The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 28, 2013

Prison advocate says Tutwiler report 'wakes people up'

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An attorney for inmates says a federal report detailing problems at Alabama's prison for women is revealing.

Bryan Stevenson of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative says the study "wakes people up" by showing what's going on at Tutwiler prison, located in Wetumpka.

Stevenson tells the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/Wtc1ts ) a long-term solution is needed to fix the state's prisons.

Stevenson's organization last year alleged widespread abuse of inmates and sexual misconduct at Tutwiler involving corrections officers.

Alabama Prison Commissioner Kim Thomas sought the federal review afterward.

Thomas says the study found an oppressive, intimidating atmosphere at Tutwiler.

Thomas says officials will take aggressive actions to address allegations of rape. But he wouldn't go into details about how employees have been fired or prosecuted in connection with sexual assaults.

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