2 inmates killed within a week in Alabama prisons

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Two inmates were killed within a week in reported assaults in Alabama prisons, a system that faces a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit over excessive violence.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office said a 31-year-old inmate died Monday morning after a reported assault in the prison’s common area. The coroner’s office is not releasing the inmate’s name until the inmate’s family is notified. The inmate was serving a 25-year sentence for a burglary conviction.

Al.com reported Travis Hutchins, a 34-year-old inmate at Bibb Correctional Facility died Thursday from injuries suffered in an inmate-on-inmate assault.

The Alabama Department of Corrections told the news outlet that the death is under investigation.

When Hutchins was an inmate at Easterling Correctional Facility in 2016, he filed a lawsuit against the warden, assistant warden and two correctional officers over injuries he suffered in another assault, the news outlet reported.

He was serving a 20-year sentence for a murder conviction.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Alabama saying state prisons violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment because of high levels of inmate-on-inmate violence, excessive use of force by correctional staff and other problems.

The Alabama Department of Corrections has acknowledged problems in state prisons, but disputes the Justice Department’s accusations.