The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 29, 2013

Alabama lawmakers expect problems in women's prison

By Bob Johnson
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Members of a legislative committee say problems at Tutwiler Prison will likely continue until the state's prison system is adequately funded.

A Justice Department report released last week criticized the way female inmates are treated at Alabama's lone prison for women.

The National Institute of Corrections study says prisoners have reported sexual abuse and officials haven't always treated those complaints in the proper manner.

The report also says the prison is dirty and overcrowded, and says staffers aren't trained well enough. The review found that inmates don't trust the prison's complaint system, and claims prisoners are punished for complaining.

The department studied the prison after a Montgomery-based group leveled complaints of rape, harassment and sexual assault at Tutwiler last year.

Prison officials say they are changing policies to make improvements.