Alabama officials reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the treatment of female inmates, avoiding federal intervention in the state’s prisons, reports the Alabama Media Group. Here are highlights of what Alabama promised at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women over nine months: Separate dorm and work assignments for likely victims and likely abusers; help for inmates who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and “gender-nonconforming;” no more staff ogling of inmates in the showers; special training for prison employees; better screening and monitoring of employees.
Also, faster investigations into sexual abuse claims, no more polygraph tests for inmates who raise allegations of sexual abuse, and a federal monitor will make sure everything in the agreement actually takes place at Tutwiler. Alabama is footing the bill for the monitor, who will have complete access to the prison. “Prisoners are entitled to be safe from sexual predation by staff, and to live in an environment free from sexual assault, sexual harassment and the constant fear of these abuses,” said the acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta.