THE LATEST: KAY IVEY: ‘WE’RE WORKING TO FIX PRISONS’
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Latest on the Justice Department’s report finding unconstitutional conditions in Alabama’s prisons (all times local):
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.
The Justice Department says Alabama’s prison system has been violating the Constitution by failing to protect inmates from violence and sexual abuse.
The federal government’s findings were disclosed in a scathing letter reviewed Wednesday by The Associated Press. The letter described the problems as “severe” and “systemic.”
The Justice Department also warned that it may sue the state within the next two months if Alabama doesn’t fix the problems.
The findings are the result of an investigation opened in 2016 at the end of the Obama administration.
The report is the latest blow to the troubled Alabama prison system, which has been criticized for overcrowding, violence, and a high suicide rate.
A federal judge ruled in 2017 that the state has provided “horrendously inadequate” care to mentally ill inmates.
Eric Tucker contributed from Washington, D.C.
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