Alabama prison riot: Warden, guard stabbed in uprising at Holman Correctional Facility
The William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore remains on lockdown this morning after an overnight riot that left a guard and the warden stabbed.
The injuries weren’t life-threatening, Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton said this morning and the riot was brought under control about 5 a.m.
The first assault happened about 9:15 p.m. Friday when a correctional officer responded to a fight between two inmates in one of the prison dorms. The officer was stabbed when he tried to detain one of the inmates involved in the fight, Horton said. Sources tell NorthEscambia.com that the officer was stabbed nine times.
When Warden Carter Davenport and other officers entered the dorm to assess the situation, Davenport was also stabbed. He remained at the prison, and was treated on-site for injuries, Horton said.
The injured corrections officer was taken to a hospital. Both are expected to be OK.
After the assaults, Horton said, inmates gained access to a hallway just outside the housing unit and started a fire. The Alabama Department of Corrections deployed three Corrections Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to the prison, and they detained the inmates and secured the area.
Horton said prison officials estimate 100 inmates were involved in the disturbance. No other areas in the prison were affected, Horton said.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, including Atmore police, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Alabama State Troopers responded for perimeter security, said spokesman Sgt. Steve Jarrett. Witnesses reported seeing multiple ambulances headed toward the prison, but Horton said there were no injuries other than the guard and the warden.
While officials remained tight-lipped overnight, photos and video of the reported uprising quickly surfaced on social media. The images showed fires at the prison, and inmates with their faces covered. Inmates were reporting that the “gates are rolled up” and beds have been overturned.
Fire set in Holman Correctional Facility Video of a fire supposedly set by inmates within Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala.
One man posted this on Facebook: “Attention: We need yall help here at Holman Correction Facility Prison. The police down here beating on and jus treating us any kind way. We down here fighting for are lifes. Please contact the News, Newspaper, Radio station. NCAAP. Help please.”
Zannice Houston posted this on her Facebook page: “Please pray for my son in Holman Prison. A riot lord Jesus.”
Houston told AL.com that her son, Jamario J.E. Houston, called via collect call two hours ago and said that prisoners have built a wall, and they are waiting for more authorities to come to the prison. “Yes, right now it’s not under control, Lord Jesus,” Houston said. She said she hasn’t heard from her son since then.
Another woman posted this: “I know its late. But i need help from my family and friends especially from my Sister and Brothers in Christ. I need Prayers to go up for Holman Prison the inmates the guard everyone down there in that facility. No weapon formed against them shall prosper. Thank You. “
Horton today said corrections officers and the CERT teams are conducting a complete search of the prison for illegal cell phones and contraband. The inmates responsible for assaulting the officer and Davenport, as well as other inmates involved in the disturbance, have been segregated from the prison’s general population.
Investigators and the ADOC’s Intelligence Division remain at the prison. Horton said criminal charges are pending against those involved. The prison, he said, is secure and will remain on lockdown until the investigation is complete.
A video posted to Facebook (warning: graphic language ) which claims to be from inside the prison shows inmates tending a fire in a dorm area.
Anybody gotta family member at Holman prison in asking y’all pray for us! It’s a big riot goin on n we don’t kno if we.
Attention. We need yall help here at Holman Correction Facility Prison. The police down here beating on and jus.
Please Pray For My Son In Holman Prison a riot lord Jesus
The William C. Holman Correctional Facility was constructed in 1968 and 1969. The facility was officially open in December, 1969, at a cost of five million dollars. The first prisoner was received on December 15, 1969.
Holman Correctional Facility houses Death Row inmates and is the only facility in the state that carries out executions. Additional housing of Death Row inmates is located at the William C. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County.
The present population of Holman consists of minimum through closed custody inmates, including life without parole and Death Row inmates, according to the Department of Corrections website. The living quarters have a total capacity of 998 available beds. There are 630 population beds with Housing Units A-D having a capacity of 114 each and Housing Unit E with a capacity of 174. There are 7 infirmary beds. There are 200 segregation unit beds and Death Row has a capacity of 194 for a total of 1031 beds.
Holman is located in south Alabama, ten miles north of Atmore, 60 miles northeast of Mobile. The perimeter of the security compound is surrounded by two fences. The inner fence is taut wire fence with the outer fence being chain link. The compound has six towers and two perimeter vehicles, which operate twenty four hours a day. During the hours of darkness, the perimeter is fully lighted, according to the website.
AL.com journalist Madison Underwood contributed to this report.