MONTGOMERY — Violence between inmates remains a major problem in Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) prisons across the state.

House Pro Tempore Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) told an ADOC attorney during a contract review committee meeting on Thursday, "Until the federal government lets us block these cell phones, I don't know how you're going to protect the prisoners."

"I know I've said this before," Pringle continued. "Again, I've gotten another call from another constituent where their son was beat up because, you know, the gangs are running our prisons, and the prison guards are bringing the drugs into the gang members and the cell phones."

"These people are calling me and they're just crying their eyes out because they've got a videotape of their son who has just been raped or beaten up by the gangs. The prison guards are the ones bringing the drugs in and the cell phones. I feel sorry for y'all, but please, God, we've got to do something to protect these prisoners. It's insane what's going on in our prison system."

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 24 at the State House.

Mandy Speirs, an attorney with ADOC, said at the meeting, "We're making strides in that area."

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