The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 20, 2013

Bentley not surprised by state prison investigation


Associated Press

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley says he's "not surprised" allegations of abuse at an Alabama women's prison are being investigated by the Justice Department.

Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/11QMLSp ) Bentley said Friday that state authorities were already working to eliminate problems at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka before the federal government got involved.

State Department of Corrections officials say they received written notice of the Justice Department investigation in March. Tutwiler was scrutinized after a report by the Equal Justice Initiative last year contained allegations of officer-on-inmate sexual violence at the prison.

Bentley says he won't tolerate abuse of prisoners, who must be treated humanely while they're being punished for committing crimes.

Tutwiler is a maximum security facility housing the state's female death row inmates.