WILLIE JUNIOR SUMMONS AIS: 00112862
A Dorm, Bed 57
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503-3700
WILLIE JUNIOR SUMMONS AIS: 00112862
A Dorm, Bed 57
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503-3700
Today I talked to Willie Simmons, who has spent the last 38 years in prison for stealing $9. He was convicted of 1st degree robbery & sentenced to life without parole in 1982, prosecuted under Alabama’s habitual offender law because he had 3 prior convictions. He told me his priors were 1 grand larceny and 2 receiving stolen property. I could only locate the grand larceny from 1979, but court records in Alabama are spotty. He did a year in prison for that conviction, and thinks he did about the same for the other crimes. “But I really can’t remember,” he said.
Mr. Simmons was 25 when the state said he should die in prison. Today he’s 62. When I asked his age he paused & laughed. “Been so long since somebody asked me that,” he said. He hasn’t had a visitor since 2005 after his sister died. “Haven’t heard from nobody since then.”
Mr. Simmons is incarcerated at Holman, one of the most violent prisons in the country. He is studying for his GED and “tries to stay away from the wild bunch.” He got sober in prison 18 years ago, despite being surrounded by drugs. “I just talked to God about it,” he said. Mr. Simmons told me he was high on drugs when he committed the crime that landed him in prison for life. He wrestled a man to the ground and stole his wallet which contained $9. “I was just trying to get me a quick fix,” he said. Police arrested him a few blocks away. He remembers his trial lasting 25 minutes and his appointed attorney calling no witnesses. Prosecutors did not offer him a plea deal, even though all of his prior offenses were nonviolent. “They kept saying we’ll do our best to keep you off the streets for good,” he said.
Mr. Simmons told me he grew up poor in Enterprise, Alabama. He started using drugs in high school, but dropped out at age 16. “It was real bad,” he said about his drug use. He was using hard drugs when he committed his crimes. “It was all stupid. I was messed up.”
Over the years, he’s filed appeal after appeal, with no lawyer. All were denied. “In a place like this, it can feel like you’re standing all alone,” he told me. “I ain’t got nobody on the outside to call and talk to. Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in outer space.”
“My hope is to get out of here, settle down with a woman and do God’s will,” he continued. “I’d like to tell people about how bad drugs are.” Mr. Simmons said he sees men doing drugs all the time in prison, but he stays away. He hasn’t gotten a disciplinary citation in a decade.
In 2014, lawmakers removed the last avenue of appeal for people like Mr. Simmons serving life without parole under the habitual offender law. I asked if he had hope that leaders would reconsider that. “Yes, I’ve been hoping and praying on it,” he said. “I ain’t giving up.”
Mr. Simmons did not deny his crimes & I am not writing this to argue that he’s innocent. He has paid for his crimes with his entire adult life, cast away like he wasn’t worth redemption. It sickens me to think about how many other people are warehoused in prison, forgotten. When tough on crime people say everyone in prison deserves to be there, think of Mr. Simmons. We should be ashamed of laws that categorically throw people away in the name of safety. We should question anyone who supports Alabama’s habitual offender law. It needs to go.
You can write to Mr Simmons at:
WILLIE JUNIOR SIMMONS AIS: 00112862
A Dorm, Bed 57
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503-3700
Don’t forget to add your return address (that is the prison policy) in the top left corner of your envelope, thank you.
October 7, 2016
Holman prison back on lockdown after another violent incident. Reports state that officers refused to enter the dorm and try to stop the stabbings, and then officers refused to open the door to allows the injured to escape.
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT urges all to contact Governor Bentley and the Commissioner’s Officer and demand that the media bad public representatives from Mother’s and F.A.M.ilies be allowed immediate entry into this prison along with DOJ investigators.
The William C. Holman Correctional Facility was constructed in 1968 and 1969. The facility was officially open in December, 1969, at a cost of five million dollars.
The first prisoner was received on December 15, 1969. The Holman Correctional Facility houses Death Row inmates and is the only facility in the state that carries out executions.
The present population of Holman C. F. consists of minimum through closed custody inmates, including life without parole and Death Row inmates.
The living quarters have a total capacity of 998 available beds. There are 630 population beds with Housing Units A-D having a capacity of 114 each and Housing Unit E with a capacity of 174.
There are 7 infirmary beds. There are 200 segregation unit beds and Death Row has a capacity of 194 for a total of 1031 beds.
Holman is located ten miles north of Atmore, Alabama, just east of Highway 21 on Ross Road. The perimeter of the security compound is surrounded by two fences. The inner fence is taut wire fence with the outer fence being chain link. The compound has six towers and two perimeter vehicles, which operate twenty four hours a day.
During the hours of darkness, the perimeter is fully lighted. Thecountryside in the vicinity of Holman prison is farm and timberland. The main crops are cotton and peanuts.
