Mother of an inmate who died at South Central Correctional Center in Licking, Mo. speaks out

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:43 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Missouri mother is looking for answers after her son died in an Ozarks’ prison.

Alan Lancaster is one of a few men who recently overdosed on illegal drugs at the South Central Correctional Facility in Licking, Missouri.

“It’s just too much. It shouldn’t have happened,” said Mary Harris.

Her son, 39-year-old Alan Lancaster was serving a 20-year prison sentence for burglary, robbery, assault, and kidnapping charges.

Earlier this year he was found unresponsive.

She said, “My son was in solitary confinement. His thing (death report) came back and said he had a horse tranquilizer in his system. How?”

According to the medical examiner, Lancaster died of a fentanyl and xylazine overdose. Harris says her son was aware that others inside the prison were dying of drug overdoses.

“He did tell me. He called me one day and was like ma, there’s a lot of guys in here passing away. They’re dying. I said, well, you don’t have that long. You don’t affiliate with them,” said Harris.

She says she has a hard time believing that her son died of a drug overdose.

“If they told me he died from somebody stabbing him ok but for him to have this type of drug in his system? Alan didn’t do drugs,” she said.

Harris says she’s tried to get answers from investigators but has come up short.

“They say they don’t know. Nobody’s talking. Nobody’s saying anything. Somebody’s responsible for it. They put homicide. Somebody’s responsible,” explained Harris.

She says the only way she believes she will get the information she needs is by speaking out.

“I just need to know. Somebody did something to him. I know because he would not do this. I’m not having it. I’m going to find out though. I’m going to find out. I don’t care how long it takes. I’m going to find out,” said Harris.

Alan Lancaster was eligible for parole in 2026.

Our email request for additional information or comment from the department of corrections has not been answered.

A check of their procedures shows that they do have measures in place to limit an inmate’s access to contraband.

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