A Montgomery man serving in Holman prison in December became the last person to be killed inside Alabama prisons after being assaulted by another inmate the day before, the Alabama Department of Corrections said in a statement Tuesday.
APR confirmed that Moses Robinson, 38, died on Dec. 31 from injuries he received at the prison on Dec. 30, according to a statement from ADOC spokeswoman Samanthan Banks. His was at least the fourteenth homicide in state prisons in 2019.
“The ADOC condemns all violence in its facilities, and the fatal actions taken against Robinson by another inmate will thoroughly investigated and met with swift justice. Robinson’s cause of death is pending a full autopsy, and more information will be available upon the conclusion of the investigation into his death,” the statement reads.
According to court records Robinson was serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in February 2002 to shooting to death 17-year-old Sucelia Givens on July 24, 2000.
Robinson’s death makes him at least the twenty-eighth person to have died as a result from either homicide, drug overdose or suicide in state prisons in 2019.
The 14 prison homicides in 2019 was more than twice as many as were killed during the entire ten-year period between 1999 and 2009.
Alabama’s prison homicide rate is almost nine times the national average for state prisons, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics figures.
A report released in November by the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative details how despite the state prison system’s 20 percent budget increase over the last decade the culture inside the prisons has only become more violent.
“In the first 10 months of 2019 alone there have been 13 homicides in Alabama prisons. That’s more than the total yearly homicides reported in 34 other states combined. Nine of the 13 people killed this year in Alabama prisons were in medium security facilities,” the report states.
A report released in April by the U.S Department of Justice followed a lengthy federal investigation into the state’s prisons for men, which found that Alabama is potentially violating inmates’ Constitutional protections under the Eighth Amendment and its prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
The DOJ found that the Alabama Department of Corrections failed to protect inmates from protection from sexual assaults and violence. Severe overcrowding in the understaffed prisons are contributing to the violence, the DOJ found.
On Dec. 9 Alabama Department of Corrections commissioner Jeff Dunn announced the formation of an internal task force to address deadly violence inside Alabama prisons.
“Commissioner Dunn has directed the task force to assess measures including “Tactics and Techniques” reinforcement training programs, health and wellness interventions for correctional officers and staff, additional inmate rehabilitation programs and resources, and the reexamination of enhanced surveillance measures such as the possible use of body cameras by on-duty correctional officers,” a statement from ADOC on the task force’s formation reads.
Alabamians for Fair Justice, a coalition of formerly incarcerated people, family members and civil justice groups, in a letter Gov. Kay Ivey’s criminal justice study group in December asked that Dunn include several on the task force from outside ADOC. Another expert on criminal justice told APR earlier this month that external observers were needed to ensure life-saving solutions.
APR’s questions to an ADOC spokeswoman on Dec. 20 and Jan. 2 asking whether Dunn was considering that request went unanswered.