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At least 11 confirmed dead in Alabama prisons in January

Within a four-day span beginning Jan. 27 and ending on Jan. 31, at least five incarcerated individuals died.

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Yet another incarcerated individual has been confirmed dead in an Alabama Department of Corrections facility, with now 11 deaths in state custody for January.

A spokesperson for the ADOC confirmed to APR on Friday that Roderick Demarcus Lee, a 33-year-old incarcerated man at Kilby Correctional Facility in Montgomery County, died after acting erratically on Jan. 27. No additional details were provided as to how Lee’s erratic behavior could prove fatal.

Lee was found by correctional officers that Friday “behaving erratically in his dorm,” the spokesperson said, and was taken to the in-unit infirmary for observation and a medical assessment of his condition.

“He was treated but his erratic behavior escalated then he stopped breathing,” the spokesperson said. “Medical staff performed life-saving measures but were unable to revive him and he was pronounced deceased.”

The Law Enforcement Services Division of the ADOC is investigating the incident, with the official cause of death pending the result of an autopsy and the conclusion of the LESD’s investigation.

Lee’s death would not be the only incident of an incarcerated man dying in January after behaving abnormally.

Christopher Shannon Fulmer, a 44-year-old incarcerated man at Elmore Correctional Facility, was found the following Friday “in physical distress,” according to an ADOC spokesperson, while in his dorm on Jan. 31.

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Like Lee, Fulmer was taken into the facility’s health care unit where his condition worsened, and he was ultimately pronounced deceased.

Within a four-day span beginning Jan. 27 and ending on Jan. 31, at least five incarcerated individuals died within state custody, accounting for nearly half of all confirmed deaths in the month of January. The youngest of the deceased was 25-years-old, and the oldest, 61-years-old.

In early January, the Alabama Department of Corrections announced that it would no longer report the number of incarcerated dead in the department’s monthly statistical reports, with those statistics only included in quarterly reports turned over to the Joint Legislative Prison Oversight Committee and published, with irregularity, on their website.

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that rising levels of violent incidents and deaths within state facilities are due, in large part, to a critically low level of correctional staff at each of the ADOC’s facilities. The most recent quarterly report released from the ADOC shows that the department has seen a nearly 19 percent decrease in correctional staffing since September of last year.

The nine other incarcerated men who died in January include:

  • Carl Kennedy, 57-years-old, at Limestone Correctional Facility on Jan. 2.
  • Ariene Kimbrough, 35-years-old, at Limestone Correctional Facility on Jan. 4.
  • Paul Rolan Ritch, Jr, 53-years-old, at Staton Correctional Facility on Jan 6.
  • Kevin Marcus Ritter, 33-years-old, at Donaldson Correctional Facility on Jan. 7.
  • Ronald Nowicki, 66-years-old, at Limestone Correctional Facility on Jan. 10.
  • Corey Jerome Johnson, 49-year-old, at St. Clair Correctional Facility on Jan. 11.
  • Trenton Jamario White, 30-years-old, Donaldson Correctional Facility, and Justin Douglas Grubis, 25-year-old, at Ventress Correctional facility, on Jan. 28.
  • Michael Theodore Medders, 61-years old, Donaldson Correctional Facility on Jan. 29.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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