Department of Justice tells Alabama to clean-up state prisons

Alabama

The Department of Justice says Alabama’s prisons are likely violating the Constitution and could face legal action.

In a 56-page report, the DOJ of says Alabama prisons have a culture of violence, sexual abuse and in some cases death. 

Ebony Howard, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center says these findings point to issues the state has failed to address. 

“I think Governor Ivey needs to come to the realization that we are past the point of this being an Alabama problem, with an Alabama solution,” Howard said. “She needs to work with stakeholders and other interested parties . . .”

“The DOJ has given us 49 days to at least come up with a plan, and then after that they are going to have to file a lawsuit against us if we decide to do nothing, so I think it is imperative that we go on the offense and continue to try to tackle this problem,” said Senator Cam Ward, a Republican from Alabaster.

Ward says a bipartisan group of lawmakers are working towards a plan. 

“Well you know Alabama.  We generally wait on the courts to tells us what to do. Does that mean we’re going to do something?  I think we don’t have a choice,” said Representative Laura Hall, a Democrat from Huntsville.

A joint statement from Governor Kay Ivey and ADOC reads “DOJ has identified many of the same areas of concern that we have discussed publicly for some time.”

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