BIBB COUNTY, Ala. – Bibb County Correctional Facility is currently on lockdown after officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections put down an inmate uprising Thursday night.
Officials said 16 inmates barricaded the entrance to their dormitory and refused to allow officers inside. The inmates disconnected the electricity inside the dormitory, causing a minor fire, and trashed the area.
Warden Willie Thomas called the Corrections Emergency Response Team, who responded and was able to talk to the inmates and convince them to take down the barricade and allow officers into the dormitory without injury.
“When a conflict occurs between inmates and correctional officers, our first priority is to resolve the problem without using force if at all possible while keeping the safety of our officers and inmates in mind,” said ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn. “Warden Thomas, Ms. Price and all officers who responded to the incident used their experience and skills to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.”
According to an ADOC release, Bibb County Correctional Facility has one of the lowest staffing levels in Alabama’s 29 prisons. The state’s newest prison, built in 1998, is authorized to employ 305 correctional security staff, but only has 135 assigned for a 44.3% staffing level.
The prison’s inmate population is 1,953, or 213% of the prison’s designed capacity. The inmate to correctional security staff ratio is 14 to one. The national standard is five inmates to every one officer.
“The incident at the Bibb Correctional Facility is indicative of ADOC’s concern for the safety of correctional staff and inmates,” Dunn said. “With adequate funding, increased staffing levels and fewer inmates, I believe we can reduce the potential for violence in our correctional facilities.”
DOC is conducting an investigation at the Bibb County Correctional Facility to find out what caused the incident.