ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — One of Alabama’s toughest prisons was on lockdown Tuesday following the second incident since March in which officers had to regain control of an inmate dormitory following a disturbance.
Officers were maintaining tighter-than-normal restrictions on inmate movement at Holman prison, said Bob Horton, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections. Located in southwest Alabama, the maximum-security prison houses Alabama’s death chamber and is badly overcrowded.
The trouble broke out in the same 150-inmate dormitory that was the scene of an inmate uprising in March, Horton said.
Officers responded to a fight between inmates about 3 p.m. Monday and other inmates then “became aggressive” toward the guards, the prison system said in a statement. Officers secured the door of the housing area, and some inmates inside started a fire inside.
Prisoners didn’t resist when a team of officers wearing protective gear entered the dormitory about 9:45 p.m. Monday, the department said. The fire caused some damage in the dorm but other parts of the prison were not affected.
Medical workers treated three inmates who suffered stab wounds during the initial fight, and all the men are expected to survive, the agency said.
Horton said this week’s disturbance involved a different group of inmates from the ones who disrupted the dormitory in March. While many inmates live in cells, hundreds more are housed in large, open dormitories filled with bunk beds on which prisoners sleep just a few feet apart.
In the spring uprising, the Holman warden and an officer suffered stab wounds. During the disturbance, prisoners in the dormitory set a fire. All the inmates involved in that incident have since been transferred to other maximum-security prisons, Horton said.
A Department of Corrections report shows Holman was designed to hold 581 inmates but had 799 men in 835 beds at the end of April, the last month for which statistics were available. The total included 159 men on death row.