Alabama, feds reach agreement over alleged prison abuse

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over a state prison for women that federal officials said subjected inmates to a toxic culture of abuse and harassment.

The agency on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against Alabama over conditions at Julia Tutwiler Prison and a settlement agreement to address the abuse.

The Justice Department said last year that corrections officers at the prison had assaulted inmates, coerced inmates into sex, inappropriately watched inmates in the showers and organized a New Year’s Eve strip show.

Alabama agreed to install monitoring cameras and put in place new procedures to ensure inmate complaints are taken seriously.

Gov. Robert Bentley said the changes will make Tutwiler a safer place for inmates and staff.