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Former Alabama correctional officer indicted for beating three compliant prisoners

The DOJ in a lawsuit against Alabama alleges the state’s correctional officers’ use of violence and coverups are unconstitutional.

Staton Correctional Facility and Draper Correctional Facility near Elmore, Alabama. GOOGLE EARTH

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Alabama Department of Corrections sergeant on charges he assaulted three men serving at Draper Correctional Facility who were not resisting with a baton.

Lorenzo Mills, 55, is also charged with falsifying records by submitting a false written statement in connection with the incident, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

MIlls on Oct. 25, 2020, struck three prisoners with a wooden baton, causing injuries, then submitted false statements that he had not used any force against the three men, according to the indictment, the DOJ said in a press release.

Mills faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of the charges for beating the men and 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice offense.

The federal government is suing Alabama and the Alabama Department of Corrections, alleging violations of inmates’ constitutional rights to protection from prisoner-on-prisoner violence, sexual abuse and excessive force by prison guards.

Inadequate staffing is driving the violence, the DOJ wrote in the lawsuit, noting that a recent court order shows that fewer than half of ADOC’s staff positions are filled.
Violence at the hands of correctional officers also continues, despite warnings by the DOJ in 2019, according to the complaint.

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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