“Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in outer space.”
In 1982, at the age of 25 Willie Simmons was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole for stealing $9. He has been in prison for 40 years.
Willie has turned 65 this September. Happy Birthday!!
This web site is intended to advocate for his release and compensation for the injustice done to him. We are a group of people working with a lawyer to help getting Willie help from outside.
Food in prison is notoriously bad. Willie has lost a lot of weight in the last few months. We are sending money to his canteen account on a regular basis so he can get the calories he needs. He said the hospital finally got him some care, diagnosing high blood pressure, and put him on medication. Willie says that his hands and swelling issues are so much better.
Willie has been moved to the St. Clair Correctional Facility. See below for his new address.
You can now watch Dr. Rashad Richey’s report on Willie’s case on the YouTube channel Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey.
Willie sent us a letter on 8/28/22 saying that he is still in solitary confinement despite being told months ago that he would be transferred back to his cell. He told us that he “blacked out” and was sent to the prison hospital. He had complained about his hands swelling up and problems with his left eye, but the treatment in the hospital didn’t bring any relief.
While he was in the hospital his snack food and stamps were stolen.
How can you help Willie Simmons?
Donate to his general fund
Make a donation to the SpotFund for Willie Simmons
Write Willie a letter or a card
Willie hasn’t had a visitor since his sister passed away in 2006. Receiving letters are his only way of staying in touch with the outside world. He responds to every letter, in his own unique handwriting! If possible, send return stamps in your letter. Thank you!
Willie Junior Simmons
St. Clair Correctional Facility
1000 St. Clair Rd
Springville, AL 35146
Fund Willie’s canteen account
- Go to the “Send Money to an Inmate” page of the Alabama of Corrections’ website.
- If you select “Use Debit or Credit Card Online” you will be redirected to the Access Corrections website.
- Create an account (it’s quick) and select “Willie Simmons”.
- For State select “Alabama”, for Agency “AL DOC”.
- For ” Recipient ID” enter 112862 and select “Find”. It should return with Willie Simmons.
Sign online petitions
- Change.org, petition started by Makheru Bradly
- Change.org, petition started by Victoria Johnson
- Change.org, petition started by Joseph Dowdy
- Care2 Petitions, petition started by Johnathan Crum
- Change.org, petition started by Tanya Chang
Contact elected officials
|Lt. Governor||Will Ainsworth||@willainsworthAL||334-261-9590|
|Speaker of the House||Mac McCutcheon||@MacDistrict25||334-261-0500|
|US Senator||Richard Shelby||@SenShelby||202-224-5744|
|US Senator||Tommy Tuberville||@SenTuberville||202-224-4124|
More information about Willie
- Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey, Sep 14, 2022.
- 40 Years Later, Willie Simmons Remains in an Alabama Prison for Stealing $9, by A. W. Naves, Sep 12, 2022.
- Journalist and writer Beth Shelburne regularly speaks to Willie and posts updates on Twitter: Dec 22, 2020, Jan 2nd, 2020, Dec 31st, 2019, Dec 21st, 2019 (the complete thread can be read on Beth’s Facebook page).
- Post from Free Alabama Movement | Dec 15th, 2019.
- Sign up for our newsletter. We won’t sell your email address or spam you otherwise. Newsletter is sent whenever we have news about Willie.
Listen to media
- Poor Man’s Pain by Danielle Ponder.
- Ashes Ashes podcast – Minimum Justice.
- Beth Shelburne interviewed on NPR.
- Twitter profile, also see hashtags #FreeWillieSimmons and #JusticeForWillieSimmons
For the search engines: “Willie Simmons”, “Willie Junior Simmons”, “Alabama”, “Alabama Department of Corrections”, “Alabama DOC”.
HB 107 – Repeal Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act
- Details from ACLU of Alabama here
- “This bill would repeal Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act (HFOA), provide for re-sentencing for defendants whose sentences were based on HFOA…”
- Thank Rep. Chris England for authoring this bill
- June 2021 update: the bill got out of subcommittee, and wasn’t voted by the general assembly. Alabama has a rather short legislative session, they are done for the year.