The Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday the death of an incarcerated man serving at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer.
Maxamillion Ward, 36, was transferred from the Donaldson to UAB Hospital on June 23 for treatment of a possible drug overdose, according to ADOC. After being admitted for treatment and kept for five days, Ward passed away on Tuesday of this week.
An autopsy to determine the exact cause of death was performed on Thursday, with the results yet to be released. The Alabama Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Services Division is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Ward’s death.
Ward was serving a life sentence for a sodomy conviction in Autauga County handed down in 2020.
The same week that Ward was sent to UAB hospital for treatment, another incarcerated man died at Donaldson Correctional Facility. Matthew Mork, 33, was found unresponsive in his bed at the health care ward at Donaldson. A “do not resuscitate” order prevented correctional staff from performing life-saving measures, and Mork passed away.
Mork, like Ward, was serving a life sentence for sodomy and sexual abuse of a minor committed in Cullman County.
A third incarcerated man, Mitchell Cosby, 41, was killed at Donaldson Correctional Facility after an altercation with another incarcerated individual on June. 15. Cosby was serving a life sentence for a murder committed in Jefferson County.
The prevalence of narcotics in Alabama prisons and the state department of correction’s inability to prevent their flow into these correctional facilities results in increases in overdose deaths, according to the U.S Justice Department’s ongoing lawsuit against the state.
Also cited by the lawsuit: Overcapacity and staffing shortages are also leading to increases in inmate-on-inmate altercations and deaths due to violence in Alabama correctional facilities.
According to the most recent statistical data from ADOC, Donaldson Correctional Facility is currently at 149.7 percent capacity, with a month-end population of 1,449 incarcerated individuals in a facility only designed to hold 968 individuals.