The Alabama State Employees Association and the State Correctional Officers Association both expressed concern about prison overcrowding this week.
They plan to seek relief from the court system for Tutwiler Prison for women.
The claim is that every guard there is responsible for supervising 113 inmates on each shift.
"We came to the very realization that there is a clear and present danger to these correctional officers, to their lives. Thus, to their families," said Mac McArthur, executive director of the ASEA. "but to the public at large I cannot think of a more important crisis than this."
District Judge Myron Thompson has rejected one plan the state has already submitted for reducing prison overcrowding.