The Alabama Department of Corrections has released the name of an incarcerated individual who died at Donaldson Correctional Facility on Sunday.
Joseph Paul Mitchell, a 60-year-old incarcerated man at the facility, was found unresponsive in a facility dorm by correctional staff on Oct. 9, according to an ADOC spokesperson. Mitchell was transported to the infirmary, where life-saving measures were attempted by healthcare staff but were unsuccessful, the spokesperson said, and Mitchell was pronounced dead later that same Sunday.
In a report released by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, the office indicated that “there has been no evidence found to suggest trauma or foul play” in Mitchel’s death, with an official cause of death pending laboratory studies. The coroner’s office has yet to locate Mitchell’s family, who are believed to live in Hunstville, and have requested assistance from the public in locating them. Individuals who have knowledge of Mitchel’s family are asked to call the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office at 205-930-3603.
The ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division is investigating the circumstances surrounding Mitchel’s death.
Donaldson Correctional Facility has been the site of a number of deaths over the past several weeks, with four incarcerated individuals at the facility dying over a span of a few days at the beginning of the month.
Two of those deaths — 30-year-old Letrex Smith and 29-year-old Joseph Agee — are being investigated as homicides, as other incarcerated individuals allegedly stabbed both incarcerated men at the facility.
The US Department of Justice, in their ongoing lawsuit with the state and the ADOC, argues that the increasing violence between incarcerated individuals can be linked to the chronic shortage of correctional staff at all major ADOC facilitates, something that corrections have suffered from for a number of years.