(WKRG) – Disturbing cell phone videos that have surfaced from inside Holman Prison during two riots are proof enough that there is a contraband problem.
After Friday’s riot, authorities confiscated at least 30 cell phones, and many of our viewers have been wondering how they got the phones in the first place.
It’s an issue that practically fell into our lap while we were interviewing repeat offenders in February for an unrelated special report.
During one of our interviews, Charles Collier (the inmate we were interviewing) abruptly changed the subject to tell us about the drug smuggling problem at Alabama prisons.
“Coming from a prison in the state of Alabama, it’s nothing but drugs and violence up in there. I was paroled out as a functioning drug addict. My drug addiction was able to be fed better from prison. It was cheaper and I didn’t have to go far,” Collier, a repeat home burglar, said.
When we asked how they were able to get their hands on drugs, he said it wasn’t just the inmates sneaking it in. “It’s coming from the employees, CO’s and guards, I’m not afraid to say that now. I’m not afraid. Until somebody does speak up and let them know where it’s actually coming from and puts a handle on it, it’s not going to change,” Collier said. “Most people who are involved in working it with DOC don’t get paid much. You’re dealing with a bunch of criminals to start off with. You sell this[contraband] to them. All you got to do is get green dots, PayPal….Of course it’s coming in.”
One inmate crying foul play isn’t something to sound the alarm about, but when our second inmate also mentioned the drug problem unsolicited, we knew we couldn’t turn a blind eye.
“I was on crack real bad and one time I got off of it and went to prison, but there are more drugs in prison and I got on the needle bad up there,” Kenneth Rushing said. “They so loaded, the guards bring it to them.”
We made several calls to the State Department of Corrections, but by the time we reached our deadline, no one had returned them to provide the state’s side of the story.