Incarcerated husband allegedly targeted by ADOC, claims advocate

Rhonda Averhart, an advocate for incarcerated individuals in Alabama, alleges that her husband, who is currently in prison, is facing retaliation from officials at the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) due to her activism.

Rhonda is a prominent figure in the prison advocacy community in Alabama, as she passionately fights for families and their incarcerated loved ones. Her main goal is to shed light on the corruption that exists within the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). Unfortunately, this has made her a target of dislike among ADOC correctional officers, who are frequently the individuals responsible for the harm inflicted upon incarcerated individuals that Rhonda aims to expose and hold accountable.

Derrick Averhart, Rhonda’s husband, was unexpectedly transferred from Elmore Correctional Facility to Kilby Correctional Facility on Feb. 2. Rhonda mentioned that he was placed in segregation without a clear reason. Rhonda was informed that the only violation Derrick had was related to a cell phone two months ago. However, when she inquired about the reason for his transfer, she did not receive a clear answer. It seems unusual to isolate someone for a cell phone violation that occurred over two months ago.

Dixon’s intense criticism towards Rhonda is probably a result of their previous confrontation, as mentioned in an email Rhonda sent to the media, ADOC, and Alabama officials.

According to Rhonda, she had a conversation with Dixon and a nurse regarding Derrick’s health. She mentioned that Derrick had been showing signs of a heart attack, possibly due to the lack of medical attention he received. After discussing the matter with the nurse and Dixon, Derrick was eventually relocated four or five days later, as reported by Rhonda.

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“I had a conversation with Officer Dixon and a nurse at Elmore because my husband was experiencing chest pain, but they refused to take him to the medical facility,” Rhonda shared in her email. “I have been working as a nurse for over 20 years, so I called and spoke to Dixon and had a discussion with the nurse. However, just 4-5 days later, my husband was abruptly removed from Elmore without any explanation. I have forwarded all this information to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and have also contacted an attorney.”

According to ADOC’s inmate search, Derrick is currently located at Kilby’s Receiving and Classification Center.

Rhonda expressed her fear to APR, stating, “I’m scared. I’m afraid that they’re going to let him get killed in there.”

Rhonda hasn’t been able to communicate with Derrick since February 5th. Their last conversation was abruptly cut short after only 8 minutes, instead of the usual 15. Since then, Rhonda has been attempting to contact Kilby, but they either refuse to answer or the line is constantly busy.

Derrick’s mother and sister have also reached out, but they have faced obstacles in obtaining information. They have either been denied access to information, experienced instances of being hung up on, or simply found that no one answers their calls.

Rhonda expressed her concern as a taxpayer, emphasizing the right to be informed about the situation inside the camps where their loved ones are held. She believes her husband is facing retaliation due to her active advocacy work, which has included interviews and articles highlighting the issue of medical neglect in these facilities. Rhonda has confronted correctional officers and nurses for their failure to provide necessary medical assistance to the incarcerated individuals.

Rhonda mentioned that she has not received a response from ADOC regarding her email, and she also informed APR that there has been no communication from them regarding Derrick’s situation.

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