Another Alabama inmate death reported as feds continue lawsuit over conditions at state prisons

Published 4:48 pm Friday, July 2, 2021

An inmate died after an apparent assault last month at Bullock Correctional Facility, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed this week.

The reported death comes as the Justice Department argues a lawsuit should not be dismissed against the state prison system.

Edwin Brazil, 40, died June 22 at a hospital from injuries sustained in an apparent assault by a fellow inmate on June 13, the prison system confirmed. Brazil was serving a 35-year sentence for first-degree robbery.

No charges have been announced in the death, but prison spokeswoman Kristi Simpson it is under investigation.

“The ADOC condemns the fatal actions taken against Edwin Brazil by another inmate, and the individual(s) responsible will be held to account. At this time, the incident is being thoroughly investigated by the Alabama Department of Corrections’ (ADOC) Law Enforcement Services Division,” Simpson wrote.

The fatality followed a spate of deaths on May where three inmates were killed in one week in separate incidents at three different prisons.

Alabama lawmakers this year approved a bill by Rep. Chris England that would require the prison system to provide additional information in quarterly reports to the Joint Legislative Prison Oversight Committee, including information on staffing, officer retention and assaults.

The Justice Department last year sued Alabama over conditions in the state prisons, saying the system was failing to protect male inmates from violence involving other prisoners and excessive force by prison staff.

The lawsuit alleges that conditions in the prison system — which the Justice Department called one of the most understaffed and violent in the country — are so poor they violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment and that state officials are “deliberately indifferent.” The state has acknowledged problems but denied that conditions are unconstitutional.