Editorial Response: Prison problems - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.


Editorial Response: Prison problems

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Last week I presented an editorial discussing the prison issues that this state faces. There were many responses. Typically I would give you several of those, but today I am going to only give you one. This is only a paraphrased version of the entire response but I do think it is important enough to share.

To whom it may concern: I am an officer based at Elmore Correctional Facility, Through the course of two to three years, I have witnessed a drastic change in the inmate population as well as the morale of fellow officers.

The Elmore Facility was designed to house 600 inmates, but today it houses well over 1,150. Among these inmates are the worst of the worst. Many are rebellious, defiant to authority, and more problematic to the ones who are trying to do their time and go home.

The three key factors that plague Elmore are the drug addiction / trade, lack of support from administration and morale of the officers. The drug addiction / trade leads to the issues of stabbing, fights, rapes and extortion of other inmates. The next issue is the lack of support from the administration; wardens, captains and some supervisors. Lastly, the morale of the officers is bad.

We are dealing with a system that is inmate friendly. Inmates tend to have more privileges and leeway than the public may think. I had an inmate describe prison as being sweet, he gets to shoot ball all day, watch cable television on a flat screen, gets good benefits with insurance and catches the canteen to eat a lot of junk food.

Officers are placed in extreme danger every day at Elmore. There is a 100% chance you will get in a physical or violent verbal altercation everyday with the inmates. They are simply out of control! Gang violence is again on the rise and getting stronger by the day inside the fences. This is why 80% of officers are either on leave or have completely left ADOC. Recruitment is at an all-time low, because people know what happens behind these walls.

I pray that times change and we get the help we need here, otherwise there will be a lot more deaths of officers and inmates.

In conclusion, Governor Bentley and Commissioner Dunn, you can’t successfully run a prison from sitting on your BUTTS, help your officers and supervisors! Remember this is what YOU signed up for!

Again that is a comment from someone that is on the front line. A person who deals with this every day and is doing his job. I could not have said the last line any better. Elected state officials, remember this is what YOU signed up for. 

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