An Alabama nonprofit law firm has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Alabama prison system after its investigation revealed widespread corruption, criminal misconduct and abusive behavior among prison officers, reports the Montgomery Advertiser. The Equal Justice Initiative released a 13-page report Tuesday that said violence, sexual abuse and poor leadership at prisons were much entrenched than indicated in previous investigations.
The DOJ is already investigating the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., after reports by EJI and the National Institute of Corrections revealed that the facility is plagued by a culture of fear and sexual violence. EJI filed a lawsuit last month that focused on violence and other issues at another prison, the St. Clair Correctional Facility. EJI Director Bryan Stevenson said the latest investigation found that leadership problems, sexual violence and security issues are just as extreme at other facilities. “I just think it reflects a culture that needs to change,” he said.