Seven dead inside Donaldson Correctional facility in last 12 days

We take a look at the latest data
Investigating recent deaths at Donaldson Correctional Facility
Investigating recent deaths at Donaldson Correctional Facility
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2022 at 12:24 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We are following up on our On Your Side investigations stories regarding prison conditions in Alabama.

Seven Donaldson Correctional Facilities prisoners have died since the calendar turned to July.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates says the recent string of deaths are not connected and that there are no signs of trauma or foul play.

Yates says the recent deaths included a wide range of natural diseases but there is a chance that drug overdoses played a role.

The coroner’s office is now waiting on the results of the toxicology reports.

Those generally take two to three weeks, and it is normally four to six weeks from the time of death before the coroner’s official report is complete.

Donaldson Correctional Facility had 28 deaths in 2021, and 23 inmates have died so far this year.

Yates says these numbers ebb and flow, and that nothing appears out of the ordinary.

Fourteen of those cases have confirmed causes of death.

Seven were natural, three were homicides, two were due to drugs, another was from a fall and the last one remains undetermined.

The coroner’s office is still awaiting test results for the other nine cases.

The Alabama Department of Corrections responded on Friday:

According to statistical data compiled and published by the Research and Planning (R&P) Division of ADOC, the annual trend for inmate deaths at Donaldson has increased slightly over the years.

FY19 = 17

FY20 = 22

FY21 = 24

Through March of FY22, the reported number stands at 15.

The deaths for current fiscal year are still pending completion of investigation by LESD. R&P will not report on cause of death until autopsy reports are received and LESD has closed their investigation.

The Quarterly Reports include data from closed LESD investigations, with autopsy results.

The Monthly Statistical Report for April 2022 can be found here:

The Quarterly Report Ending 3/31/22 can be found here:

ADOC posts these statistical reports online in an effort toward transparency while still protecting the rights of the incarcerated.


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