DOJ report: Alabama prisons violating Eighth Amendment News
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DOJ report: Alabama prisons violating Eighth Amendment

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday reported that conditions in the Alabama’s State Prisons for Men may violate the Eighth Amendment. 

The DOJ wrote, “In particular, we have reasonable cause to believe that Alabama routinely violates the constitutional rights of prisoners housed in the Alabama’s prisons by failing to protect them from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse, and by failing to provide safe conditions.” The DOJ cited inadequate supervision and overcrowding as sources of the constitutional violations.

The DOJ is giving Alabama 49 days to correct the problem. If not corrected, the attorney general may file a lawsuit.

The department listed remedial measures in its report, including hiring 1,000 more security and corrections officers, trying to transport some prisoners out of the state prisons, investigating and documenting all reports of sexual abuse, and installing cameras in the prisons.

The investigation began in October 2016. Officials interviewed a total of 55 prison staffers and more than 270 inmates from four different Alabama state prisons.

The DOJ’s investigation into potential sexual abuse of prisoners by prison staff is still ongoing.