MONTGOMERY — During a Joint Prison Oversight Committee meeting Tuesday, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm refused to go into detail about an incident at Donaldson Correctional Facility in August that involved a prisoner with a gun who may have taken guards hostage.

When questioned by State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), Hamm said his department is still conducting an investigation and that he would not comment any further on the incident. 

"We're still investing that case," Hamm said. "It's still ongoing. We have some good investigative information on it, but I'd like to leave it at that right now. Again, that was one of the incidents we had to deal with. It wasn't pretty, but we're getting to the bottom of it."

Last month, a Donaldson inmate serving life without parole for multiple homicides caught extra charges after going live on Facebook wearing a correctional officer's vest, holding a handgun and ranting about prison conditions.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office charged inmate Derrol Shaw with first-degree escape, promoting prison contraband, possessing contraband certain individuals are not allowed to have and terroristic threats.

Though the ADOC initially told the press that there was never a hostage situation, disciplinary records suggest that Shaw has been accused of holding multiple guards at gunpoint and forcing them into an office.

Following the meeting, a member of the press asked Hamm if the ADOC had any idea how Shaw got a gun in the prison. He once again declined to go into detail.

"It's a very complex investigation," he said. "It's going to be lengthy, so once we complete it, then we will have more details. But, right now, we cannot speak on the actual incident." 

Hamm and the Prison Oversight Committee members also discussed prison construction, the ADOC's recruitment efforts and its battle with prison contraband.

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