Listen to this article here

Days after the Montgomery brawl catapulted Alabama’s racial history into the national conversation, a prisoner at Alabama’s largest state prison is accusing prison guards of brutality and mistreatment.

A video posted to Tiktok on August 18 depicts a man at Limestone Correctional Facility explaining bruises he received following an encounter with prison staff. The man claims prison officials approached him while he was getting breakfast.

“They puttin’ they hands on people,” the prisoner said. “I didn’t get no static, they brung it to me and jumped on me. Look at my arm,” he said showing a bloody arm with a thin bandage. The prisoner claims the encounter was unprovoked as he was simply trying to make his own breakfast amid a lack of resources from home.

“A lot of other inmates around here. Dirty clothes, they slam me in the mud. A lot of other inmates around here with the same thing. They ain’t got no way to get this message to the free world,” the prisoner said.

In recent months, prisoners from across Alabama’s prison system have taken to Tiktok to get the word out about the treatment they experience. Prisoners at the Ventress Correctional Facility described receiving little to no medical treatment for severe, chronic illnesses such as psoriasis infections, broken ribs, untreated surgery complications, the Guardian reported in May.

The Black Wall Street Times reached out to the Limestone Correctional Facility for a response. A person identified as Captain McKenzie told this reporter she was “very aware” of the viral Tiktok video and that her office has no comment.

Alabama prisoners seek justice, accuse prison staff of abuse

Alabama has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world and operates at 168% capacity, according to data from the Alabama Dept. of Corrections.

Understaffing and lack of resources has led to such overcrowding and violence that the U.S. Dept. of Justice has sued the state, with the case set to move forward in 2024. ADOC recorded an unprecedented 270 prisoner deaths across Alabama in 2022, a new record for the state.

When it comes to Limestone Correctional Facility, it appears the Montgomery brawl that brought pride to Black people across the nation is having an opposite effect inside Alabama’s largest state prison. The recent Tiktok video shows the Alabama prisoner claiming prison officials engaging in excessive force and brutality for no apparent reason. He accused a sergeant of initiating the beating.

“Sergeant Morrison was the one that initiated the whole thing, but it was five more other guys that came out of the shift office and jumped on me.” He claims they ordered him to stop resisting arrest despite already having him in handcuffs.

“I didn’t resist no arrest. Look at the knots on my face; look at my face; look at my eye. They jumping on me everywhere. It’s officers doing this. This sh*t ain’t right,” he said.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has vowed to spend $1 billion to build new prisons to reduce overcrowding, but critics question whether that will solve major issues.

While understaffing has played a role in the deteriorating conditions at Alabama’s prisons, correctional officers have also been arrested in just the last year for corruption, bribery and misconduct.

Sgt. Demarcus Sanders, along with two prisoners, was recently charged with murder for the death of prisoner Rubyn James Murray at Elmore Correctional Facility, WSFA reported.

Slavery by another name

Alabama was once a central point for the trafficking of human beings into slavery and the forced harvesting of cotton. Alabama’s production of cotton through slave labor contributed to the U.S. becoming the primary exporter of cotton to the world economy throughout the 19th century.

When a group of White men and women jumped a Black riverboat co-captain in Montgomery on Saturday, August 5th, the defiant response from Black bystanders reminded the nation of Black Americans’ long history of resistance to abuse.

Yet, inside Alabama’s largest state prison, prisoners have few rights and no back up to call when they’re abused.

While the 13th Amendment abolished most forms of slavery, it remains legal inside U.S. prisons.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

13th Amendment to the United States Constitution

Alabama voters recently joined Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont in outlawing the use of forced labor in prisons in a November 2022 vote. Yet, abuse and neglect remain prevalent.

Alabama prisoner pleads for help

Amid years of Black Lives Matter protests and pushes for reparations at the local and national levels, prisoners in Alabama feel left behind and forgotten.

“This what’s going on in Alabama State Prison, man. It’s crazy. How can you get justice for something else and we aint’ got no justice in here?”

While the word “corrections” in Department of Corrections is meant to signify the prison’s role as a rehabilitation center, the actions by officials in Alabama and other states casts doubt on that idea.

“People lives in danger, man. This supposed to be a way to help people, not hurt. Please help me,” the prisoner at Limestone Correctional Facility said.

The man is asking people to contact his mother for help at 251.307.0887.

Deon Osborne was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Lawton, OK before moving to Norman where he attended the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Media and has...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. In the Alabama Department of Corrections, inmates DON’T have to take bowls, trays, plates or utensils to the dining hall for their meals, in fact, this is not allowed. ALL of these things are provided. The inmates are provided 3 meals daily except on weekends and holidays on which they are provided 2 (usually, 1 holiday meal is very large). The meals are designed and compiled by a dietician and the preparation is overseen by a kitchen steward, inmates are assigned to the kitchen to prepare (cook) the meals (this is not a restaurant where you just go in and order a meal). The food meets daily nutritional requirements as established by the federal government. While it is not 5 star cuisine, it is suitable to sustain human life. Inmates are allowed to have money deposited on their prison account with which they may purchase food (and other items) from the prison commissary unless they are on restriction. These items may be consumed in the dorms, but they are not allowed in the dining hall. EVERY item needed/necessary for the inmate’s day to day living is PROVIDED BY THE STATE… from socks to underwear, to sheets to washcloths…EVERYTHING!!! I don’t know what happened to this inmate, I wasn’t there…All I see is an ILLEGAL tik-tok video (video devices are prohibited in ADOC facilities. It is against the rules for inmates to possess them).

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply