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78 people died in ADOC facilities in the final months of 2023

Each month had over 20 deaths or investigations opened into those deaths.

The seal of the Alabama Department of Corrections.
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According to a quarterly report released by the Alabama Department of Corrections, over 78 people died in prison during the first quarter of 2024.

The first quarter encompasses the months of October, November and December. Each month had over 20 deaths or investigations opened into those deaths. The number of deaths per month are: 29 in October, 26 in November and 23 in December.

Of the 78 opened investigations in the three-month span, only seven have been closed as of the report’s release. Of the seven deaths, five were deemed natural deaths, one was a homicide and one was an overdose. Other classifications include executions, suicide and undetermined, which means the cause of death is yet to be determined by investigators.

WAFF reported that an incarcerated individual, Samuel Ward, was killed at Limestone Correctional Facility in an apparent assault last Saturday. Ward was found unresponsive in his cell and taken to the the health care unit where he died. According to sources, Ward was stabbed to death.

In Ward’s case there are two suspects that ADOC have identified as likely responsible for his death.

As of 2024, there have been approximately 40 plus deaths in ADOC facilities according to a death toll taken by incarcerated advocates. The number is likely higher as the advocates released a report at the beginning of March accounting for 41 deaths after January and February.

ADOC only releases the death toll during each quarterly report and because the reports are separated by months the number of deaths can only be estimated during that time span.

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Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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