DOJ Investigation At Julia Tutwiler Prison Reveals Underreported Sexual Abuse


By Catalina Trivino

Department of Justice investigation releases report saying the "women at Tutwiler Prison universally fear for their safety."

The investigation into the prison began April 2013. Now, the DOJ reported their findings in a 36-page letter to Governor Robert Bentley.

The report indicates that the prisoners live in a "sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior including: abusive sexual contact between staff and prisoners; sexualized activity, including a strip show condoned by staff; profane and unprofessional sexualized language and harassment; and deliberate cross-gender viewing of prisoners showering, urinating and defecating."

The report also states the prison conditions violate the constitutional rights of prisoners in state correctional facilities. It also says the State of Alabama is in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. consitution by failing to protect the prisoners from harm due to sexual abuse and harassment from correctional staff.

The DOJ report indicates the sexual behavior and abuse is grossly underreported and has been occuring for "over 18 years" and have chosen to ignore them.

DOJ says there will be an expanded investigation.

Department of Corrections Commissioner, Kim Thomas, released a statement:

“We have been proactive from the beginning. We have never down played the significant and serious nature of these allegations. I do not, however, agree that Tutwiler is operating in a deliberately indifferent or unconstitutional manner. We will cooperate with the Department of Justice and continue our efforts to implement changes and recommendations with the goal of improving prison conditions and avoiding potential contested litigation.”
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