Former officer: Alabama ‘not in control’ of state prisons

Nov 5, 2022, 1:46 PM | Updated: 1:51 pm

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former corrections officer on Friday compared Alabama prisons to a “third world country with a concrete floor” and said he believes federal officials should intervene in the system.

“The Alabama Department of Corrections is not in control of any prison in Alabama and hasn’t been for a while,” Stacy George, who recently resigned after 13 1/2 years at Limestone Correctional Facility, said.

George, who ran for governor in 2014 and 2022, spoke to reporters and relatives of prisoners outside the Department of Corrections headquarters, saying he wanted people to hear the truth about what was going on inside. George recently resigned because of complications from an injury.

He described coming into work and seeing blood trails through the prison, inmates threatening suicide with nooses or razor blades, and staffing levels so low that made it difficult to monitor the prison or care for inmates in need.

“We have to treat people like human beings. Everybody’s in danger — the officers, the incarcerated individuals,” George said.

George said sometimes there would be nine officers working in the prison that houses 2,200 inmates. He said there should be about 35. “There could be people bleeding to death in the cell and nobody even know it for hours,” George said.

George, a Republican, said he believes politics contributed to overcrowding. Politicians and judges seek lengthy prison sentences for offenders, he said, while there is political pressure to keep parole rates low.

George said he hopes federal officials will intervene in the system. George said conditions have rapidly deteriorated in recent months. Department reports show the number of security staff decreased from 2,177 on Oct. 31, 2021 to 1,879 on June 30.

Alabama inmates in September went on a work strike to protest conditions in the state’s lock-ups, refusing to labor in prison kitchens, laundries and more.

The Alabama Department of Corrections, in a statement to al.com, said it could not comment on George’s statement about staffing numbers

“Staffing is the subject of ongoing litigation and court orders,” the ADOC said. “Additionally, disclosure of specific staff numbers at a facility creates the risk of a security issue. For these reasons, the Department is unable to comment on specific staff numbers and/or implications.

“However, the Department is actively engaged in a number of initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining correctional officers and other facility staff, including medical and mental health staff. The focus on staffing of facilities is a Departmental priority.” The state has raised officer pay but continues to struggle with staffing.

The U.S. Department of Justice has an ongoing lawsuit against Alabama over prisons it says are “riddled with prisoner-on-prisoner and guard-on-prisoner violence.”

The lawsuit accuses Alabama of operating prisons where conditions are so poor they violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. While Alabama has acknowledged problems in state prisons, the state is disputing the Justice Department’s allegations of unconstitutional conditions and is fighting the lawsuit in court.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

19 hours ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

20 hours ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

2 days ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

4 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

4 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Former officer: Alabama ‘not in control’ of state prisons