat search”. The young man is only a few months from being released back into society. Officer Camp said that Aaron’s legs were not spread far enough and attempted to kick his feet from under him. When this did not work he slung the prisoner by his coat, while at the same time causing him to choke. In the process Erin shook loose and it caused the officer to lose his own footing and fall. This prisoner did not take any action but was wrestled to the ground when more officers arrived. I was unable to see any more. During this incident Ladarius and I were told, along with others to lay down on the ground. Several officers ran past us, but this one officer; Officer Germany ran extremely close to us, to the point that he kicked debris on myself. I assure you it was more than enough area to pass beside us. Somewhere between 6 to 10 feet of space to run freely. In less than another minute as we were being escorted into the dormitory. Alan Hansen was attacked after officer Craig provoked him. This officer was upset because of the first incident and became belligerent and as Hudson stopped to speak with him; another officer grabbed him and slung him to the ground. He was that was swarmed by at least six to eight officers in a “dogpile” maneuver. As the command for us all to get down again, Tyrone McGee was blindsided when officer Germany ran and jumped into the air with a flying knee and took him down. Another officer then kicked McGee in his face.
Ladarius and I made it safely inside our cells, even though, officers wanted to demonstrate on us, but for a female officer told them that we had nothing to do with it. We came together and immediately grieve the whole ordeal and asked that no retaliation be taken upon us and also ask to be transferred.
The individuals: Aaron Graylor, Allen Hudson #1000330320 and Tyrone McGee #1243099 have not been heard from since that day February 25th 2016, even though we asked about them through orderlies who work in the tier I and tier II details. I will continue to seek them out, because right after this I was placed in the kitchen for my detail. Once we are off of lockdown I’m back on my search.
As for the conditions: we haven’t had any recreation except one gym call on March 4th. Out of 6 showers only three work. The kitchen is pretty clean except for the trayroom where I work; there’s mold, the dishwasher is in total collapse, the floor drains do not work, their stopped up. Their are also rats everywhere in the back of the kitchen.
This place also practice a no-touch torture called “sleep deprivation”. We are awakened at 5 a.m. and pulled out of our cells to stand by for breakfast. Once we go to breakfast we’re kept out until after 8:00 count. Then we are given several minutes to get our rooms ready for inspection and held out until lunch. Then after lunch we must wait to after 12:00 count. Then we can go in cells until 3 p.m. for dinner, we must come out again and then we have 4 p.m. count. Now we have until 9 p.m. count to get some rest. Then we have 9 p.m. count. So all day long we have to sit outside our rooms. Some even sleep on the floor beside their doors or in the TV room or the top range where walking is at a minimum. Lockdown is 11:30 p.m. I must admit that being locked down in our dorm is a relief here. This is the only way that we can read, or do work on our cases or write to our family and friends. I also feel safe in my cell. I’ve been to about 12 prisons. I mean not the baddest of the bad, but it’s a pure shame to where a prisoner feels safe being locked down. After I did 34 months., that’s the last thing I want, is to be in my room 24 hours a day. But it is what it is until better days arise.
I’m honored to share with you the ins and outs of Hays State Prison, I’m pretty sure there’s plenty more to uncover about this place. Remember we haven’t been here 30 days yet. SMH?? So stay tuned!!
Willie Coe #1122706
King Coe the Righteous
A second riot is happening at Holman, just days after the last one. Prisoners are building barricades and have reportedly broken into other areas of the prison.
News coverage at WKRG.
The Alabama Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Jefferson S. Dunn can be reached at 334-353-3870. Everyone is encouraged to call officials and the media to draw attention to the situation at Holman.
The following letter is from a prisoner at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama which has recently seen an inspiring act of rebellion that left two staff members stabbed and major fire damage to correctional facilities. Much of what really happened there is still unknown but this letter sent in late January might help illustrate some of the conditions in the Alabama prison system feeding the rage that we saw yesterday.
January 25, 2016
Dear [name withheld from online posting],
Thank you for writing. Let me begin by saying that the Free Alabama Movement and prisoners in the State of Alabama can use all the help and support we can get in our efforts to be released from this unjust system.
The entire Alabama criminal justice system is corrupt, from the police departments, to the prosecutors and judges, and the prisons. There is no justice here. These people are solely motivated to lock people up and throw away the key. That is the mentality here, and it is focused on black people and poor whites.
You may be aware that the Alabama prison systemn is severely overcrowded with approximately 30,000 inmates in a system designed for about 16,000 people. Now you would think the state government and the courts would do something to alleviated this unconstitutional situation, but all that they have done for the last 20-years is talk about it, with no real solutions to solve the problem.
The courts in this state are so corrupt that contrary to federal law, prisoners are routinely denied acfess to the courts unless they can pay a $260.00 filing fee to have their petitions heard. And the federal courts are going right along with this practice.
