The horrors of Holman penitentiary in southern Alabama — the stabbings, riots, fires, abuse — have earned it a reputation as the most violent prison in the United States. Holman stands alone, isolated, surrounded by mile after mile of cotton fields. Such a colossal investigation is, according to legal experts, unprecedented. Current employees at the prison are afraid to discuss conditions inside. But Lt Curt Stidham agreed to meet and describe life at the prison for the Guardian. He sketched a layout of the prison on a napkin, and described the hierarchy of officers.
Elmore, Donaldson, and Bibb Correctional Facilities
The Separation | The Marshall Project
In , Congress passed legislation to eliminate sexual assaults against inmates. Three years ago, the young man who would later be known as John Doe 1 shuffled into the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan. It was still wintery in April, and his state-issued jacket was poor protection against the drafts coming through the broken windows, shattered by men who had passed through before. The rituals of intake were familiar. But he also noticed that he was one of the youngest prisoners on the block. The other prisoners noticed too.
Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama, has long had the highest rate of sexual assault in the U. EJI investigated the widespread sexual abuse of incarcerated women by male guards at Tutwiler. In interviews with more than 50 women incarcerated at Tutwiler, EJI uncovered evidence of frequent and severe officer-on-inmate sexual violence, including that several incarcerated women had become pregnant after being raped by prison guards. Despite the known high rate of sexual contact between male staff and incarcerated women, the warden and correctional officers at Tutwiler continued to punish and humiliate women who report sexual misconduct, routinely placing them in segregation, stripping them of their property, denying them contact with their families, and forcing them to submit to unwanted medical procedures. EJI also found evidence that prison officials were misreporting the frequency of sexual assaults by prison employees.
EJI documented severe physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by officers and officials at three Alabama men's prisons. In , EJI filed a complaint documenting severe physical and sexual abuse and violence perpetrated by several correctional officers and officials in three Alabama prisons for men. In the preceding six months there were nearly a dozen instances where incarcerated men at Elmore were handcuffed, stripped naked, and then beaten by several guards.