SPLC Urges Federal Court to Address Razors in Alabama Prisons
By Sarah Ford on September 9, 2014
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) urged a federal court today to block an Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) practice that allows male prisoners virtually unlimited access to razor blades in state prisons – including prisoners with a history of mental illness and suicide attempts.
The groups filed a motion for preliminary injunction to stop this practice that puts the lives of prisoners at risk, violating their constitutional rights. It describes how this routine continued even after a prisoner killed himself with a razor in 2011. It also notes that this procedure fails to track the number of blades prisoners possess, allowing razors to be found throughout ADOC prisons.
“The Alabama Department of Corrections is endangering its prisoners with this policy,” said Maria Morris, managing attorney for the SPLC’s Montgomery legal office. “It should be obvious that you don’t freely hand out razors to prisoners suffering from suicidal thoughts and mental health crises. This policy is irresponsible and a danger to anyone within the walls of these prisons.”