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DOJ finds violence, abuse in Alabama prisons

by Kent Covington
Posted 4/04/19, 10:00 am

The Justice Department issued a scathing report Wednesday on Alabama prisons, giving the state 49 days to correct the “severe” constitutional violations of prisoners’ rights or face a federal lawsuit. The report said inmates endure an “extraordinarily high rate of violence at the hands of other prisoners,” with the number of inmate-on-inmate attacks spiking dramatically in the last 5½ years. Investigators described a culture of violence in which inmates brutally attack each other with knives and other weapons and rapes occur throughout the prisons. Alabama’s prisons are some of the most overcrowded in the nation, with staffing shortages at “crisis levels,” according to the report.

State officials have “identified many of the same areas of concern,” Gov. Kay Ivey said Wednesday in response to the report. Ivey previously proposed building three large regional prisons for men. She vowed to work with the federal government to fix the state’s problems.

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