The Alabama Department of Corrections announced Thursday that they have conducted a joint law enforcement operation in an effort to find and remove illegal contraband from the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
ADOC officials launched the operation at 4:30 a.m. Thursday with support from more than 300 officials from local, county and state law enforcement agencies.
ADOC Deputy Commissioner of Operations Charles Daniels led the operation at the maximum security prison that houses an inmate population of 870.
ADOC investigations and intelligence agents, correctional emergency response teams and correctional K-9 drug units took part in the operation. Participating agencies included Pardons and Paroles, AEMA, ADOT, the Atmore, Bay Minette and Brewton police departments, with support from the Baldwin, Butler, Escambia and Monroe County sheriff’s departments.
“The ADOC is conducting these large scale joint operations in a move to eradicate contraband, identify deficiencies and to take all necessary steps to reverse the trend of increased violence caused by illegal activity inside our prisons,” Daniels said. “We are going to do whatever is necessary to eliminate the contraband problem while sending a message to those who are responsible. Such criminal activity will not be tolerated, and anyone who is caught bringing illegal items into our prisons will be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In February, ADOC conducted a similar joint operation at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville. The successful operation seized more than 160 makeshift weapons, 48 cell phones, 110 grams of marijuana and 276 grams of the synthetic drug, flakka.
The Department of Justice investigation slammed the Alabama prisons for the prevalence of contraband, including drugs, weapons and cell phones.
Daniels said ADOC will continue to conduct the unannounced joint operations at other major correctional facilities in the future with assistance from other law enforcement agencies.
Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn instituted the joint operations by using all available ADOC and state resources to address the proliferation of drugs and other contraband entering state correctional institutions.
“We are committing all internal and external resources to address the contraband problem inside our prisons to ensure we provide the highest degree of safety and protection for our correctional staff and those who are in our custody,” Dunn said. “We owe them nothing less.”
The Justice Department claims that Alabama has the most violent prison system in the country. On April 1, the DOJ gave the state 60 days to present a plan to address the problems in the chronically understaffed and overcrowded prison system.
ADOC is asking that the public contact the ADOC Investigations and Intelligence Division at 1-866-293-7799 with information that may lead to the arrest of anyone attempting to introduce illegal contraband into state prisons.
The public may also report suspicious activity by going to the ADOC Website.