New Federal Prison for Women in Alabama Hit by EF2 Tornado
Date:  02-15-2016

Information on the well-being of women held at the prison is lacking
The Federal Correctional Institution in Aliceville, Alabama has been in the news since the summer of 2013 when Reentry Central was first to announce that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was shutting down the only Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) for women in the Northeast region of the U.S. and converting it to a male prison. The FCI, located in Danbury, CT, made plans over the Fourth of July weekend 2013 to send the women held at the Danbury FCI to Aliceville, Ala, 1,100 miles away. The move sparked the ire of senators, members of Congress, judges and advocates of prison reform.

FCI Aliceville continued to make news again on February 9, 2016 when it was hit by an EF2 tornado. The following news report from ABC 33 40 provides some harrowing accounts of the tornado and its aftermath from women incarcerated in the prison when the tornado hit.

Via ABC 33 40:

ALICEVILLE, Ala. — Repairs to the federal prison, in Aliceville, continue after last Tuesday's EF2 tornado tore through town. The Federal Correctional Institution in Aliceville is a low-security women's prison that houses almost 2,000 inmates.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said it was the administration building that took a direct hit, but the women inside the prison tell a different story. "They left us on the top floor, locked in our cells, cowering under steel bunks like animals for nearly two hours," one inmate told ABC 33/40. The two inmates, who have asked to remain anonymous, reached out to ABC 33/40 via phone. They are sharing what happened.

"The roof got taken off the building I was in. The roof shook everything. We were in four inches of water, ankle deep, wires hanging, smoking, the fire alarms was going off. They didn't even come check on us until 45 minutes after that then they made us stay in there for 23 more hours," said one inmate. Read more