Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama’s Prisons | Southern Poverty Law Center

Publication June 04, 2014

An investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) has found that for many people incarcerated in Alabama’s state prisons, a sentence is more than a loss of freedom. Prisoners, including those with disabilities and serious physical and mental illnesses, are condemned to penitentiaries where systemic indifference, discrimination and dangerous – even life-threatening – conditions are the norm.

Executive Summary

An investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) has found that for many people incarcerated in Alabama’s state prisons, a sentence is more than a loss of freedom. Prisoners, including those with disabilities and serious physical and mental illnesses, are condemned to penitentiaries where systemic indifference, discrimination and dangerous – even life-threatening – conditions are the norm.

The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of the prisoners in its custody. Inspections of 15 Alabama prisons, interviews with well over 100 prisoners and a review of thousands of pages of medical records, depositions and media accounts – as well as the policies, contracts and reports of the department and two major contractors – lead to one inescapable conclusion: Alabama’s prisons violate federal law protecting people with disabilities and the U.S. Constitution’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishments.”