Holman ‘disturbance’ ends with minor injuries

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A disturbance at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore Tuesday that escalated after a correctional officer found a cell phone ended with only a few minor injuries to inmates, according to Alabama Department of Corrections spokesperson Brian Corbett.

Corbett said an “inmate disturbance” was reported around 7:30 a.m. after inmates took control of A-dorm at the maximum-security prison.

“For safety reasons, Holman supervisors ordered officers out of the dorm and into the hallway,” Corbett said. “No initial injuries or destruction of property were reported.”

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The A-dorm houses approximately 115 inmates, some of whom did not participate in the standoff, Corbett said.

The ADOC’s Correctional Emergency Response Team was called to the scene equipped in full riot gear and took control of the situation after being met with “continued inmate disobedience,” officials said.

“Initial attempts at compliance were refused,” Corbett said.

At approximately 11:15 a.m., the CERT, under the direction of Institutional Coordinator Grantt Culliver, entered and regained control of the dorm with no injury to staff. There were few minor injuries to inmates who refused lawful orders, none requiring off-site medical treatment.

“It turned out to be a minor disturbance thanks in large part to our Corrections Emergency Response Team and the extensive training they’ve been through,” Corbett said.

Officials said two inmates suffered lacerations as a result of officers taking control of the disturbance. No state property was damaged, officials said.

“Cell phones are considered contraband and are strictly prohibited,” Corbett said. “Their use continues to be problematic nationwide.”

The ADOC CERT will remain on premises as needed.

Corbett said the CERT, along with staff at Holman and Fountain Correctional Facilities, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Atmore Police Department are to be commended for their handling of the situation, along with the ADOC Office of Health Services and Correctional Medical Services.

“Quick and decisive actions by the CERT team, our staff and local law enforcement authorities help to resolve this issue,” ADOC Commissioner Kim Thomas said. “Everyone involved has my personal thanks for such a professional response and handling of this situation.”

The cause of the disturbance remains under investigation.

Holman, located on Alabama State Highway 21, nine miles north of Atmore, currently maintains 630 general population beds, 200 single cells, and 168 death row cells for a capacity of 998 maximum through minimum custody inmates to include a large contingency of life without parole inmates. The death chamber is located at Holman where all executions are conducted.

Holman also operates two major correctional industries within the facility’s perimeter, a license plate plant and a metal fabrication plant.