Second Incarcerated Man This Month Stabbed to Death at Alabama’s Limestone Prison


Samuel Ward, 39, was killed Saturday morning at Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Alabama. EJI received reports that Mr. Ward was stabbed to death in his housing dorm.

Limestone is Alabama’s largest prison. From 2009 to 2021, the prison reported that no incarcerated people were killed. But since May 2021, the prison has had five homicides. In addition to Mr. Ward, Jody Potts, 58, was killed on on May 6, 2021; Kenyon Arrington, 34, was killed on October 15, 2022; Ariene Kimbrough, 35, was killed on January 4, 2023; and Taurus White, 28, was killed on March 5, 2024.

The prison also has seen a dramatic increase in nonfatal assaults. According to statistical data from the Alabama Department of Corrections, Limestone reported an average of 30 assaults per year between 2009 and 2019. In the past four years, assaults have skyrocketed from 48 in 2019 to 274 in 2023.

The reported data is only the tip of the iceberg, as many violent incidents go unobserved and unreported by ADOC.

“Limestone is in a dire need of assistance at this point,” a correctional officer who was later terminated by ADOC for speaking to reporters told local media in 2022. “[N]o one is willing to give us assistance in the higher levels of our department. It is almost like they want us to get hurt or fail.”

Following local media reporting on state corrections officials’ failure to address the crisis of violence at Limestone, the Justice Department said in a rare statement to local media that the prison “fails to provide constitutionally adequate conditions and that prisoners experience serious harm, including deadly harm.”

Two of Limestone’s past three head wardens have retired after being placed on mandatory leave due to allegations of misconduct since 2019.

According to public records, five Limestone officers in the past 15 months have been arrested and charged with using their state positions for personal gain.

Two others—Jesse Cobb and Samuel Dial—were arrested last month and charged with felony assault for using a broom handle to severely beat an elderly man who is imprisoned at Limestone, causing serious physical injury to a person under their care and custody.