In addition, the Alabama courts also routinbely deny prisoners ‘due process of law’ in the court. That is, when we file petitions attacking our convictions and sentences the courts deny the petitions outright without affording us attorneys or hearings in court.
My case is a perfect example of what I am talking about. In 2005 I was convicted of trafficking cocaine and attempted murder of a police officer. In court hearings prior to me being indicted and tried, the individual who owned the drugs told the courts and prosecutors that I was a visitor at his home when the police came and executed a search warrant, and that the drugs were not mine.
The police also stated that the drugs did not belong to me and that they were after the owner of the residence because they had reason to believe that he was trafficking drugs based upon a confidential informant. The police also stated that they did not see me with a gun and were not accusing me of attempted murder.
Never-the-less, the prosecutors and the judges ignored this testimony and decided to prosecute me anyway. Simply because I was there. I have all of this information in my transcripts.
My case is one of thousands, where an individual has been wrongfully convicted. Having said that, I am of the opinion that if the Alabama courts afforded criminal defendants due process and equal protection of the law, then the Alabama prison system would not be overcrowded.
The next issue is the prisons themselves. The Alabama prisons are basically falling down. I am at Holman prison and the living conditions are deplorable to say the least. In the winter there is no heat, you get warm the best way you can by putting on as many clothes as possible. The food is unfit for human consumption for the most part and if you don’t have money to feed yourself, you are just shit-out-of-luck.
There are many things that I could go on about, but these are just some of the things that we are going through here in Alabama. I cannot speak for everyone but we need all the help we can get whether it is through social media or actual protest to the legislature in Montgomery.
You also mentioned that you could help with reading material. If you don’t mind could you provide me with a catalog or list of books that you have available.
I appreciate your time and consideration in trying to provide assistance to the prisoners of Alabama. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
[name withheld from online posting]
This post is an excerpt from a letter sent by a rebellious prisoner at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama. His name and other sensitive information has been ommitted from the following write up.
February, 25, 2016
…Dealing with the same ol’ same ol’. Still in closed custody, but I’m taking some delight in the convenience of being allowed in to remain in the same cell for an extended period of time. Normally the administration is constantly moving individuals in closed custody, from cell to cell. More on that later.
You’re right mane, it is some bullshit they don’t allow us to have books in segregation. Donaldson is the only facility in the state that has that policy. This is the only facility that practices many of the policies they have created. Camps are supposed to function by the rules outlined in the ADOC Administrative Regulations, but Donaldson disregards that all together. They have their own set of rules and policies which they change, bend, break and write as they go. No exaggeration what so ever. For example, according to the ADOC Administrative Regulations code 403 which governs the process of disciplinary citations and what not, I clearly should not be in segretation. There are ten “working days” allowed to the administration ot present your case before a “hearing officer” from the exact time that you are served with the citation. Any minute longer and it is considered a due process violation where the write up is to be disconnected and the inmate released from segregation back into general population.
Every facility takes great measure to meet the requirements for due process except here. I informed the warden over the segregation unit at one weekly Seg’ review board” that the time fo due process on my disciplinary had expired and when could I expect to be released from segregation. Herself along with many of the dozen or so staff members on the Review Board burst into laughter as if I was a stand up comedian or something. The joke was really on me. When she regained her composure she stated to me. “There is no due process in my lock up. If the time truly has expired you can rest assured that your citation will be ‘re-initiated’”… Sure as shit stinks thats exactly what they did about two weeks after. But I later found out there are guys here who have been served write ups for things which took place months prior to them being served and yet the administration files it with ADOC Central Records as if everything was done by the book. Blatant corruptions and obstruction of justice. Representative of state and government agencies as a whole if you ask me.
What can we do about it. Complain to the Central Records department? Many individuals do this and if their claims are legitimate the ruling will be overturned, but it takes over a year sometimes years to get Central Records to complete that process. The administration knows that, and they figure by the time Central Records gets around to investigating and what not you will have served all of the time they gave you anyway. This allows the administration the freedom to administer whatever amount of tyranny they desire with impunity.
There are many guys like myself who have recently been transferred here from camps where there is constant rebellion and militant resistance to the oppressive tactics those administrations tried to implement. We have witnessed that through collective resistance we can force prison officials to conform to our demands. We have no desire to appeal to the state to correct itself. Where they do that?!?…
…I can get zines [as long as they aren’t stapled and/or containing pornographic images]. At one point the adminstration was rejecting zine packages I was receiving from comrades, but that’s only because the package were being mistaken for containing books. They wouldn’t even open it; just send me a notice that they were rejecting the package because I can’t get books in seg. I wrote a letter when one of these notices had the return address of a company that had been sending me zines before I came to segregation. They started opening them and making sure that it wasn’t a book instead of just rejecting the package because it appeared to contain a book. Sounds so logical you would wonder why they weren’t doing it in the first place SMH.
-A prisoner at Donaldson Correctional Facility