U.S. Justice Department: Alabama Prisons Violate U.S. Constitution—Reaction Added
Alabama's actions are "A failure to respect the rule of law".
“The United States Constitution bans ‘cruel and unusual punishments’ but the conditions found in our investigation of Alabama prisons provide reasonable cause to believe there is a flagrant disregard of that injunction,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Moore. “The failure to respect the rule of law by providing humane treatment for inmates”
All three U.S. Attorneys in Alabama have agreed that the state is in violation of the U.S. Constitutional protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
“The Department concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that the men’s prisons fail to protect prisoners from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse, and fail to provide prisoners with safe conditions.”
What’s next? Likely legislative action.
U.S. Attorney Richard Moore continues: “We do not need to tarry very long assessing blame, but rather commit to righting this wrong and spare our State further embarrassment. The task is daunting, but one we must embrace now without reservation. I am confident that Governor Ivey and the Legislative leadership in the State of Alabama understand the nature of this inherited problem and that they are committed to sustainable solutions.”
From The Associated Press:
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says the state is working on solutions after the Department of Justice issued scathing findings about Alabama prisons.
Ivey said Wednesday morning that federal investigators “identified many of the same areas of concern that we have discussed publicly for some time.”
The Justice Department said Wednesday that Alabama’s prison system has been violating the Constitution by failing to protect inmates from violence and sexual abuse.
Ivey said her administration will be working with the department to address the concerns. Ivey has previously proposed building three large regional prisons for men.
The Alabama Department of Corrections is seeking legislative funding this year to add 500 correctional officers. That’s just a fraction of the number a federal judge said the state should add.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D):
“The findings of the Department of Justice’s report are deeply disturbing. No human being should be made to live in conditions that are both inhumane and outright unconstitutional. I urge Governor Ivey and the state legislature to work with federal authorities to make substantial changes to address the report’s findings and foster an environment of rehabilitation, rather than one that perpetuates a cycle of trauma and violence.”