Uprising Currently Underway at Holman Prison In Alabama

Last night prisoners took over Holman prison in Alabama. At around midnight a fight between inmates escalated to include guards and even the warden. Staff fled, and the rioting prisoners have taken over general population, lighting guard towers on fire and barricading the doors.

News and video, here: http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/03/reported_riot_fires_at_holman.html

According to rumors, the incident began when an officer responded to a fight between two prisoners with excessive force and was stabbed in response. “Then they brought the warden down and the warden got to talking crazy so they ended up stabbing the warden, and then after that all the officers ran up out of the institution, that was like 12:00, 1:00 this morning.”

The warden and officer’s injuries were not fatal. There are videos circulating on social media of prisoners burning the control towers and opening all doors. “We’re tired of this shit, there’s only one way to deal with it: tear the prison down” one of the participants stated.

At around 2 am the riot squad and police arrived. They said they were waiting on daylight to move and try to restore control of the facility. At this time, people haven’t heard from the occupied portion of the prison for a few hours, but it seems the authorities have not moved in, either. Friends and family of prisoners in Holman are asking that people pray for their loved ones.

Holman’s capacity is 1002 prisoners, but it also has a segregation unit and death row, which are still under the prison’s control. Prisoners in segregation have not received their breakfast meal, four hours after it is normally distributed. General population at Holman consists of four open space dormitories, housing 114 people each, plus a 200 person annex, so there may be between 450 – 650 prisoners involved in the uprising.

Alabama DOC has been increasingly unstable in recent months, incidents of violence within the institutions have been stacking up, the federal government was on the verge of taking over the system due to poor management and budgetary shortfalls last year.

An article from Jan 2016 about ADOC’s failure to operate safe and stable prisons: http://www.eji.org/node/1198

UPDATE and more direct perspective, from elsewhere in the prison:

On Friday March 11, 2016 the anticipated powder keg erupted at Alabama’s infamous Holman Prison. Most known for housing Alabama’s Death Row and “Yellow Mama”. However, in recent years it has been the site of organized protest. In 2007, all prisoners engaged in a Hunger and Work Strike which brought about the condemnation of Dormitories and remodeling of General Population. In 2011 a Protest against Inhumane Treatment by Officers. In 2014, the FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT launched its Coordinate Protest at Holman. Now today, Alabama Prison Administrators are seeing the fruit of their labor. As on Friday night @ 11:15 p.m a simple fight between two prisoners escalated into an Officer receiving stab wounds. The prisoners requested to see the Warden and Captain. Once Warden Davenport arrived, after being disrespectful and non negotiable. Another altercation broke out in which Davenport received stab wounds. At this time all personnel vacated Geñeral Population.

It appears that officials are back in certain parts of the prison as Death Row and the Seg Annex were served breakfast at around 11:30 am. So there must have been some sense of calm. However at around 12:45 pm Several Response Team Officers could be seen running through Death Row from the Seg Annex enroute to General Population. So it appears that the unrest continu