Three inmates die in Alabama jails over the weekend

Three inmates died in Alabama jails over the weekend, including two in one of the state’s deadliest prisons.

Trenton Jamario White, who was 30; Justin Douglas Grubis, 43, of Madison, and a third man, 61, whose identity has yet to be revealed to next of kin, all died in custody at the Alabama Department of Justice over the last weekend in January. White and the unidentified man, both from Gadsden, were at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, according to The Montgomery Adviser.

Jefferson County Assistant Medical Examiner Bill Yates said prison staff discovered White in his cell unresponsive at 5:34 a.m. Saturday and pronounced him dead at 5:48 a.m. While additional laboratory studies are pending, no third-party fault is suspected.

Alabama prisons
The Elmore Correctional Facility is one of the Alabama prisons. During the last weekend of January, three inmates died in two other state prisons. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP, File)

Grubis, who was at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton, was also found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday, according to ADOC spokeswoman Kelly Betts. Staff took him to the prison infirmary, where doctors attempted to revive him.

The third man was found unconscious in his cell on Sunday and was later pronounced dead. As with White, further laboratory tests are pending to determine his cause of death, but an autopsy reportedly showed nothing suspicious.

According to the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to studying the root causes of injustice in the cotton state, 266 people died in Alabama’s overcrowded and understaffed prisons in 2022, marking the highest number of deaths since at least 2002 .

Alabama denies parole to 90% of inmates, including a 71-year-old woman in a wheelchair and on dialysis

Based on the state’s prison population last year, those 266 deaths amounted to 1,330 deaths per 100,000 prisoners, about 200 percent more than a decade ago. At least 95 deaths – homicides, suicides and suspected drug-related deaths – have been avoided.

Although the number of deaths in Alabama prisons has increased, what the Department of Corrections is doing to address the problem is not known exactly, according to Alabama Appleseed Research.

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