Former ADOC officer speaks on conditions inside state prison
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A former Alabama Department of Corrections officer from the largest maximum security prison in the state is speaking out about the conditions inside Limestone Correctional Facility.
Stacey Lee George resigned from his job at the prison last week due to the physicality of the job, among other reasons. George may be a familiar name to some. He lost a second bid for governor during this year’s primaries.
“You forget everything, every distraction you have in your mind, and you walk with me into Limestone prison,” said George at a gathering outside the ADOC’s main office.
After 13 years working at Limestone, George says things have gone downhill fast over the last three months. Right now, the conditions of all the prisons in Alabama are the subject of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. One reason is staffing.
“And we walk in, and the supervisors are standing outside, and they look like zombies,” said George.
George says staffing continues to be a problem at the largest correctional facility in the state.
“When you get a press release from the Department of Corrections and they can’t tell you how many people’s run that prison because the people in that prison know how many people’s in that prison,” he said.
According to a statement from the Alabama Department of Corrections: “Staffing is the subject of ongoing litigation and court orders. Additionally, disclosure of specific staff numbers at a facility creates the risk of a security issue. 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.”
George says that often there were only 9 corrections officers on his night shift to watch over close to 2,300 inmates.
“The Alabama Department of Corrections is not in control of any prison in Alabama and they haven’t been for a while,” George added. “The inmates in that prison are technically in control.”
He says this creates dangerous conditions and is why his message is not about the politics, but the policies needed to help everyone who enters a state prison.
“If they do nothing else, they need to lift the mandatory overtime on the officers,” said George.
The end result of the investigation on the state’s prisons could be a takeover from the federal DOJ, which George believes would be the best possible outcome.
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