A new report by a Montgomery-based prison reform group claims that correctional officers at two Alabama prisons forced male inmates to perform sex acts and threatened to bring them up on disciplinary charges if they refused.
The Equal Justice Initiative released the 12-page report on Tuesday. The EJI sued the Alabama Department of Corrections last month claiming that poor leadership, inadequate security and unsafe conditions have caused inmate violence to spike at St. Clair Correctional Facility.
According to the report, the EJI claims it discovered nearly a dozen instances where inmates at Elmore Correctional Facility were handcuffed, stripped naked, and then beaten by officers. At Donaldson and Bibb Correctional Facilities, male guards forced young male inmates to perform sex acts, the report claims.
Among other allegations, the report states that Elmore Warden Leeposey Daniels paraded a severely injured man in front of other inmates and announced that the beating was intended as a warning.
The report makes the following claims:
- Widespread corruption, misconduct, and abusive behavior by correctional officers is a serious problem at several Alabama prisons.
- Poor leadership is contributing to a lack of progress and reform in Alabama prisons.
- Officials have failed to implement several no-cost or low-cost reforms that could be instituted immediately.
- Inadequate investigation and enforcement of state policies and procedures necessitates the authorization of outside law enforcement agencies to investigate complaints against correctional officers and staff.
- Too little is being done to facilitate volunteer programs and services that could improve conditions and services at several state prisons incentives are needed to improve performance, security, and programming at state prisons.
- The state would benefit from a small audit committee established by Gov. Robert Bentley to investigate and evaluate reform proposals.
- Policies and practices that burden families in their efforts to maintain ties with incarcerated family members are driving hard working families deeper into poverty and undermining public safety.
An ADOC spokeswoman declined to comment, stating that they have not yet reviewed the EJI report.
[DOCUMENT: EJI findings on Alabama prisons (.pdf)]