An Alabama man nearly died at Limestone Correctional Facility after he was taken hostage for several hours and stabbed repeatedly.
Family members reported making calls to Limestone the afternoon of March 19 to report concerns about the safety of prisoners involved in the incident, and to ask correctional staff to conduct a wellness check. The family members were reportedly not given any information about their loved one and were told that staff would only act if the prisoner himself came to them with concerns.
The victim has minimum custody status and is due to be released next year. Limestone prison is a maximum security prison.
More than 2,000 men are incarcerated at Limestone. Data from the Alabama Department of Corrections shows that assaults at Limestone have nearly tripled in the past two years, with 48 assaults reported in 2019, 120 in 2020, and 142 in 2021. Ten months ago, Jody Potts was beaten to death in the same housing area where this month’s near-fatal stabbing occurred.
Poor leadership and mismanagement are key factors driving the crisis in Alabama’s prisons. In 2019, the Justice Department identified “culture, management deficiencies, corruption, policies, training, non-existent investigations [and] violence” as “contributing factors to the overall unconstitutional condition[s]” in Alabama’s prisons.
Deborah Toney transferred from her position as warden of Bibb Correctional Facility to become warden at Limestone in May 2019 after then-warden Dewayne Estes faced allegations of misconduct and was placed on mandatory leave. WAAY 31 reports that Ms. Toney was escorted out of the prison and placed on mandatory leave following the March 19 stabbing.
The Alabama Department of Corrections has announced no plans to change conditions of confinement at Limestone or to take steps to improve security.