As the crime rate across the country has an increasing trend and more and more offenders are serving their prison sentences, prison incidents have started to rise proportionately as well. From time to time, we hear about incidents in prisons between inmates due to their unresolved disputes from the past, but sometimes, there are incidents between correctional officers and prisoners.
Such incident between inmates and correctional officers happened in October last year at Alabama jail where a corrections officer with his terrible action endangered the lives of several inmates.
The corrections officer was accused for tampering with inmate cigarettes that later harmed four inmates and put their lives in danger. The officer was later arrested and charged with four counts of third-degree assault.
As WAAY reported, the 27-year-old corrections officer J. Handley sprayed the cigarettes that belonged to one of the inmates with irritating spray, the same spray used for self-defense, because he wanted to take revenge on one of the prisoners for insulting the officer.
The inmate shared his cigarettes with his fellow inmates without knowing that they were sprayed with a poisoning spray by Handley and that smoking those few cigarettes may actually put their life in danger.
Shortly after the inmates smoked the cigarettes, they started struggling and immediately experienced breathing difficulties. Handley’s colleagues in the prison, who had nothing to do with Hadley and his ‘revenge-idea’, immediately rushed to inmates’ cell in an effort to help them.
Employees at the prison called EMS as a precaution and the inmates were taken to a local hospital for treatment due to respiratory problems. They were released from hospital couple of days later in stable condition and fully recovered.
The Sheriff’s Office was informed for the incident and immediately conducted an investigation which showed that Handley sprayed the cigarettes with an irritating spray. After the investigation uncovered what had happened, Handley contract was terminated.
Arrests warrants were issued for Handley and he was charged with four counts of third-degree assault. Handley pleaded guilty to the charges few days ago, but it was “for purposes of appeal,” meaning Handley now has the chance to appeal his case and seek a jury trial in Morgan County Circuit Court instead of the bench trial allowed at the district court level.
According to court documents, Handley was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 185 days suspended meaning he will be required to spend 180 days in jail. Documents state Handley will serve 24 months of unsupervised probation following his time in jail. If he does not appeal the case, he must report to the Morgan County Jail early November.
He will not be allowed to work in law enforcement or private security in the future.
The identities of the inmates remained unrevealed.