Violence has increased in Alabama's crowded prisons and experts fear it may get worse as the correction system absorbs more budget cuts.
The Birmingham News reports that three inmates have been killed in Alabama prisons since the state's fiscal year started in October. During the last four years, there was usually one killing at most.
In the last year, the prison system counted 1,397 fights and nonsexual assaults, up about 400 from the previous year. Assaults leading to serious injuries doubled, rising from 47 to 95.
Prison officials said the larger numbers reflect better records keeping. Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, said inmates are telling him that violence has gotten worse in the last two or three years.