Governor responds to scathing prison reports - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Governor responds to scathing prison reports


A pair of reports out in just the past two days detail some frightening conditions inside Alabama's Corrections Facilities.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's report, released Tuesday, detailed some of the mistreatment of inmates that even led to death in some circumstances. For instance, one cancer patient not receiving any treatment once his cancer returned, and even diabetic inmates having limbs amputated due to lack of medication and blood sugar monitoring.

Gov. Robert Bentley described some of those events as "anecdotal" and added that he encourages groups like the SPLC to come forward when there are documented issues.

"I've told them, look if you have specific that you know about, please tell us because we want to address those" Gov. Bentley said. "You know I've told the Justice Department, ‘don't sue us, help us.'"

Thursday morning the Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery based non-profit, called on the Department of Corrections to remove a warden from St. Clair Prison where inmate on inmate violence has been on the rise in eye-opening numbers.

According to EIJ, there have been three inmate on inmate homicides in the past ten months.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said Warden Carter Davenport is currently the warden and will remain the warden.

Kristi Gates with the Department said, "The ADOC routinely assesses and makes personnel transfers throughout the system. Warden Davenport is still the warden at St. Clair. However, if and when personnel transfers occur, they are based on where staff can best serve the department and not on the demands of outside requests."

Governor Bentley said much of the violence inside prisons could be solved by increased staffing but said the state doesn't provide enough money for prisons as it is.

The governor announced the Prison Reform Task force earlier this week, which is aimed at easing the 192% overcrowding in Alabama's prisons. It will meet throughout the next six months with the goal of preparing legislation for prison reform for the 2015 legislative session.

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