The Alabama Department of Corrections have been under fire due to the horrifying living conditions inmates are forced to live under.
An investigation by the Justice Department found that the living conditions behind the the prisons walls violate the Eight Amendment right of the constitution, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment.
There were about 2,600 photos taken inside of the prison that show just how terrible the conditions are.
According to CBS News, a former prisoners mom by the name of Betty Head said her 31-year-old son died after trying to hang himself in a decrepit cell block.
“The Alabama prison system killed my son,” Head stated.
Her son Billy Thornton had six months left to complete his six year sentence but he took his own life.
Maria Morris of the Southern Poverty Law Center stated,” things are really out of control and need to reined in.”
Morris added mentally ill inmates, even those that are placed on suicide watch, are held in units designated for solitary confinement with little to no contact with officers.
“What that basically means is they’re warehousing them. There sticking them into segregation units and letting them suffer,” Morris said.
Although the mentally ill are suffering terribly they are not the only ones. A two-year-D.O.J investigations also uncovered that the conditions throughout the entire Alabama prison system are “unconstitutional.”
One report found that rapes and murders occur at all times of the night.
The violence that occurs, the sexual abuse that occurs, and the amount of deaths are excessive and are happening all to regularly according to Morris. This makes these prisons a deadly place to work as well.
One employee who did not want to be identified that works at he prison said the situation is dire.
“We need more mental health workers. We need more officers. Or more people are going to die,” the worker continued.
There are approximately 1,400 officers which is only half of what is needed to properly oversee a prison population of 16,000.
The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Alabama Department of Corrections. A federal judge is forcing the prison to make changes to the system or they’ll be forced to comply.