No End In Sight When It Comes To Alabama's Prison Problem

Prison bars
via Flickr
William Anderson
February 13, 2020

Alabama has big problems. A Justice Department report called out its prisons for being some of the worst in the country for problems as bad as sexual assault, beatings, deaths, and torture. They’ve long said they’d fix the problem, but now things are NOT looking hopeful.

Alabama made a plan that recognizes the horrible problems its prisons have - but also confessed that their plans couldn’t resolve the bigger issue. 

A panel appointed by the governor admitted that the violations being committed by the state will not be solved by its own recommendations alone.

The plans being made by Alabama include solutions like more oversight, reductions in the prison population, and new prison facilities. If Alabama doesn’t get it together, its prisons may be taken out of its hands by a court appointed entity to fix the problem itself.

Black people are an overrepresented population in Alabama prisons. We make up more of the population inside prison than we do outside of these facilities. Racism in the criminal justice system funnels us into these prisons, where we’re likely to experience gruesome conditions.

The main reason Alabama is under pressure is because its prisons were shown to be unconstitutional. It’s a violation of the Eighth Amendment to have cruel and unusual punishment in prison. People inside still have rights! Going to prison doesn’t mean you should be tortured.

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