Murder at Limestone Is 100th Prison Homicide in Alabama Since DOJ Investigation


EJI has received multiple reports that Taurus White was stabbed to death at Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Alabama, on Tuesday. Mr. White, 28, was only one month away from completing a four-year sentence and expected to be released on April 6.

It was also reported to EJI that in the days leading up Mr. White’s murder, several other people incarcerated at Limestone were stabbed. Some reportedly were sent outside the prison for medical treatment.

Mr. White murder marks at least the 100th homicide of an incarcerated person inside an Alabama prison since October 2016, when the Justice Department launched an investigation into conditions in Alabama’s prisons.

The department in April 2019 announced its findings that Alabama “routinely violates the constitutional rights of prisoners” by failing to protect them from rampant violence and sexual abuse.

Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows the national rate of homicides in prison increased from eight homicides for every 100,000 incarcerated people in 2016 to 12 per 100,000 in 2019.

During the same period, Alabama’s prison homicide rate rose more than four times faster than the national average, from 13 homicides per 100,000 people in prison to 85 per 100,000. In 2019, Alabama’s prison homicide rate was more than seven times the national average.

In December 2020, after they “determined that constitutional compliance cannot be obtained through voluntary means,” federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the state and its department of corrections alleging that people in Alabama’s prisons continue “daily to endure a high risk of death, physical violence, and sexual abuse” in violation of the constitution.

At least 16 people have been killed in Alabama prisons since the start of last year.