Located directly behind the facility within the security compound is an industrial area consisting of a Tag Plant where all of the State’s motor vehicle tags are manufactured and a Sewing Factory which makes sheets and pillow cases that are distributed to other state prisons.
In 1991 a new Administrative building was built onto the front of the main prison within the security compound to provide needed Administrative Offices.
In the latterpart of 1995, the entire kitchen and dining area was remodeled and updated. In 2000 a newly constructed, 200 bed single cell segregation unit was put online. *In 2007 the housing units in general population were remodeled with single beds and an updated bath room area.
*The 2007 renovation was the result of a 4 day Work and Hunger Strike, which included all men in HOLMAN prison. (Kinetik Justice was the Spokesperson for the Prisoners during the negotiations and was ultimately “declared a threat to security “and when, then Warden Grant Culliver attempted to place Kinetik in Solitary Confinement Indefinitely, Attorney Tiffany Johnson Cole intervened and Kinetik was transferred to St. Clair C. F. )
Only 7 cars in the HOLMAN parking lot, only 3 officers for Death Row and Segregation, Officer just confirmed that it’s over, as all CO’s are quitting this coming week ~”We’re tired of them playing games with y’all and our lives. It doesn’t make any sense. You be safe Lil Brother.”
Well they told me they had something planned, now I see what it is.
The Administration has effectively ran their workforce off. Smh
EMERGENCY ALERT: F.A.M. PRESS RELEASE FOR HOLMAN PRISON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SERIOUS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DEVELOPING AT HOLMAN PRISON
Pas. Kenneth S. Glasgow
The Ordinary People’s Society
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
Atmore, Alabama. September 16, 2016
A serious humanitarian crisis is developing at Holman prison as correctional officers continue to walk off of the job amid concerns about safety and apathy from Warden Terry Raybon and the office of ADOC Commissioner Jefferson S Dunn, as violence, including deadly stabbings and assaults continue to mount.
Several officers expressed dismay and fear after learning that two of their fellow officers, Officer Brian Ezell and another officer, reported to Warden Raybon that they had knives drawn on them and their lives threatened, and that neither Warden Raybon, nor Commissioners Jeff Dunn and Grantt Culliver would take any action to ensure their safety. Both of these officers then quit.
Several other officers have also quit in the past three weeks after witnessing a stabbing of a fellow officer in the temple and who had remained hospitalized with life threatening injuries until he was pronounced dead earlier today. This after a former warden, Carter Davenport, was stabbed in March amidst back to back riots and other violence at Holman.
Now, after seeing Warden Raybon release approximately 20 people from segregation on September 13, 2016, most of whom were all in segregation for violent incidents (only to see several stabbing take place, including one critically injured and another losing an eye), a total of eight more officers have either quit or turned in their two week notices. Officers are expressing concern that the Commissioners of the ADOC are intentionally exacerbating violence at the expense of human life in efforts to push forward their plan to extort the public for 1.5 billion to build new prisons in next years Legislative Session.
Officers have began to express support for the Non-Violent stance of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and their efforts to expose corruption, violence and other issues plaguing Holman and other Alabama prisons, and have went so far as to make repeated requests to Warden Raybon for the release of F.A.M. co-founder and organizer Kinetik Justice from solitary confinement, because officers now feel that he is being wrongfully detained and because he has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to conduct peaceful demonstrations at Holman prison to bring attention to issues within the ADOC and Holman prison.
We are asking that everyone call Commissioner Dunn and Warden Raybon and demand that they post daily reports of the staffing levels and incidents of violence taking place at Holman as a matter of public safety.
We are further requesting assistance in finding a Human Rights attorney and human rights observers to report to Holman immediately, as the level of violence is skyrocketing, and the men at Holman are left in a virtual war zone to fend for themselves, while officers continue to walk off the job in what is already the most understaffed prison in America. Officers are so afraid to enter the dorms that routine security functions like conducting count are being done by the incarcerated men themselves, and video footage attesting to this fact are widely available online and across social media.
Family members of those incarcerated at Holman are requested to call Commissioner Dunn and Culliver continuously, and demand that their loved ones be immediately removed from Holman, as there are insufficient officers to secure the prison.
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
Warden Terry Raybon
Holman Correctional Facility
Commissioner Jefferson Dunn
Commissioner Grantt Culliver
334-353-3883 (switchboard operator)
Police stabbed in the kitchen at Holman. He was transported to hospital but doesn’t look like he will make it.
After receiving numerous phone calls from family members and photographs from conditions inside Holman prison, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and other representatives are calling for federal authorities and Human Rights attorneys to investigate allegations of Human Rights violations taking place at Holman to punish peaceful protests.
Reports indicate that officers are leaving dorms in filth, not taking out trash, leaving showers and soiled laundry unclean, in efforts to punish peaceful demonstrations.
