[Pnews] Dozens of new contraband videos from inside Alabama prison showing horrible conditions

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 28 13:06:47 EST 2014


  Dozens of contraband videos from inside Alabama prison show rodents,
  roaches, and unsanitary conditions (videos)

By Madison Underwood | MUnderwood at AL.com 
<http://connect.al.com/staff/madisonu84/posts.html>
*Videos are here:*
*http://blog.al.com/wire/2014/01/dozens_of_contraband_videos_fr.html*

on January 28, 2014 at 7:42 AM

<http://ads.al.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/blog.al.com/wire/2014/01/dozens_of_contraband_videos_fr.html/1609131503/StoryAd/ALABAMALIVE/default/empty.gif/3045596374464c4f3733384143727132>

SPRINGVILLE, Alabama -- A prisoner at St. Clair Correctional Facility 
has uploaded more than 60 videos in the past three days alleging 
unsanitary conditions in Alabama prisons and urging change.

The videos, posted to a YouTube channel called Freealabama Fam 
<https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88hK0WZ7PKGaTMPpLMTA_w/feed?activity_view=1>, 
primarily feature one unnamed prisoner who narrates the videos, although 
the narrator sometimes interviews other inmates about their 
incarceration and conditions at St. Clair. A handful of the videos 
appear to be filmed by others.

Inmates are not allowed to have cell phones in Alabama state prison 
facilities, so the device used to film and upload the videos is contraband.

The narrator refers to his efforts as the Free Alabama Movement. Videos 
began to appear on the YouTube channel in early January 
<http://blog.al.com/wire/2014/01/alabama_department_of_correcti_1.html> 
-- seemingly associated with nonviolent protests that occurred at three 
Alabama prisons -- but in recent weeks there have been no videos 
uploaded until the surge in uploads in the past three days.

The effort is focused on "changing the inhumane, unconstitutional living 
conditions that prisoners inside the State of Alabama are forced to live 
up under," the narrator says. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVlmst4AgKE>

Two of the videos show rodents killed in traps outside the showers. 
"Another day, another dead rat," the narrator says in a video filmed in 
December 2013 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNmd_zJ_QTk>. One video 
purports to show unsanitary conditions in the kitchen, including an 
alleged live rat, but the video quality is much too poor to confirm 
those claims. Another video 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mno_zjL7vVk>, which has a slightly 
better quality, shows an empty mouse trap outside what the narrator says 
is the shower area.

"We're just asking for some humane treatment," the speaker says, after 
comparing prison life to that on a plantation (he frequently draws 
comparisons between prison conditions and the conditions slaves lived 
under in the antebellum South -- at one point he alleges white inmates 
on another cell block "have everything you could ask for.").

"You shouldn't have to live in an environment where you have to have a 
mouse trap right outside of the shower."

Another video shows rust and peeling paint 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFQK5QwZI20> in a mop closet.  Yet 
another upload shows roaches climbing the walls in a break area 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_QlkGiMfyw> and a damaged microwave. 
"This is where they want us to cook our food at," the narrator says. In 
one of the videos, the narrator points out what he says are broken 
shower heads <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGL3nXC_hPg>, and decaying 
shower walls. In one of the uploads, spider webs 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyO3iPHH_Iw> are the primary concern.

"They got us in these cells stacked on top of each other, and we're 
constantly bickering with each other, and it takes our focus off the big 
picture of what these people are really doing to us," the narrator says 
during an interview with a young inmate he calls Trey D 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83pvA2bMKpQ>. "They make us be violent 
and aggressive towards each other, and they keep us seeing that we're 
trapped in a hellhole, a slave plantation. Really, they don't really 
offer us anything. We've got a TV but there ain't nothing on the TV."

Not all of the videos are meant to be disgusting, but most are meant to 
raise concern. A tour of the law library 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT4HEOtOZ4o> shows it is clean and 
well-lit, although the speaker complains of a lack of supplies. 
Insufficiently clean laundry prompts some to handwash their own clothes 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVlmst4AgKE>, the narrator says.

At one point, the narrator complains that TV is the only entertainment 
provided <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHn7G2KJopY>. "They don't 
offer dictionaries, they don't offer reading books, they don't offer 
newspapers, they don't offer anything that would allow a person to 
rehabilitate themselves."/
/

//"This is a sick environment. It's sick from the bottom to the top, 
from the commission on down to the CO1s," the narrator says in one video 
(a CO1 is a corrections officer). "These people coming in and seeing 
these things, and they're not moved in any kind of way to change it, and 
the reason they're not moved is because of the color of our skin. They 
look at us and feel like there's nothing wrong with treating /them/ like 
that. There's nothing wrong with us sleeping on metal beds or concrete 
slabs. There's nothing wrong with us sleeping on busted mattresses with 
rats and roaches."

"They feel like this is okay for us. But we know better and we know 
different."

The Alabama Department of Corrections did not respond to a request for 
comment and more information sent Monday afternoon.

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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