A 25-year-old man serving at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore died on Aug. 2, according to the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Kelvin Colvin was found unresponsive in his cell by prison staff on Aug.2 and was declared dead that day, ADOC spokeswoman Krist Simpson told APR in a message.
There were no signs of foul play and Colvin’s exact cause of death is pending an autopsy, Simpson said. The death is being investigated by ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division.
The U.S. Department of Justice in the federal government’s lawsuit alleged unconstitutional treatment of incarcerated men, including a lack of basic health care and mental health care in understaffed and deadly facilities, and the inability to protect the incarcerated from sexual, physical violence and death.
In previously released reports, the Justice Department detailed systemic problems in Alabama’s prison for men of abuse from guards, corruption and cover-ups, rampant drug use, violence, overcrowding, contraband often brought in by correctional officers.
Drugs, cell phones and other contraband items are often sold and traded in prisons, and often become the catalyst for assaults and homicides when debts are accrued. Despite the Alabama Department of Corrections having discontinued visitations in prisons since March 2020, contraband has continued making its way into prisons.
Numerous deaths this summer appear to have been drug overdoses, based on statements from ADOC and from talking with incarcerated men with knowledge of those deaths. At least 10 men died in Alabama prisons during July alone.
At least four officers have been arrested in recent weeks on charges connected to assaults, contraband, drug possession and interfering with an investigation.