The men in Holman prison also allege that officers are violating their Human Rights by serving inadequate meals and attempting to use starvation tactics in violation of Federal and International law and treatise against Torture through food.
Basic nutritional calories and food portions are not being met.
The men confined at Holman prison are asking supporters to contact the Human Rights Watch, all media, and Human Rights attorneys and request that they come to the prison and begin taking complaints. Living conditions include leaky ceiling with Black mole and other harmful conditions in the showers that are causing infections.
Showers filled with mole and bacteria.
Tarps being used to contain leaks in roof.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Toll Free Call Center: 1-877-696-6775
Center For Disease Control and Prevention
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636),TTY: 888-232-6348
Alabama Department of Public Health | Montgomery, AL | 1-800-252-1818 |
On April 27, 2016 the realities of Overcrowding continues to translate into violence. As yet again, 2 Officers were assaulted in the Segregation Unit in 2 separate incidents.
Due to such a shortage of Staff and surplus of prisoners, Officers result to being over aggressive in order to emphasize their control, which in turn causes an influx of violent altercations between the two.
Since the Riots of March 11th & 14th, where an Officer and the Warden were assaulted, a Lt and 3 CO’s have been assaulted in the Segregation Unit alone as prisoners fight back against the repressive treatment.
How long will the ADOC allow this Overcrowding and associated violence continue before they realize that the money is not worth the cost of keeping so many people incarcerated in its dilapidated system?
Once again, the ADOC CERT TEAM is expected to arrive at Holman Correctional Facility to reassert control and instill fear as a means of addressing the deteriorating conditions.
After 4 attempts in the past 45 days, seems like it would be clear that this is not the most effective method.
As until Overcrowding is properly addressed the violence will persist.
Free Alabama Movement
*For Immediate Release*
January 26, 2015
Contact: Ann Brooks (256)783-1044
February 1 Protest To Highlight Inhumane Conditions In Alabama Prisons
(Springville, Ala.) – Demanding an end to the filthy living conditions on Alabama’s death row and “a culture of violence” carried out by officials throughout the state’s maximum security prisons, families and friends of the men, women and children who are incarcerated in Alabama prisons will hold a peaceful protest on Sunday, Feb. 1.
Sponsored by the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), the protest will begin at 11:30 a.m.in front of the St. Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF), located at 1000 St. Clair Road in Springville.
FAM was started by men in Alabama state prisons to expose “the deplorable conditions and the slave labor inside the cement walls” of the state’s prisons. FAM has posted videos on You Tube in which over 80 men who are incarcerated in the Alabama Department of Corrections give their personal accounts about the inhumane living conditions they endure in Alabama prisons.
Three Alabama maximum security prisons, St. Clair CF, Holman Correctional Facility, and Donaldson Correctional Facility, all went on lockdown at some point in the past 10 days due to violent-related incidents.
Men and women are confined to their 8 by 12 foot cells 24 hours a day during lockdowns, and their family members
and friends cannot visit them.
On Jan. 25, several men on death row at Holman held a peaceful protest. Holman officials have denied these men use of equipment to clean their cells, and these men are being forced to eat cold sack lunches three times
a day. “We are human beings. Just because we’re on death row doesn’t mean that we have to live like animals,” said one death row inmate. The guards used pepper spray to punish the peaceful protesters in the segregation unit at Holman who were also protesting the inhumane living conditions.
SCCF has turned into one of the most dangerous prisons in America, according to the FAM. The prison’s warden, Carter Davenport was previously suspended in 2012 for assaulting a man confined at St. Clair in the head while he was handcuffed.
Riot police have been called in at SCCF, according to FAM. In the last two weeks, there have been at least 20 incidents in which people were stabbed or assaulted by an officer, at SCCF. Prisoner Jarvis “Flame” Jenkins was beaten twice by guards and was seen with blood dripping from his clothes. Another SCCF prisoner, Derrick LaKeith Brown, has been hospitalized with injuries for a week.
Prison officials Warden Walter Myers and Captain Darryl Fails, and others, removed James Pleasant from his cell at Holman on January 23, 2015, and told him that he, Robert E. Council (Holman) and Melvin Ray (St. Clair), known as the FAM 3, were problems to the ADOC and threatened to kill them for exposing inhumane and illegal conditions inside Alabama prisons.
FAM has been organizing Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests throughout the ADOC since January 1, 2015, when over a three week perios, over 4500 men participated in the demonstrated, which were supported by their families, friends, loved ones, and supporters nationwide.
For more information, call Ann Brooks at (256)783-1044.
UPDATED: On January 27, 2015, St. Clair CF went back on lockdown, where the overcrowding and lack of leadership from Warden Carter Davenport continues to cause a violent atmosphere.