Alabama State Jails
The Alabama Department of Corrections, ADOC, operates 29 facilities throughout the state that house roughly 30,900 inmates. The department oversees five maximum security prisons located in Tutwiler, St. Clair, Holman, Kilby and Donaldson. The state also manages 11 minimum security prisons and 13 work release and minimum security community centers.
Like many states, Alabama is struggling with an overcrowded prison system. The state’s five maximum security prisons were designed to hold a total of 5,103 inmates. As of October, 2011, there were 8,731 prisoners housed in those prisons. Minimum security prisons, which were designs to house 6,065 inmates, had a total population of 12,500. Alabama is facing the possibility of a federal lawsuit because of its overcrowded prisons, and state prison administrators are considering an early-release program that would use a GPS system to monitor those prisoners in their communities.
According to the ADOC, 22.5 percent of the inmates in state prisons are serving sentences related to drug crimes with 13 percent convicted of possession, and 9.5 percent convicted of drug trafficking. The state also reports that 11.3 percent of the total prison population is behind bars for murder while another 16 percent have been convicted of robbery. The majority of prisoners in the system, or 57 percent, are serving sentences for non-violent crimes.
Alabama spends an average of $15,178 a year, or $41.47 per day on each prisoner in the state correctional system, less than any other state in the nation. Spending for inmate medical care has been significantly lower than the national average and as a result, 37, out of every 10,000 inmates in Alabama die in prison. The national average of inmate deaths is 23 out of every 10,000 prisoners. Most state prisons are also seriously understaffed with two correctional officers assigned to guard approximately 350 inmates in some cases.