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The fault for Alabama's prison problem

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Alabama 21 in Atmore

A view of W.C. Holman Correctional Facility, just off Alabama 21 north of Atmore, home to Alabama's death row.

Alabama’s prison problem won’t be solved with a single stroke of a pen. Our state owns some of the nation’s worst prison living conditions, examples of overcrowding and prison violence. Nothing short of sweeping change will alter that.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s appearance Wednesday in Anniston was to attend the memorial service for Kenneth Bettis, a William C. Holman Prison corrections officer who died last month after being stabbed in the head by an inmate with a handmade ice pick. While here, Bentley reaffirmed his belief that the state should build more prisons to alleviate the system’s profound overcrowding problem.