By Stephen Cooper
Since opening its doors on December 15, 1969, Alabama’s William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, has been a bastion of violence, fear, pain and baleful human suffering.
Built on a shoestring budget of five million dollars during Governor Lurleen Wallace’s administration, it took just five years for Holman prison’s perpetually overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary conditions to draw the ire of Federal officials. In an article titled, “Court closes Alabama prison gates,” dated August 30, 1975. The St. Petersburg Times (now The Tampa Bay Times), in neighboring Florida, reported that two Federal district court judges, William Brevard Hand and Frank M. Johnson, Jr., ordered Alabama to stop sending prisoners to Holman (and three other prisons) due to overcrowding and the accompanying inhumanity, violence and other perils that brings.