Three dead in prisons, coroner needs help notifying one man’s family

Three more deaths have been reported within Alabama’s correctional system since July 26, and officials have been unable to contact one of the deceased’s family members.

Paul Stephen Smith, 65, died Friday morning in the Donaldson Correctional Facility infirmary in Bessemer. Jefferson County Coroner Bill Yates said Smith is believed to have died of natural causes.

On July 11, Smith was taken from Donaldson’s health care unit to an area hospital for medical treatment, according to Alabama Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kelly Betts. Between July 11 and July 29 death, Smith was taken back to Donaldson and continued receiving care in the prison infirmary for “significant natural disease.” He was found unresponsive in the infirmary and pronounced dead at 7:42 am

The Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office has requested the public’s assistance in notifying Smith’s family. Smith did not have any emergency contacts listed, according to the office.

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The office has tried unsuccessfully to reach his brother Tony Smith, who once lived in Pensacola, Florida. The office asks Smith’s family or anyone with knowledge of his family to call them at 205-930-3603.

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