Ex-Alabama prison guard sentenced for assaulting inmates

Ex-Alabama prison guard sentenced for assaulting inmates

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former sergeant for the Alabama Department of Corrections has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for assaulting two inmates at Elmore Correctional Facility, federal prosecutors said.

Ulysses Oliver Jr., 47, was sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.

According to court documents, the inmate assault happened on Feb. 16, 2019. Prosecutors said Oliver went to an observation room where two inmates were handcuffed. Oliver reportedly pulled the first victim into a hallway and struck him multiple times with his fists and feet, then struck him with his collapsible baton about 19 times. Oliver then returned to the observation room and pulled the second man into the hallway, where he reportedly kicked him and used his baton to strike him about 10 times.

The handcuffed victims did not resist and posed no threat, the Justice Department said.

Prosecutors said Oliver, who pleaded guilty in the case, assaulted the inmates as punishment because he believed the victims had brought contraband into the facility.

The assaults occurred near other correctional officers, who did not intervene. Two other former corrections officers have pleaded guilty in connection with the incident, and a third was convicted at trial.

“The actions of Mr. Oliver and his co-defendants run completely counter to the responsibilities and trust given to correctional officers,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama.

“Oliver knew that the use of force in this case was unnecessary and excessive, and so did the other officers involved. While I fully support the difficult and dangerous jobs that these officers undertake each day, my office remains committed to holding those that ignore their oaths accountable.”