Inmate fatally stabbed at state prison in south Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — One prison inmate was stabbed to death by another over the weekend, state officials said Monday in Alabama, where high rates of prison violence have recently been criticized by the U.S. Justice Department.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton said in a news release that 29-year-old Jeremy Reshad Bailey was fatally wounded Saturday at Fountain Correctional Facility in Atmore, which is near the Florida line.

Correctional officers found Bailey inside a prison housing area with a stab wound. He was taken to hospital but died from the injury.

Prison officials say a suspect in the stabbing is being charged with murder.

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Bailey was serving a 7-year-sentence on a 2017 distribution of a controlled substance conviction.

Seven inmates have been killed so far in 2019 inside Alabama prisons, according to prison system statistics and news releases.

The U.S. Department of Justice in April issued scathing findings that condemned Alabama prisons for what it called unconstitutional conditional conditions, including high rates of violence.

The Justice Department said inmates endure an “extraordinarily high rate of violence at the hands of other prisoners,” with the number of inmate-on-inmate attacks spiking dramatically in the last five and a half years. The Justice Department ordered Alabama to begin addressing the problems or face a lawsuit.

The department has acknowledged its problems with understaffing and violence.

Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn has said prison violence rates are directly related to a shortage of officers working inside state prisons. Alabama lawmakers this session approved a pay increase for officers as part of an effort to recruit more prison workers.

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