Alabama Inmates Deserve A Second Chance
Alabama Inmates Deserve A Second Chance
We are seeking assistance for the incarcerated men and women who have been brutally raped, beaten and murdered by Correctional Officers for Alabama prisons. We are asking that Alabama inmates be supplied with proper food (that does not read, "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION” on its labels). We are seeking help for inmates suffering from mental illness who are being "over medicated" at such an extent that they are unable to function, for the inmates who are not getting the proper equipment to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus that surrounds them in the prisons and for all of the injustices taking place there every day.
At Donaldson Correctional Facility, the inmates with mental illnesses are housed in the gym of the facility due to an overcrowding issue. The gym has very few windows and there is no ventilation. They sleep on the floor of the gym on an assigned mat. There are no beds or bunks, just mats on the floors. When it rains, the floors are flooded, and the inmates get wet.
Women at Julia Tutwiler Prison are being raped consistently by the ADOC (Alabama Department of Corrections) prison officers, impregnated and their babies are "ripped" from them”. Women are also being raped and tortured with flashlights by the same officers.
Men at Bullock Correctional Facility are medicated to such an extent that once the meds have been administered by ADOC officials, the inmates are rendered unconscious for several days. When they awake, they find condoms in their rectum. This inhumane treatment affects not only one’s manhood, but one’s livelihood as well.
Another serious threat is COVID-19. There have been numerous deaths caused by this pandemic and we are all affected. This virus is in every correctional facility in the state of Alabama. When an inmate expresses health concerns to correctional officers at any of the facilities, he or she is denied medical attention and forced to wait days to be seen by a nurse. Often, it’s too late and they die waiting. Many times, the inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and were sent back to their assigned beds (to spread the virus to other inmates). Whenever the inmates were transported to a hospital, they were dead upon arrival. There is pure hate and an utter lack of concern for the inmates and their wellbeing. There are not enough masks or hand sanitizer for every incarcerated inmate. Donations have been made but prison officials keep most of it for themselves. Staff employees for the ADOC have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well.
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, only four (4) ADOC officials reported to work at Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, AL. They were either feeling sick, had already tested positive for COVID-19 or simply feared contracting this deadly virus. The entire facility is currently on “lockdown” except for one (1) dorm. The inmates in that dorm are being forced to work in the kitchen serving food to the rest of the inmates in the facility, which puts their lives at risk.
Another demand that we have is the immediate removal of Alabama Parole Board Director, Charlie Graddick who is former judge and Parole Board Chair, Leigh Gwathney who is a former prosecutor. The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles has become a dysfunctional institution under the leadership of these two individuals and is exhibiting clear signs of institutional racism. Emerging data compiled in a recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center showed that paroles are being granted/denied based on race and that Black people who are eligible for parole are being disproportionately impacted.
In May 2020, 160 people were considered for parole. Approximately 51% were Black and 47% were White. Of these, only 15 inmates were granted parole. 11 of the 15 who were granted parole were White and 4 were Black. This type of institutional racism is being openly practiced by Alabama government officials. A removal of Charlie Graddick, is indeed necessary because his appointment has created a conflict of interest since he, personally, sentenced many men and women to prison while serving as a Judge in Mobile, AL. He also sent many men and women to prison when he held a position with the Alabama Attorney General's Office. Mr. Graddick’s opinion of inmates is anything but objective. He casually uses the word "hanging" at press conferences when speaking about inmates and his motto is, "LOCK THEM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY"! Many men and women’s futures rest in the hands of Charlie Graddick and Leigh Gwathney causing inmates to have zero chance of being granted parole.
Lastly, we demand automatic restoration of voting rights for inmates upon being released. They should not have to wait 3 years for a pardon or for a celebrity to pay for their rights to be restored.
During her college years, Governor Kay Ivey was affiliated with a sorority who wore black faces yet says she is a different person now. Why aren’t Alabama inmates given the same benefit of the doubt?